Operation Triple Beam nabs gang members, dangerous criminals

Operation Triple Beam nabs gang members, dangerous criminals
Hattiesburg police responded to a report of stolen car batteries on March 5. (Photo source: WDAM)

HATTIESBURG, MS (WDAM) - This is a news release from the U.S. Marshals Service. 

Operation Triple Beam-Hattiesburg (OTB) is a joint initiative between the U.S. Marshals Gulf Coast Regional Fugitive Task Force (GCRFTF) partnering agencies and its state and local partners.  During this operation, officers, agents and task force officers worked alongside the Hattiesburg Police Department, Mississippi Department of Corrections and the Jackson County Sheriff's Office as a force multiplier to target street level gang activity, identify targets and collect tangible  criminal intelligence to systematically remove the most violent gang members and criminal offenders from the eastside areas of Hattiesburg, Mississippi, as well as the Jackson County area.

In order to have the greatest impact on violent crime, Operation Triple Beam focused on gang members and violent offenders by conducting saturation details, executing warrants and assisting the Mississippi Department of Corrections on compliance visits with known gang members on probation.

Between July 11 and August 31, the U.S. Marshals Service Gulf Coast Regional Fugitive Task Force used its multi-jurisdictional investigative authority and fugitive task force network to close 74 warrants by arrest, including 15 documented gang members, and others wanted on charges including possession of cocaine, possession of methamphetamines, possession of marijuana, aggravated assault, possession of a weapon by convicted felon, armed robbery and probation violation.

In addition, investigators seized 23 firearms, $1,254 in currency, 312 grams of methamphetamine, 2111.2 grams of marijuana, 37 grams of cocaine, one vehicle, counterfeit money and a counterfeit money machine.

Notable arrests in Hattiesburg, Mississippi:

Victor Smith was arrested for Possession of Marijuana with the Intent to Distribute and Possession of Stolen Firearms.  Smith is a documented gang member with the 74 Hoover Crips.  OTB-Hattiesburg seized 1834 grams of marijuana, five firearms and $730 in US currency.

Marquis Collins was arrested for possession with the intent to distribute methamphetamines, possession of a firearm by convicted felon and probation violation.  OTB-Hattiesburg seized 256 grams of methamphetamines and one firearm.

OTB-Hattiesburg received a lot of positive feedback from the Hattiesburg Police Department regarding U.S. Marshals' efforts during the operation.

OTB-Hattiesburg received positive feedback from Hattiesburg Chief of Police Anthony Parker.

"We need more operations like this one to help cut down on the crime," said Chief of Police Anthony Parker. "I hope this partnership continues.  "The operation was great for the City of Hattiesburg and the community to keep them safe."

OTB Hattiesburg also received positive from Hattiesburg Assistant Chief of Police Frank Misenhelter.

"Operation Triple Beam was able to accomplish many tasks at hand.  We were able to target specific areas where we know to involve gang members.  While conducting these saturations, we were able to identify several gang members that were not in the Hattiesburg Police Department database.  We were also able to recover several weapons that were either used in crimes or stolen," said Misenhelter. "I believe this operation was an overall success and added more intelligence for the Hattiesburg Police Department.  I would like to extend my gratitude to the operation and its success."

U.S. Marshal George White of the Southern District of Mississippi said that the U.S. Marshals will continue to do everything within its powers to help their federal, state, and local law enforcement partners eradicate gangs, and the drugs and violence that they bring into the neighborhoods.

For more information about Operation Triple Beam, including photographs, click here.