A multiagency effort between federal, state and local forces to crack down on violent crime in north Mississippi has led to 700 arrests and the seizure of significant contraband such as drugs, firearms and cash.
According to the Department of Justice, Operation MPACT (Mississippi Partnering Agencies Coming Together) led to the arrests of 700 individuals for crimes such as homicide, aggravated assault, domestic assault, child abuse, child sexual assault, unlawful gun crime and drug distribution.
The collaborative effort was part of an initiative led by the U.S. Marshal Service to reduce violent crime in the state. Agencies from Panola, Lee, Lowndes and Grenada Counties came together to “target offenders, deter crime and improve community and safety relations.”
Out of the 700 arrests, 350 resulted in felony charges, and 56 were gang-related. In addition, over $134,000 worth of drugs were seized, along with over $50,000 in cash. Also, 38 firearms were recovered during the operation.
U.S. Marshal Danny McKittrick praised the work of the agencies involved.
“I would like to personally thank all of our partners for their relentless support in making this operation a success,” McKittrick said. “I believe the historical results of this operation combined with the community policing efforts of our local partners will have a lasting effect on these communities here in the Northern District of Mississippi.”
According to a press release from the DOJ, Operation MPACT was a response to increasing crime in the state after organized criminal groups operating out of Memphis and Chicago migrated to Mississippi.
In addition to sheriff’s offices from across the state and U.S Marshals, other federal and state agencies such as the ATF, the Mississippi Highway Patrol, the Mississippi Bureau of Narcotics, the U.S. Probation Service and the U.S. Attorney’s Office were involved as well.
“The success of this operation and the resulting arrests and seizures of criminal contraband directly result from the outstanding leadership demonstrated by the U.S. Marshals Service and the hard work of our federal, state and local law enforcement partners who saw a need to combat rising crime rates and took action to strategically address the problem,” Attorney Clay Joyner said. “Arresting those who would commit violent crimes, drug crimes and gun crimes in our district and those who are wanted for such crimes is key in making the northern district of Mississippi safer for the citizens who live here.”