JACKSON, Miss. (WLBT) - After a weekend in which at least 18 people were shot and five were killed, United States Attorney Mike Hurst vowed the violence would not go unanswered by federal law enforcement. That was the straw that broke the camel’s back, he said.
“Over the last few weeks we’ve seen a rash of violent crime in the city of Jackson so I reached out to the US Marshals Fugitive Task Force and asked them for help in rounding up some of these bad guys that have been terrorizing our city,” Hurst said.
For instance, Desmond Boothe, 19, is believed to have been the gunman in the shooting death of Jorge Velasquez Ramires on the I-20 Frontage Road near Gallatin Street. His girlfriend, Tatyanna Mack, 21, was also arrested for her role in the crime.
“I’ll tell you we’ve gotten a lot of violent criminals off the streets,” he said. “I don’t want to get into the numbers just yet, but I’ll tell you a lot of the murder suspects JPD’s been looking for, and a lot of the others, have been taken off the streets.”
The operation took place Tuesday through Friday, officials said, not just knocking on doors and serving warrants, but talking to known associates and family members. Dozens were arrested.
“When we really need some experts to step up and find the worst of the worst in our community, we turn to the US Marshals,” Hurst said.
The US Attorney says more information on the week-long crime sweep will be released in a press conference on Monday at 10 a.m., including more on the DOJ’s Project Guardian, a new initiative designed to reduce gun violence and enforce federal firearms laws.
“What that is doing is taking what we’ve been doing already and doing even more. So we’re going to talk a little bit about that Monday," Hurst said. "We’re also going to talk about these recent shootings in Jackson, the recent violent crime uptick in Jackson and what we at the U.S. Attorney’s office are doing with our local and state partners to combat that.”