DEA and Moss Point Police Round-Up Violent Drug Offenders As Part Of “Operation Bottom Of The Map”
SEP 19 -- Moss Point, Miss - United States Attorney Dunn Lampton, Stephen A. Luzinski, Assistant Special Agent in Charge, Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA), and Demetrius Drakeford, Chief, Moss Point Police Department, today announced the culmination of a one year federal investigation targeting violent drug offenders operating in and around Moss Point, Mississippi.
The investigation was dubbed Operation “Bottom of the Map” based on the name given to the Moss Point area by local drug traffickers because of its location at the extreme bottom of the Mississippi state map. The investigation was initiated at the behest of Moss Point Police Chief Drakeford who contacted DEA to request assistance in connection with the rampant drug trafficking, drug related violence, and murders that have plagued the Moss Point community over the last several years.
According to Chief Drakeford, local drug traffickers have become increasingly violent in connection with their drug trafficking activities and have aggressively challenged the ability and authority of law enforcement to investigate or interrupt their criminal activities. Over time, drug related violence has escalated through numerous drug related shootings and homicides, resulting in Moss Point having one of the highest murder rates on the Mississippi Gulf Coast.
As part of this operation, DEA agents, in partnership with other local, state, and federal partners, identified and targeted local Moss Point traffickers for undercover purchases of crack cocaine. Over the course of the operation, agents seized over 1,000 grams of crack cocaine, over 200 grams of cocaine HCL, $13,440 dollars in U.S. currency, small amounts of marijuana and numerous firearms.
“The citizens of Moss Point deserve to live in a community free of open-air crack sales and drug-related shootings and murders. Today’s operation sends an important message that these self-described “untouchables” are not beyond the reach of law enforcement,” said Assistant Special Agent in Charge Stephen Luzinski.
The Moss Point Police Department in conjunction with the DEA, has taken an aggressive stand against narcotic violations. "It's time to stop talking about what we're going to do and be about it," said Chief Demetrius Drakeford, who strongly feels that joint operations such as this one with DEA along with other resources is the key to decreasing narcotic-related criminal activity.
U.S. Attorney Lampton added, “Through joint law enforcement efforts such as this one, we can reclaim the streets and neighborhoods of our cities making them safer for our children and for every law abiding citizen.”
As part of today’s operation, more than 100 federal, state, and local law enforcement officers met at an undisclosed location to plan the pre-dawn arrests and raids. By 7:00 a.m., teams of officers converged on target locations throughout the Moss Point area to execute 7 search warrants and 10 federal arrest warrants. The defendants will be making their initial appearances before a federal magistrate in Gulfport, Mississippi. The search warrants led to additional seizures of cocaine, marijuana, prescription drugs and numerous firearms. All of the defendants were transported to a command post established at the Moss Point Police Department for processing. A total of 5 defendants remain in state custody and more arrests are expected.
The following individuals were charged in federal indictments or by way of criminal complaints relating to drug trafficking activities, and arrested as part of today’s operation:
Kelvin MIMS, age 46, Moss Point, MS - Indicted
The Federal Indictments were unsealed on September 19, 2007 and include charges of Distribution of Cocaine/Cocaine Base. As in any criminal case, a person is presumed innocent until and unless proven guilty. The charges filed merely contain allegations of criminal conduct. Assistant United States Attorney (AUSA) John Meynardie is leading the prosecution of this investigation.
Other agencies participating in this investigation include the Mississippi Bureau of Narcotics (MBN), Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms (ATF), U.S. Probation, U.S. Marshal Service (U.S.M.S.), Mississippi Highway Patrol, Jackson County Sheriff’s Office and the Gautier Police Department.
For further information, please contact, DEA Assistant Special Agent in Charge Stephen Luzinski at 601-965-4400 or Moss Point Police Department Chief Demetrius Drakeford at 228-475-1711.