Tag Archives: Mississippi

‘Cop Killer’ Manhunt Goes Nationwide

29 Dec

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The manhunt for a “cop killer” was expanded today to a nationwide dragnet to find the suspected bank robber who fatally shot a Mississippi police officer two days before Christmas, according to the FBI. Tupelo Police Department officer Gale Stauffer and another officer were hit by gunfire Monday when they confronted suspected bank robbers during their getaway in the city. As the officers approached suspects in a vehicle, which was stuck in traffic at a railroad crossing, at least one of the suspects opened fire at close range, according to an account posted online at the Officer Down Memorial Page. The suspects fled, leaving Stauffer fatally shot and another officer critically wounded Stauffer “has made the ultimate sacrifice for his community,” Tupelo Mayor Jason Shelton said, urging the public to help “so that the criminal or criminals responsible for this horrendous act can be brought to justice.” After reviewing bank surveillance video from the robbery of a BancorpSouth bank in Tupelo, authorities are looking for a thin, possibly African-American man with light complexion, standing between 5-feet-9 and 6-feet tall, according to the Mississippi Department of Public Safety. The suspect seen in the surveillance video was wearing khaki or cargo-style pants, white Converse tennis shoes, a long-sleeved jacket and a blue ski mask, the state public safety department said. A charcoal-colored, medium-sized sedan might have been used as a getaway car. As part of the investigation, authorities also released a photo (shown below) of a “person of interest” standing in what appears to be a convenience store minutes before the robbery at the bank. Police did not discuss any possible connection to the bank shooting.More than 100 agents, officers, deputies and marshals worked through Christmas to track down the suspects, an FBI official said. The FBI, BancorpSouth and others are offering more than $152,000 for information leading to an arrest in the case. Anyone with information is asked to call the FBI’s tip line at 1-800-CALL-FBI (1-800-225-5324).
Stauffer was a combat veteran of the Louisiana Army National Guard, and he had served with the Tupelo Police Department for eight years, according to the Officer Down Memorial Page.
He was married with two young children.

“Most Wanted” case highlights link between human, animal cruelty, multiple rewards offered

12 Dec

Gazette Staff

The U.S. Marshals Service and The Humane Society of the United States are alerting the animal welfare community of a fugitive on the USMS’ 15 Most Wanted List and are offering rewards for her capture. The fugitive, Janet Barreto, is allegedly linked to multiple puppy mill operations and the homicide death of a toddler.

Barreto may be selling small breed puppies or “rehoming” dogs for a fee through online classified ads using several different aliases. She may also be selling these dogs in flea markets and parking lots anywhere in North America, including Texas, California and Mexico, advertising in both English and Spanish. She has been linked to at least two puppy mills in recent years and she and her husband Ramon, who is also wanted, are well known for selling small dogs such as Yorkies, Maltese and poodle mixes. Following the death of a little girl in her care by blunt force trauma, the Barretos have been on the run for about five years.

According to the USMS, officials found seven other small children extremely malnourished and living in squalor in the couple’s Mississippi home in 2008. The Barretos were also running a puppy mill behind the home with more than 180 dogs and 50 cats, many of them sick or injured and living in inhumane conditions.

Melanie Kahn, senior director of the puppy mills campaign for The HSUS, said: “Too often, the boundaries are wafer thin between cruelty to animals and cruelty to the most vulnerable members of our society, young children. We hope that the dedicated animal welfare community will be the missing link in finding these fugitives.”

William D. Snelson, assistant director for Investigative Operations of the USMS said: “Our collaboration with The HSUS provides a unique opportunity for the USMS to broaden public awareness of this 15 Most Wanted investigation. We hope this partnership will ultimately result in additional leads that help bring Barreto to justice, while highlighting the horrors of puppy mill operations.”

There are several rewards that are available if a successful tip leads to the Barretos’ capture. The USMS is offering a reward of up to $25,000 for information leading directly to Ramon and Janet Barreto’s arrest, and The HSUS offers a puppy mill tip line reward of up to $5,000 for successful prosecutions related to puppy mill cruelty.

Tipsters who may have information about the Barretos’ pet sales are urged to call 1-877-MILL-TIP. Those with general information on the location of Janet and/or Ramon Barreto, please call the U.S. Marshals Service at 1-800-336-0102 or email usms.wanted@usdoj.gov.

