Federal prosecutors charge 40 people after four-year probe of drug trafficking in Mississippi

JACKSON, Miss. (AP) — Approximately 40 people with connections to multiple states and Mexico were arrested Tuesday after a four-year federal investigation exposed multiple drug trafficking operations in east Mississippi, federal prosecutors announced.

In 10 federal indictments filed in the U.S. Southern District of Mississippi, those arrested are accused of distributing methamphetamine, cocaine and other illegal drugs. The indictments charge various drug trafficking crimes, including possession with intent to distribute controlled substances and conspiracy.

“I have a simple message for the drug traffickers in East Mississippi that are still on the streets after today’s arrests: Get out of the business, or like those arrested today, you will eventually spend a large portion of your life behind bars,” Todd W. Gee, the U.S. Attorney for the Southern District of Mississippi, said in a news release.

During the investigation, law enforcement agents seized large quantities of methamphetamine pills, liquid methamphetamine, crystal methamphetamine, powder cocaine and crack cocaine, Gee said. Investigators also reported seizing cash and firearms. In one operation, agents seized nearly $50,000 in cash, weapons and narcotics.

Some of the defendants were charged with committing a methamphetamine drug offense while children were present. Others are charged with threatening to kill someone with an explosive device, prosecutors said.

The people arrested are from Mississippi, California, Texas, Alabama and Mexico.