‘Enough fentanyl to kill everyone in town’ — Mississippi officials announce results of months-long drug investigation
Published 4:45 pm Friday, February 10, 2023
Mississippi law enforcement said they have arrested three people and seized enough fentanyl “to kill everyone in town” due to a months-long drug trafficking investigation.
Warren County Sheriff Martin Pace and Vicksburg Police Chief Penny Jones held a joint press conference Friday to report on the recent drug operation.
“We feel like this is going to make a significant dent in narcotics distribution in Vicksburg and Warren County,” Pace said Friday.
The joint effort began months ago when Vicksburg Police Department investigators arrested James Edward “Blue” Jones, 48 of Warren County, for trafficking narcotics. Jones was then out of jail on bond. At the time he was out on bond, authorities continued to receive information that Jones was still distributing narcotics, Pace said.
Sheriff’s investigators began an investigation at an address on Stellivan Road where Jones was allegedly conducting business. VPD narcotics detectives and Warren County Sheriff’s Office narcotics detectives worked together on the case, sharing information and resources and assisting with surveillance.
“On Thursday, at the end of the investigation, Jones reported to his parole officer, where a team of deputies, Vicksburg police investigators and probational parole agents arrested him on charges that had already been filed — two counts of the sale of fentanyl,” Pace said.
Simultaneously, a search warrant was being served at the address on Stellivan Road where the narcotics had been sold.
Pace identified the address as 92 Stellivan Road, the home of Money Sanders, 55 of Warren County.
In addition to Jones, officers arrested Sanders and Joell Forbes, 24 of Warren County.
While executing the search warrant, investigators recovered 5 ounces of crystal methamphetamine, three-quarters of a pound of marijuana, 5 grams of fentanyl, two .22-caliber rifles and a 9mm handgun.
Pace described the amount of fentanyl as “enough to kill everyone in town.”
Jones is charged with trafficking meth, possession of marijuana with intent to distribute, possession of fentanyl with intent to distribute and two counts of sale of fentanyl. Sanders is charged with trafficking meth, possession of marijuana with intent to distribute, possession of fentanyl with intent to distribute and possession of a firearm by a convicted felon. Forbes is charged with trafficking meth with intent to distribute, possession of marijuana and possession of fentanyl.
All three had their initial appearance in Warren County Justice Court Friday morning.
Judge Randy Lewis held Jones and Forbes without the benefit of bond until the Circuit Court could address a prior bond issue. Both Jones and Forbes were out on felony bonds at the time of their arrests.
Sanders was given a $400,000 bond and court-ordered to wear an ankle monitor.
“I can’t emphasize enough the cooperation between the two agencies. The narcotics investigators from the police department and the sheriff’s office worked together,” Pace said. “This is a months-long investigation. It involved several types of surveillance and we feel very confident in this case and we feel very confident that Blue Jones is out of the drug business.”
In addition to the cooperation between agencies, Pace attributed the operation’s success to new equipment at both departments and the cooperation of the public.