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Vicksburg police recover stolen handgun

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Jeremy Johnson (photo courtesy VPD)

Vicksburg police officers recovered a stolen handgun after responding Sunday to a call of shots fired.

On Sunday, Oct. 18, at 11:24 p.m. officers responded to the 1000 block of Stadium Drive after receiving a call that shots had been fired in the area. The officers saw a dark colored Honda leaving the area and stopped the vehicle.

Noticing the strong smell of marijuana coming from the Honda, the officers searched it and found a Springfield .45-caliber pistol that had been reported stolen from an address on Cain Ridge Road Aug. 3.

Officers arrested Jeremy Johnson for possession of a stolen firearm.

Johnson appeared before Judge Angela Carpenter in Vicksburg Municipal Court Monday, Oct. 19. Carpenter set his bond at $75,000 and bound him over to the Warren County grand jury.

Crime

Former community college employee arrested for embezzlement

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(photo courtesy of Mississippi Office of the State Auditor)

Today State Auditor Shad White announced Special Agents from his office have arrested former Northeast Mississippi Community College employee, Amy Haynie, after she was indicted for embezzlement. Hanie was issued a $68,762.87 demand letter upon her arrest. That demand total includes interest and investigative expenses.

Amy Haynie (photo courtesy of Mississippi Office of the State Auditor)

Haynie is accused of embezzling cash from a college petty cash fund and from students as they paid various college-related fees. Investigators determined over $57,000 was stolen from the college. Haynie was able to hide the alleged scheme from May 2016 to February 2020 because the internal controls in her office allowed her to manipulate records of how cash was collected and deposited.

“The auditor’s office is committed to putting a stop to all fraud, but particularly fraud that involves theft from the students of Mississippi,” said Auditor White. “These are not victimless crimes. We will continue to pursue cases like these to make sure every dollar is spent in accordance with the law.”

Haynie surrendered to Special Agents at the Prentiss County Jail. Her bond was set at $10,000 by the court.

If convicted, Haynie faces up to 20 years in prison and $5,000 in fines. All persons arrested by the Mississippi Office of the State Auditor are presumed innocent until proven guilty in a court of law. The case will be prosecuted by the office of District Attorney John Weddle.

A $10,000 surety bond covers Haynie’s employment at Northeast Mississippi Community College. A surety bond is similar to insurance designed to protect taxpayers from corruption. Haynie will remain liable for the full amount of the demand in addition to criminal proceedings.

Suspected fraud can be reported to the Auditor’s office online any time by clicking the red button at www.osa.ms.gov or via telephone during normal business hours at 1-(800)-321-1275.

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Crime

Couple wanted for kidnapping in Copiah County

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Donald Free and Monica Barnett (photos courtesy CCSO)

Donald James Free, 25, and Monica Denise Barnett, 30, are wanted for the commission of a kidnapping in Copiah County in connection with an incident that occurred Wednesday, Nov. 11.

Authorities believe they are traveling in a white 2001 Nissan Altima 4-door sedan with Mississippi license plate JCA2783.

Free and Barnett are considered armed and dangerous.

If you come in contact or know the whereabouts of Free or Barnett, please contact the Copiah County Sheriff’s Office Investigations unit at 601-892-2023.

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Crime

River City Rescue Mission site of auto theft Friday

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The River City Rescue Mission was the site of an auto theft Friday.

At 7:41 p.m., officers from the Vicksburg Police Department responded to the mission at 3705 Washington St. The complainant reported someone took a white 2017 Chevrolet Express with a moving-truck styled body and a black lift gate on the rear.

The vehicle was later recovered in Hinds County.

If you have information on this incident, please call the Vicksburg Police Department at 601-636-2511.

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