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8 arrested in Hattiesburg drug bust

A joint operation between the DEA and the Hattiesburg Metro Narcotics Unit led to eight arrests, with another seven warrants to be served.

According to the HPD, the long-term investigation began in 2017, and primarily targeted local impact cases on drug offenders in and around the Hub City.

The investigation uncovered controlled substance violations and the use of illegal firearms.

During the operation, agents discovered four weapons, illegal narcotics, including roughly 30 ‘crack rocks’, as well as roughly $13,000 in cash, which was all seized.

Following the initial arrests, Chief Anthony Parker stated that this investigation has made their community a safer place to be. 

“This investigation is the culmination of a lot of long hours and good police work,” said Hattiesburg Police Chief Anthony Parker. “We value our partnerships with other agencies, and when we can all come together and work towards the greater good, we accomplish our goals. We are making the streets and neighborhoods safer. These types of collaborations with other law enforcement agencies is what it will take for the Hattiesburg Police Department to reach its goal of becoming the premier police department in the Gulf South.”

Suspects in Custody:

  • Rikki Johnson, 35, of Hattiesburg
Rikki Johnson. Photo courtesy of Hattiesburg PD

Charges: Sale of a controlled substance (crack cocaine) and possession of a weapon by a convicted felon

  • Antonio Haynes, 37, of Hattiesburg
Antonio Haynes. Photo courtesy of Hattiesburg PD

Charges: Sale of a controlled substance

  • Patryce Graham, 46, of Hattiesburg 
Patryce Graham. Photo courtesy of Hattiesburg PD

Charges: Sale of a controlled substance

  • Steven McCallum, 35, of Hattiesburg
Steven McCallum. Photo courtesy of Hattiesburg PD

Charges: Sale of a controlled substance (crack cocaine)

  • Luther Dye, 35, of Petal
Luther Dye. Photo courtesy of Hattiesburg PD

Charges: Possession of methamphetamine

  • Wiley Payton, 36, of Hattiesburg
Wiley Payton. Photo courtesy of Hattiesburg PD

Charges: Sale of controlled substance (crack cocaine)

  • Rodriquez Barnes, 40, of New Orleans
Rodriguez Barnes. Photo courtesy of Hattiesburg PD

Charges: Sale of controlled substance (heroine)

  • Melvin Manassa, 50, of Hattiesburg 
Melvin Manassa. Photo courtesy of Hattiesburg PD

Charges: Sale of controlled substance (marijuana), possession of a controlled substance with intent to distribute, and possession of marijuana with 1500 feet of a church/school.

DEA Assistant Special Agent in Charge, J. Derryle Smith that it must be a continuous effort to keep drugs off of Mississippi streets.

“Our neighborhoods deserve to exist without fear and intimidation inflicted by violent drug gangs,” Smith said. “The arrests in this investigation demonstrate to the citizens of Mississippi that federal, state, and local law enforcement can come together and accomplish great things. It should serve as a warning to those who prey on the weak and defenseless through their drug trafficking and violent acts. We will continue to work with all of our law enforcement partners, to relentlessly pursue these violent criminals and drug traffickers plaguing our communities.”

Participating Agencies include the Hattiesburg Police Department, DEA, Metro Narcotics, U.S. Marshals, MDOC, ATF, Home Land Security, Mississippi Bureau of Narcotics, Lamar, Forrest and Jones County Sheriff’s Departments.

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