Former Mississippi deputy pleads guilty to 31 counts of evidence tampering

Published 8:37 pm Tuesday, September 5, 2023

A former Mississippi deputy pleaded guilty to dozens of counts of tampering with evidence.

Circuit Court Judge Caleb May of Mississippi’s 8th Judicial District heard a guilty plea from the defense on behalf of previous Leake County Deputy Justin Moore Tuesday.

The indictment was for 31 counts of evidence tampering spanning throughout about a two-year period.

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May asked the defendant, “Are you pleading guilty to these crimes because you are guilty?”

The former law enforcement officer responded, “Yes.”

The plea stemmed from a lengthy investigation in which Moore was developed as a suspect. The Mississippi Forensics Laboratory had conducted an internal investigation on several drug evidence submissions that were received from the Leake County Sheriff’s Office and notified Sheriff Randy W. Atkinson.

Atkinson requested that the Mississippi Bureau of Narcotics investigate as well as conduct an audit of the office’s evidence vault. It was determined that the altered/tampered evidence was from the Leake County Sheriff’s Office.

Upon completion of the investigation, Moore was arrested and charged with 31 counts of evidence tampering. After the guilty plea, he was sentenced to 20 years to serve in custody of the Mississippi Department of Corrections and five years of Post Release Supervision.