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Airplane engine theft leads to recovery of large stash of stolen equipment

Photo courtesy of the MS Department of Agriculture and Commerce

Numerous stolen items were recovered by officials in Sunflower County on Thursday following an investigation that was sparked by a reported theft of an airplane engine in Issaquena County.

On Friday, November 4, the Issaquena Sheriff’s Office was informed that the engine was stolen off an airplane that was stored in a crop-duster hanger in Valley Park. The Mississippi Agricultural and Livestock Theft Bureau (MALTB) was then asked to assist in the theft investigation.

Less than one week later, agents with MALTB, Issaquena County Sherriff’s Office, Sunflower County Sherriff’s Office, and the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) executed a search warrant on several locations in Sunflower County on Thursday, November 10.

During the search, numerous stolen items were recovered including the stolen plane engine, a John Deere tractor, trailers, four-wheelers, ATVs, lawnmowers, welding machine, ditch witch trencher, fuel tanks, and a commercial grade bush hog, along with other additional items.

Photo courtesy of the MS Department of Agriculture and Commerce

One individual was arrested during the execution of the search warrant.

“I commend Director Dean Barnard, Ag Theft investigators, Issaquena and Sunflower County Sheriff’s Offices, and the FAA for their efforts in this ongoing investigation. This is an example of multiple law enforcement agencies working together to quickly and successfully resolve a case,” Commissioner of Agriculture and Commerce Andy Gipson said.

Additional arrests are expected as the investigation continues.

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