Nine people were arrested this week on a variety of drug-related charges in connection with an ongoing investigation by state and local law enforcement agencies.
The bulk of the roundup occurred on Tuesday, July 14, as agents with the Mississippi Bureau of Narcotics (MBN) and officers with the Tallahatchie County Sheriff's Office and Charleston Police Department corraled eight suspects, most of them on grand jury indictments. The ninth was nabbed the next day.
Tallahatchie County Sheriff Jimmy Fly identified those arrested as:
» Michael Lynn Cox, 58, of 1300 Highway 321, Tutwiler, on a felony warrant charging two counts of sale of methamphetamine, and one count each of possession of methamphetamine and possession of a firearm by a convicted felon
» Mishell Lynn Crowell, 44, of 1113 Hawthorn Road, Oakland, on an indictment charging her with two counts of sale of methamphetamine, more than 2 grams and less than 10 grams
» Marcus Fane, 34, of 491 Mt. Olive Road, Tillatoba, on an indictment alleging possession of cocaine
» Cassidy McCord, 22, of 109 Nell St., Charleston, on an indictment charging one count of sale of marijuana, 30 grams or less
» Stephen Melton, 49, of 281 Air Industrial Park, Grenada, on an indictment accusing him of possession of methamphetamine, more than 30 grams
» Deanna Melton Moorman, 62, of 1300 Highway 321, Tutwiler, on a felony warrant charging one count of sale of methamphetamine
» Skylar Moorman, 37, of 1300 Highway 321, Tutwiler, who was arrested at the scene on a charge of possession of paraphernalia
» Dana Rae Smith, 36, of 1133 Saddle Lane, Tillatoba, on an indictment charging two counts of sale of methamphetamine, more than 10 grams and less than 30 grams
» Mollie Amanda Ross-Britt, 38, of 1473 Mt. Olivet Road, Batesville, on an indictment alleging one count of the sale of marijuana, more than 1 ounce, within 1,500 feet of a school — a proximity that can lead to enhanced penalties upon conviction
Capt. Johnny Poulos, in a news release from MBN, said lawmen began an operation in 2019 to identify individuals who were distributing methamphetamine and marijuana in Tallahatchie County and surrounding areas.
"MBN agents were able to make multiple undercover purchases of methamphetamine from these individuals in Tallahatchie County," Poulos added.
The sheriff thanked MBN for their assistance in the investigation. He also lauded Charleston police and the deputies and others in the sheriff's office "who have worked hard to make this possible."
"Agencies like MBN are a huge asset to the state, and especially smaller rural agencies like Tallahatchie County," Fly noted.
He explained that during the investigation, which he said began about 1½ years ago, state agents proved invaluable at times when the focus of local lawmen was drawn away by other duties.
"We have dealt with historical flooding and storms, assisted in the Parchman prison riots, the COVID-19 pandemic and the regular day-to-day operations of the sheriff's office," Fly noted. "It takes a lot of teamwork and sacrifice to put something like this together and deal with everything else that we have had thrown at us since this started. Again, I would like to say thank you to everyone involved in this investigation and everyone at the sheriff's office for all of your hard work and time. You are greatly appreciated."
Charleston Police Chief Justin Gammage said his department has been proud to play a role in the investigation, which he was quick to say is not over.
"We arrested a few, but it's an ongoing investigation," Gammage noted. "Hopefully, we can continue to work with the sheriff's department and MBN to make the community safer by rooting out some more of these drug dealers."
Officials said additional indictments are possible.