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Vicksburg man attempted to use a drone to smuggle drugs and contraband into prison

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John Ross and Josh Corban (Photos courtesy RCSO)

A Vicksburg man is among two who used a drone in an attempt to smuggle drugs and other contraband into the Central Mississippi Correctional Facility in Pearl, Mississippi. Instead, they are both in jail as of Tuesday.

John Travis Ross, 33, of Vicksburg, and Joshua Ray Corban, 18, of Utica, and have been charged with conspiracy and attempting to smuggle contraband into a prison. They crashed their drone into security nets above the facility’s razor-wire fences.

In Ross’ case, he could be returning to prison. He has been on parole since October 2018 for sale of a controlled substance in Warren County. He and Corban made an initial appearance in Rankin County Court Tuesday.

Glen Dixon, an investigator with the Mississippi Department of Corrections, said fingerprints and data recovered from the drone led police to Vicksburg. The Rankin County Sheriff’s Office used its own technology to trace the drone’s flight path.

“We were able to download data from the drone and were able to obtain an address in Vicksburg, where the drone had been frequently used,” Dixon said in a release. “We cross referenced that address with our MDOC files.”

Among the items recovered were 2 ounces of marijuana buds, a cellphone, phone chargers, headphones and cigarette lighters.

The two suspects, who were caught on the prison’s security footage, confessed according to MDOC Commissioner Burl Cain.

“We’re bringing all of Mississippi Corrections into the world of 21st century crime-fighting technology, and we’re doing it quickly,” Cain said. “They tried to use the drone to help their friends—now it’s going to help us. We’re reprogramming their drone now to use at Parchman so it’s working for the law instead of against it.”

This is the third incident of a drone being used to smuggle items into a Mississippi prison in recent years.

View security footage, the drone’s payload and more here.

Crime

VPD responds to shootings and a burglary overnight

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Accidental Shooting on Manship Street

Shortly after 8:00pm on Saturday, Oct. 10, 2020, officers were dispatched to a residence on Manship Street in reference to a shooting.

When they arrived, they found a 16-year-old male had received a gunshot wound to his chest.  The victim was transported to the university of Mississippi Medical Center for treatment. At last report the victim is in critical but stable condition.

The preliminary investigation has determined that the shooting was accidental, based on eyewitness accounts. 

Shooting Victim Shows up at River Region

In an unrelated incident, a few minutes before 10:00 p.m. on Saturday, October 10, 2020, a 29-year-old male entered the Emergency Room at Merit Health River Region for treatment.  He had received a gunshot wound to his left buttock.  

According to the victim, he had been walking west on Speed Street from Halls Ferry Road when he was injured.  No additional information is available.

Mall Burglary Suspect Apprehended at Scene

Around 4:00 a.m., Sunday, October 11, 2020, officers responded to a report of a burglary in progress at Jordan’s in the Vicksburg Mall, 3505 Pemberton Square Boulevard.  When they arrived, the officers found an open door and, when they entered the building, discovered Felix Williams, 30, of Vicksburg inside pushing a trash cart loaded with a large quantity of clothing from the store. The value of the stolen merchandise is $25,967.83.  Williams was arrested on one count of Business Burglary.

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Crime

VPD reports three auto burglaries occurred Thursday

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The Vicksburg Police Department reports that three auto burglaries occurred Thursday, Oct. 8.

At 7:41 a.m. officers responded to the Carr Central Apartments, 1805 Cherry St. The victim reported someone entered her 2008 Dodge Charger, stealing a visa credit card, which was used to purchase an online ticket to the Warren Central football game for $8.35.

A second auto burglary at Carr Central Apartments was reported at about same time. The victim stated someone shattered the driver side front window on his 2008 GMC Sierra and took a Taurus 9mm handgun from the center console.

At 8:37 p.m. officers responded to a residence in the 1300 block of Division Street where the victim reported someone went under the hood of her 2011 GMC Yukon and stole the fuses so that her vehicle could not start.

If you have information on any of these burglaries, please call the Vicksburg Police Department at 601-636-2511.

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Crime

Traffic stop results in firearm arrest

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Lafane Mixon (photo courtesy VPD)

Vicksburg police arrested Lafane Mixon, 46, of Vicksburg Friday at 1:44 a.m. following a traffic stop on Lee Street.

He has been charged with one count of felon in possession of a firearm.

Mixon is scheduled to appear before Judge Penny Lawson in Vicksburg Municipal Court later Friday.

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