HPD officer terminated amidst state and federal drug investigation

HPD officer terminated amidst state and federal drug investigation
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Elijah Moore
Elijah Moore

HATTIESBURG, MS (WDAM) - A Hattiesburg police officer allegedly involved in a state and federal drug investigation has been terminated from the city of Hattiesburg. 

Officer Thomas Wheeler was dismissed from the police department Monday August 10th after federal agents broke up an alleged drug transaction Saturday night, August 8th, off Interstate 20 in Warren County.

"Officer Thomas Wheeler's employment has been terminated with the City Of Hattiesburg which is a personnel matter therefore we do not have any further comment," said Hattiesburg Police Department Lt. Jon Traxler in a written statement.

Wheeler and Elijah Moore of Covington County were allegedly detained and more than 600 pounds of high-grade marijuana was confiscated at the scene in an abandoned parking lot near the Flowers exit.

According to the Warren County Jail booking department, Moore was booked into the Warren County Jail on August 8th by agents with the Mississippi Bureau of Narcotics. Moore was charged with one count of possession of a controlled substance and released on a $20,000 bond on August 11th, pending his return for the case to be presented to an October grand jury.

According to sources with the investigation, Wheeler has not been charged at this time as a part of the ongoing investigation, and is pending an October grand jury decision.

The investigation is ongoing, and other arrests are pending.

"Per the Department of Justice guidelines, the FBI cannot confirm nor deny the existence of an investigation," said FBI Public Affairs Specialist Deborah Madden.

Wheeler was sworn in as a Hattiesburg Police officer August 11, 2014, after coming to the department as a lateral hire from the Covington County Sheriff's Department. Wheeler worked at the Covington County Sheriff's Department for about two years.