HATTIESBURG, Miss. (WDAM) - U.S. Attorney Mike Hurst, flanked by leaders from several law enforcement agencies, held a news conference Tuesday to tout the effectiveness of Project EJECT in the Hub City.
Project EJECT is an inter-agency initiative aimed at stopping drug-related and violent crimes and arresting and prosecuting those responsible.
In the latest action, Hurst said several agencies carried out a suspect roundup in Hattiesburg and Forrest County Tuesday.
Hurst said a total of nine people were arrested during the raids, and others are still wanted. Authorities also seized 11 pounds of methamphetamine and other drugs and got five illegal firearms off the streets.
Of those arrested, seven were indicted on federal charges:
- Shane Ware is accused of trafficking over 200 grams of 100% pure methamphetamine into Hattiesburg in January.
- Bradford Mark is accused of selling almost half a kilogram of 90% pure methamphetamine on two separate occasions in January.
- Alfred Richards is accused of selling over 100 grams of 99% pure methamphetamine in Hattiesburg in February.
- Demetric Evans is accused of selling over 200 grams of 100% pure methamphetamine on two separate occasions in February.
- Kevin Taylor is accused of trafficking almost half a kilogram of 99% pure methamphetamine into Hattiesburg on two separate occasions in March.
- Amos Blanks was federally indicted earlier this year for trafficking methamphetamine in Hattiesburg in 2017 and 2019. He pleaded guilty to one count of methamphetamine trafficking on July 23 and will be sentenced on Nov. 18.
- Georgio R. Scott was indicted for being a felon in possession of ammunition. According to Hattiesburg police, Scott was arrested Tuesday in the Rawls Springs community. He was charged with possession with intent to distribute a schedule I controlled substance, possession with intent to distribute a schedule II controlled substance, two counts of aggravated trafficking, four counts of possession of a weapon by convicted felon and possession of a stolen firearm. Metro Narcotics agents seized more than 5 pounds of alleged meth, approximately 500 ecstasy tablets, 250 xanax, 100 grams of marijuana and four firearms.
“To take these fugitives, these drug dealers, frankly, these criminal thugs off the streets only makes our citizens safer, only makes our neighborhoods more secure and only makes our communities a better place to live,” said Hurst.
Since Project EJECT was introduced last year, Hurst said 41 people in the Hub City have been indicted for federal crimes involving drugs, guns and violence. Of those, Hurst said 31 have been arrested and 21 have been convicted.
Hurst added 76 illegal guns have been seized during that time.
“Because of the leadership in this town, because of the leadership at the heads of these state, federal and local law enforcement agencies, this task force has become the model for all of our task forces throughout the Southern District of Mississippi,” said Hurst.
Hattiesburg Police Chief Anthony Parker said this is all about making the city safer for Hattiesburg citizens.
“We are doing everything in our power to make our city safer and to continue in our efforts to improve the overall quality of life for each of you,” said Parker.
Forrest County Sheriff Charlie Sims mentioned the value of this task force coming together to combat crime in our area.
“Crime has no jurisdictional boundary, and when agencies work together, they share information, they coordinate the resources. Then, we’re always going to get superior results,” said Sims.
Hurst added that each of the cities in Mississippi that implemented Project EJECT have seen a reduction in violent crime.