Background Information

  • In 2012, the Barretos resurfaced in Southern California, but were evicted from their rental property due to complaints about the noise and smell of animals.
  • When the Barretos fled California in June 2012, witnesses report that they had at least 10 dirty, neglected and malnourished dogs crammed in a cage in the back of their van.
  • Investigators were able to track the sale of several dogs through ads the Barretos placed before they fled California, but do not know what became of the dogs they still had in their possession.
  • The seven surviving children and the animals found by the USMS at the Mississippi home were placed with new families for care and treatment.

    woman wanted for child murder/animal abuse

    Name: Janet Killough BARRETO
    Alias: Janet KILLOUGH, Janet TORRES, Jeanie SEALE, Dealie HARRIS,
    Victoria LOPEZ, Vicky LOPEZ, Vicky ULLOA, Vicky CHRISTIAN,
    Vicky SMITH, Vicky Sara ULLOA

Caviar fishermen cited for multiple offenses on Wabash River

26 Nov

Law enforcement officers from Indiana and Illinois have increased their enforcement efforts of domestic caviar regulations since the onset of the 2012-13 Wabash River shovelnose sturgeon season. Conservation Officers from both Indiana and Illinois have recently stepped up their patrols in the commercial fishing industry, particularly in the commercial harvest of shovelnose sturgeon, which is a fish that is sought after for its roe (eggs). 13 persons from both Indiana and Illinois have been arrested, cited, or warned for commercial fishing violations in the last year. Equipment seizures include 35 commercial fishing nets, three trot lines, 2 wire fish traps, and one boat/motor. These violations include:
• Unlawful use of a gill net (6 counts)
• Failure to tag commercial fishing equipment (7 counts)
• Unlawful use of leads on commercial device (2 counts)
• Unlawful possession of sturgeon under 25” (4 counts)
• Fishing with an illegal device (wire trap) (2 counts)
• Fishing without a license (3 counts)
• Checking sturgeon for presence of eggs with an illegal device (2 counts)
A combined effort between Indiana Conservation Officers and Illinois Conservation Police took place as a result of a number of citizen complaints along the boundary waters of the Wabash River, where shovelnose sturgeon are found. These investigations involved assets from both states, and included river patrols, intelligence gathering and surveillance. “Since we share the fisheries resources with the people of the State of Illinois, it only makes sense to ensure that our regulations and enforcement efforts remain similar,” says Master Officer Steve Kinne, a commercial fishing investigator for the Indiana Department of Natural Resources. “At least 25 additional violations are being investigated, involving several other individuals from both states.” The shovelnose sturgeon is a fish that is native to the waters of the Mississippi, Illinois, and Wabash Rivers. Although some sport fishermen consume the meat from shovelnose sturgeon, it is the eggs that have been targeted by commercial fishermen in recent years, because of the collapse of the European sturgeon market. Supplies of roe collected from sturgeon in the Caspian Sea plummeted after government deregulation in that region.
Female shovelnose sturgeon living in the Wabash River migrate upstream annually to spawn, or to lay their eggs. These eggs, referred to as roe, are eventually sold, processed, and distributed as caviar. Processed shovelnose sturgeon roe (eggs), commonly referred to as hackleback caviar, currently has a retail market value of approximately $320 / pound. One adult roe-bearing sturgeon can contain as much as one pound of eggs.
“The Wabash River population of shovelnose sturgeon is one of the last commercially exploited sturgeon populations in the world, therefore, strict enforcement of regulations are necessary to ensure proper management while allowing a sustainable harvest,” says Craig Jansen, Big Rivers Assistant Fisheries Biologist of the Indiana Department of Natural Resources.
Commercial fishermen in both states are allowed to take shovelnose sturgeon with approved commercial fishing devices on the Wabash River, as long as they possess the required licenses. Illinois roe harvesters are required to have an Illinois commercial fishing license, an Illinois roe harvester license, and a sport fishing license. Indiana roe harvesters fishing on the Wabash River are required to have an Indiana commercial fishing license and an Indiana roe harvester license. Approved commercial fishing devices in either state include, but are not limited to, hoop nets, fyke nets, basket nets, and basket traps, or trap nets made of twine or cord. Gill nets are prohibited in both states for taking sturgeon.