Fugitives from Narcotics Round-Up Sought by FBI
|FBI Jackson August 02, 2012|
JACKSON, MS—On Wednesday, August 1, 2012, the Federal Bureau of Investigation Safe Streets Task Force (FBI) arrested five individuals as the culmination of a multi-agency narcotics investigation. The Hinds County Sheriff’s Office, Rankin County Sheriff’s Office, and Louisiana Air National Guard assisted in the arrests.
The FBI is requesting the public’s assistance in locating two individuals who remain at large following Wednesday’s round-up:
Aundra Mason, age 35, Jackson, MS (aka “Gray Head”); and
Julian Michael (“Mike”) Thompson, age 31, Jackson, MS.
“If anyone has information concerning the location of these individuals, we are asking them to contact the FBI at 601/948-5000 or their local police or sheriff’s office,” stated Daniel McMullen, Special Agent in Charge of the FBI in Mississippi.
The U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration, Mississippi Bureau of Narcotics, Jackson Police Department, Canton Police Department, and Pearl Police Department participated with the FBI in this multi-state, multi-jurisdictional narcotics investigation known as Operation Paperchase.
As the result of this investigation, five subjects, including fugitive Julian Michael Thompson, were indicted in the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Mississippi. Three subjects—Columbus Bentley, age 43, of Durant, MS; Sederick Ledbetter, age 42, of Jackson, MS; and fugitive Aundra Mason—were indicted in Texas federal court in coordination with the United States Attorney’s Office for the Eastern District of Texas. All three are charged with conspiracy with intent to distribute cocaine and conspiracy to launder monetary instruments. Columbus Bentley was arrested on Wednesday in Memphis by FBI special agents, and Sederick Ledbetter is also in custody.
Special Agent in Charge McMullen stated: “The FBI is committed to working with our federal, state, and local law enforcement partners to address threats to our local communities. The investigation and disruption of groups which sustain and enrich themselves through drug trafficking is a responsibility we take very seriously.”
The public is reminded that indictments and arrest warrants contain only charges and are not evidence of guilt. Defendants are presumed innocent and are entitled to a fair trial, at which the government has, at which the government has the burden of proving guilt beyond a reasonable doubt.