U.S. Marshals Service and Law Enforcement Partners Conduct “Operation Triple Beam” in Southern District of Mississippi
270 arrested in 6-week violence reduction initiative; Some to be Prosecuted under Project EJECT
Jackson, Miss. – The U.S. Marshals Service’s Gulf Coast Regional Fugitive Task Force, along with federal, state and local law enforcement agencies, recently completed a six-week-long violence reduction initiative in the Southern District of Mississippi known as "Operation Triple Beam," resulting in the arrests of 270 individuals for various crimes. While the Marshals Service has conducted these types of initiatives elsewhere around the country, this is the first time Operation Triple Beam has been conducted throughout an entire U.S. Attorney’s district and is believed to be one of the most successful Operation Triple Beams of this scale that the Marshals have ever accomplished since the program began in 2010.
"When law enforcement officers work together, we get results," Attorney General Jeff Sessions said. "The arrest of more than 270 people – including 90 gang members – throughout the Southern District of Mississippi is the result of collaboration between federal officers and our state and local partners. It’s also an example of how customizing our strategy at the local level through the Project Safe Neighborhoods program helps us use our resources more effectively. I want to thank our Deputy U.S. Marshals and all of the task force members who played a role in these arrests. They exemplify the proven law enforcement methods that we will continue to prioritize going forward."
From April 9, 2018, through May 17, 2018, the Task Force, along with more than 25 other federal, state, and local law enforcement agencies, worked to target and arrest violent fugitives and criminal offenders who had committed or were committing crimes such as homicide, felony assault and sexual assault, illegal possession of firearms, illegal drug distribution, robbery, failure to register as sex offenders, and arson. Of the 270 individuals arrested, approximately 90 were gang members, representing various affiliations including the Gangster Disciples, Vice Lords, Simon City Royals, Latin Kings, and the Aryan Brotherhood.
Operation Triple Beam also resulted in the seizure of 50 firearms, including military style assault rifles, illegal narcotics valued at approximately $7,500, and approximately $26,000 in cash.
In the counties of Simpson, Pearl River, Hancock, and Jefferson Davis, approximately 300 registered sex offenders were individually checked for compliance, resulting in approximately 20 arrests for sex offender registry violations.
The Task Force spent two weeks conducting Operation Triple Beam in the City of Jackson, where it is believed that some of those arrested will be presented to the U.S. Attorney’s Office for prosecution under Project EJECT. Project EJECT is an initiative by the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Southern District of Mississippi under the U.S. Department of Justice’s Project Safe Neighborhoods (PSN), a program bringing together all levels of law enforcement and the communities they serve to reduce violent crime and make our neighborhoods safer for everyone. Attorney General Jeff Sessions reinvigorated PSN in 2017 as part of the Department’s renewed focus on targeting violent criminals, directing all U.S. Attorney’s Offices to work in partnership with federal, state, local, and tribal law enforcement and the local community to develop effective, locally-based strategies to reduce violent crime. EJECT stands for "Empower Jackson Expel Crime Together."
Operation Triple Beam brought together numerous agencies to work as a force multiplier to identify violent offenders, target street-level gang activity, and collect criminal intelligence to systematically remove the most violent gang members and criminal offenders from the Southern District of Mississippi. Law enforcement efforts took place primarily in the cities of Jackson, Gulfport, Biloxi, Hattiesburg, and Meridian and focused on fugitive apprehension investigations, firearms and narcotics investigations, gang-related intelligence gathering, and proactive sex offender compliance initiatives.
United States Marshal for the Southern District of Mississippi George White praised the collaboration between the many federal and state law enforcement agencies that took part in the operation to make a difference in our communities. "This initiative gives the public a small glimpse of what law enforcement does on a daily basis," White said. "It’s always a good ending when everyone makes it home safe. I couldn’t be more proud of the men and women who worked diligently during this highly effective operation. This all-hands-on-deck approach was pivotal in the success of this operation. Many of these cases will be prosecuted in federal court. Furthermore, many of these investigations will lead to future arrests in the pursuit of dismantling the criminal element in the Southern District of Mississippi."
