Project EJECT slows down crime in Pine Belt

Pine Belt News

(Photo: WKRN)

HATTIESBURG, Miss. (WHLT) – This week, federal, state and local law enforcement in the Pine Belt executed arrest warrants in and around Hattiesburg and Forrest County.

Over the past year, under the U.S. Attorney’s Office’s Project EJECT and led by Assistant U.S. Attorney Andrew W. Eichner, the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives (“ATF”), the Hattiesburg Police Department, the Lamar County Sheriff’s Office, Drug Enforcement Administration (“DEA”), Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), the Forrest County Sheriff’s Office, the Mississippi Bureau of Narcotics and others have focused investigations on career criminal offenders, armed narcotics traffickers, and documented gang members in and around Hattiesburg and throughout Forrest County.

Prosecutors said these investigations involved controlled purchases of illegal narcotics, targeted follow ups and interviews driven by and based upon intelligence and evidence gathered, and coordination amongst prosecutors and officers to prioritize and marshal resources towards the worst criminal offenders throughout the Pine Belt.

“Under Project EJECT, we are taking drug dealers and violent criminals off our streets and making our communities safer. Today’s announcement of the indictment and arrest of 7 prominent drug dealers in the Pine Belt is a result of the important work that these brave men and women in law enforcement have been doing to clean up our streets, make our neighborhoods safe, and protect our citizens. I want to thank our agents, officers, deputies and prosecutors for their hard work in bringing these criminals to justice,” said Hurst.

This collaborative effort has resulted in the indictment by the U.S. Attorney’s Office of 7 defendants on federal drug charges, one of whom has already pled guilty.

  • In January 2020, Shane Ware trafficked over 200 grams of methamphetamine with 100% purity into Hattiesburg.
  • On two separate occasions in January 2020, Bradford Mark sold almost half a kilogram of methamphetamine with purity levels ranging up to almost 90%.
  • In February 2020, Alfred Richards sold over 100 grams of methamphetamine in Hattiesburg with 99% purity.
  • On two separate occasions in February 2020, Demetric Evans sold a total of over 200 grams of methamphetamine with 100% purity.
  • On two separate occasions in March 2020, Kevin Taylor trafficked almost half a kilogram of methamphetamine into Hattiesburg, which was 99% pure, extremely deadly.
  • Earlier this year, Amos Blanks was indicted federal for having trafficked meth in Hattiesburg in 2017 and 2019. Mr. Blanks pled guilty to one count of methamphetamine trafficking on July 23, 2020 and will be sentenced before Senior U.S. District Judge Keith Starrett on November 18, 2020 at 9:30 a.m.
  • Georgio R. Scott was indicted for being a felon in possession of ammunition.

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