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State sentences handed down to ‘Goon Squad’ members

(Left to right, top to bottom) Brett McAlpin, Daniel Opdyke, Jeffrey Middleton, Joshua Hartfield, Hunter Elward, Christian Dedmon

The six Mississippi law enforcement officers who tortured and sexually abused two Black men last January are being sentenced to state charges on Wednesday.

Last month, Brett McAlpin, Daniel Opdyke, Jeffrey Middleton, Joshua Hartfield, Hunter Elward, and Christian Dedmon were sentenced to a combined 135 years in federal prison after pleading guilty to all charges.

Three of the defendants have also admitted in court that they were members of “The Goon Squad,” a group of Rankin County sheriff deputies known for using excessive force and not reporting it. The five RCSO deputies and one Richland police officer will face further prison time throughout the day with both state and federal charges running concurrently.

Each is being sentenced for charges ranging from aggravated assault, home invasion, and hindering prosecution.


Brett McAlpin

  • Federal – 328 months (just over 27 years)
  • State – 20 years

Daniel Opdyke

  • Federal – 210 months (17.5 years)
  • State – 20 years

Jeffrey Middleton

  • Federal – 210 months (17.5 years)
  • State – 20 years

Joshua Hartfield

  • Federal – 120 months (10 years)
  • State – 15 years

Hunter Elward

  • Federal – 241 months (just over 20 years)
  • State – 45 years

Christian Dedmon

  • Federal – 480 months (40 years)
  • State – 25 years
What happened?

According to statements by Jenkins and Parker, the deputies forcibly entered the Braxton residence without presenting a warrant on January 24, 2023.

Both men were immediately handcuffed before Dedmon, Elward, Hartfield, and Middleton began stunning Jenkins and Parker with Tasers, with the first Taser being used at 10:04 p.m. Documents show Tasers being turned on, off, or used over a dozen times for approximately 65 minutes after the first Taser was fired.

In total, the incident is estimated to have lasted for around two hours, with Dedman said to have waterboarded the two men with milk, chocolate syrup, and alcohol while Elward held Jenkins and Parker down.

Reports also state that Opdyke orally assaulted Parker and Jenkins with a sex toy before Dedmon threatened to anally rape the two with the object.

Court documents later revealed that Dedmon poured grease over Parker’s head while Elward threw eggs at both men. Parker and Jenkins were then ordered “to strip naked and shower off to wash away evidence of abuse” before Dedmon shot a bullet into the front yard.

Elward then placed the gun in Jenkins’ mouth after secretly taking a bullet from the chamber and pulled the trigger. The unloaded gun clicked but did not fire.

He then racked the slide, intending to dry-fire a second time, but the gun discharged when he pulled the trigger again. The gunshot left Jenkins with a broken jaw, lacerated tongue, and severe wounds in his neck.

Immediately after, the deputies left Jenkins bleeding on the floor to discuss a cover story and dispose of any evidence involved in the shooting. A gun was then planted on Jenkins while officers destroyed the home’s surveillance video footage, spent shell cases, and taser cartridges.

Jenkins was later transported to the University of Mississippi Medical Center (UMMC), where his injuries were treated for several weeks.

The officers charged Jenkins with aggravated assault of a police officer and possession of a controlled substance, while Parker was given two misdemeanor charges for disorderly conduct and possession of paraphernalia. Documents show that the deputies planted methamphetamine on the two men before making the arrests.

In addition to filing false reports, the deputies are also being accused of submitting fraudulent drug evidence to the crime lab, making false statements to investigators, and pressuring witnesses to stick to the cover story.

Shortly after, the two men filed suit against the six deputies and demanded $400 million in punitive and compensatory damages from the sheriff’s department.

Jenkins and Parker also accused the officers of attempted murder, false imprisonment, assault and battery, intentional infliction of emotional distress, and six counts of deprivation of civil rights.

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