PANOLA COUNTY, Miss. (WJTV) – Authorities recovered stolen items, including utility trailers, a horse trailer, and two boats, in Panola and Yalobusha counties last month.
According to the Mississippi Department of Agriculture and Commerce (MDAC), agents with the Mississippi Agriculture and Livestock Theft Bureau (MALTB) and the Panola County Sheriff’s Department executed search warrants at two properties on October 26.
Authorities said they recovered several dual axle utility trailers, a horse trailer, two boats with missing VIN plates, a 500-gallon fuel tank, saddles, cement mixer, night vision scope, cameras and numerous other valuable items stolen from a farm in Yalobusha County and a timber operation in Panola County.
“I commend Director Dean Barnard, Ag Theft investigators and the Panola County Sheriff’s Department for their efforts in this ongoing investigation. Farmers rely on equipment daily as part of their livelihoods. We aim to protect and serve our agricultural community, and we look forward to bringing the culprits to justice,” said Mississippi Agriculture and Commerce Commissioner Andy Gipson.
According to MDAC officials, this is an ongoing investigation of farm and logging business-related theft involving property valued into the thousands of dollars. They said one arrest has been made in the case as of November 2. Christopher Lamar Morris, 32, of Batesville, has been charged with grand larceny in Panola County.
Investigators said the suspects were attempting to place the items on eBay and Facebook marketplace and black-market avenues for sale.
Agents and deputies expect additional arrests and charges to be coming against Morris and others that have been identified as involved, but not yet arrested.