A weekend law enforcement operation made numerous drug, illegal gambling and gun arrests.
Police Chief Ron Sampson said the effort involved multiple agencies and mostly focused on the area of lower Broadway where there are numerous reports of crime.
Yazoo City Police were joined by the Mississippi Bureau of Narcotics, the Mississippi Bureau of Investigation, Alcohol Beverage Control, the Mississippi Highway Patrol, the Mississippi Department of Corrections and U.S. Marshals in the operation.
“We’re not working alone,” Sampson said. “We have help, and we are grateful for that.”
Sampson showed the Mayor and Board of Alderman a bag full of crack cocaine, ecstasy and marijuana during the board’s Monday meeting.
“This is what we are taking off of our streets,” he said.
Sampson said the drugs he was presenting Monday were just the drugs that were left behind when dealers fled after seeing police approaching. Sampson said he is concerned that a child might have come across some of the drugs had officers not uncovered them. He said that could especially be a problem with ecstacy, which is often referred to as “Skittles” because in some forms it resembles the popular candy.
Police seized several handguns inside local clubs, including one that was stolen. A suspect was arrested in the parking lot of a club with an AK-47 rifle. One suspect was arrested with crack cocaine and marijuana packaged for sale and over $4,000 cash.
“We arrested two suspects for parole violations who had been on the run for a long time,” Sampson said. “We also arrested three convicted felons who were in possession of firearms.”
Three club owners were charged with selling liquor without a license.
“We got some complaints because we were checking club and checking permits, but look at the things we found,” Sampson said. “Our officers walked through clouds of marijuana smoke in one club and found drugs packaged for individual sale stashed in the pockets of a pool table.”
Officers found 11 illegal slot machines inside one club.
“Eight of those machines were operable, meaning that they had been paying out,” Sampson said. “In another club there was a gambling table, and they were gambling when our officers went in. These are the things we’re dealing with.”
Sampson said some critics of the operation have made exaggerated claims.
“Some people who are complaining about this operation are claiming that we were accosting people with dogs,” Sampson said. “We didn’t have any animals out there.”
Sampson said his department will continue this kind of operation, and they will be focusing on everything from ensuring clubs have proper licenses to stores selling single cigarettes to minors.
“This is not the last of this kind of effort,” Sampson said. “It is the first of many to come.”