"I appreciate and commend the U.S. Marshals Service, its Deputy Marshals, Task Force Officers, and its leadership, for implementing Operation Triple Beam throughout the Southern District of Mississippi," said U.S. Attorney Mike Hurst. "By collaborating with and incorporating other federal, state and local law enforcement agencies into this initiative, Operation Triple Beam was able to aggressively and proactively target certain ‘hot spot’ areas in our district. Due to the hard work and collective efforts of these law enforcement officers, Operation Triple Beam has made a huge impact in our district, sending a strong message to the criminal element that there will be consequences for violating the law, while also reassuring our communities and our citizens that their safety and security is our highest priority."
On April 10, three gang members in Jackson were arrested. Vice Lord member Jeremy Walker was arrested on state and federal firearm charges. During Walker’s arrest, he was in possession of a substantial amount of marijuana. Gangster Disciple member Royce Green was arrested on charges of armed robbery and aggravated assault. Vice Lord member Tommy Kendrick was arrested on charges from the Jackson Police Department for shooting into an occupied dwelling. During Kendrick’s arrest, he was in possession of a military style assault weapon and in possession of marijuana.
On April 16, Simon City Royal member Richard Lee Schmidt was arrested in Pearl River County. Schmidt was arrested for failure to register as a sex offender.
During the week of April 16, Operation Triple Beam focused its resources in the City of Gulfport, targeting local street gang members. Gangster Disciple member Daniel Brown was arrested for being a convicted felon in possession of a firearm. Deondra Brandon was also arrested during this week for being a felon in possession of a firearm. Both of these individuals were in possession of semi-automatic pistols with extended magazines.
On April 17, Gangster Disciple member Jaquan Cater of Gulfport was arrested and was in possession of a semi-automatic pistol and a military style assault rifle. Reginald Scott, a general with The Bloods street gang, was also arrested for failure to register as a sex offender.
On April 18, three Guap Gang Empire members -- Javon Byrd, Walter Williams, and Christopher Rush -- were arrested in Gulfport for federal firearms violations. These individuals were in possession of illegal weapons and narcotics at the time of their arrests.
On April 19, Marcus Dortch was arrested in Forest. Dortch was wanted out of Newark, New Jersey, on two counts of aggravated assault, robbery and weapon possession charges. At the time of his arrest, he was in possession of a 9 mm semi-automatic pistol.
During the week of April 23, three members of the "All Can Get It" (ACG) gang, Rajee Williams, Joshua Richbury, and Montarius Shabazz, were arrested in Biloxi for Possession of Marijuana. A military-style assault rifle was also seized from these individuals at the time of their arrest. Also during this week in Biloxi, Michael Brumfield was arrested for possession of a half-pound of marijuana with intent to distribute.
On April 26, Simon City Royal gang members Justin Johnson, Gary Mucha, and Alexi Shoemaker were arrested for possession of crystal methamphetamine.
On May 2, Vice Lord member Mark Tabrakus was arrested for possession of a stolen firearm and possession of a controlled substance with intent to distribute. Vice Lord member Marguell Swilley was also arrested for possession of Ecstasy and possession of a semi-automatic pistol.
On May 7, Jackson resident Joshua Hannah was arrested for the stabbing death on April 2 of his girlfriend’s mother, Serenthia Harris, 61.
A complete list of those arrested during Operation Triple Beam and their charges may be obtained from the U.S. Attorney’s Office.
Operation Triple Beam (OTB) was a joint crime reduction initiative of the following agencies: U.S. Marshals Service
Bureau of Alcohol Tobacco and Firearms
Drug Enforcement Agency
Department of Homeland Security Investigations
U.S. Attorney’s Office
Mississippi Bureau of Narcotics
Mississippi Bureau of Investigations
Mississippi Department of Corrections
Jackson Police Department
Madison Police Department
Ridgeland Police Department
Gulfport Police Department
Biloxi Police Department
Hattiesburg Police Department
Pearl Police Department
Meridian Police Department
Hinds County Sheriff’s Office
Rankin County Sheriff’s Office
Madison County Sheriff’s Office
Pearl River County Sheriff’s Office
Simpson County Sheriff’s Office
Hancock County Sheriff’s Office
Jefferson Davis County Sheriff’s Office
Harrison County Sheriff’s Office
Jackson County Sheriff’s Office
Lauderdale County Sheriff’s Office
Lamar County Sheriff’s Office
The strategy used in Operation Triple Beam has been applied by the U.S. Marshals Service and its law enforcement partners in 47 other cities across the country since 2010.
The public is reminded that an arrest is not evidence of guilt and that all defendants in a criminal case are presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty in a court of law.