Local law enforcement, U.S. Marshals complete crime round-up


Johnny Harris, left, and Portia Cierra Manning

Johnny Harris, left, and Portia Cierra Manning



Alex Holloway



A joint enforcement operation between local law enforcement agencies and the U.S. Marshal Task Force saw dozens of arrests as officers served indictments and took suspects into custody on warrants. 


Starkville Police Department issued a press release on the joint operation, which was also conducted with Oktibbeha County Sheriff's Office on Aug. 2-3. The operation, according to the release, focused on serving indictments and warrants, with nighttime operations focused on high-crime areas. 


In all, 47 people were arrested through the operations, and 60 warrants were cleared. Officers also issued 62 traffic citations. 


As part of that operation, law enforcement officers served at least a dozen indictments to coincide with the close of the Oktibbeha County Circuit Court term. 


One indictment was for 60-year-old Johnny Harris, who was arrested in January for having sex with a child. Grand jurors indicted Harris for statutory rape in July. 


According to Harris' indictment, he had sex with an 8-year-old female in late Dec. 2017. Testimony from a SPD investigator in Starkville municipal court after Harris' arrest indicated Harris was a friend of the victim's family. 


If convicted, according to Mississippi Code Sec. 97-3-65, Harris could face up to life in prison. 


Officers also served indictments to Jamal Jones for burglary of a dwelling; D'Kerius McCoy for armed robbery; Candice Thines for sale of methamphetamine; Kanaan Houston for sale of a counterfeit substance; Jonathan Emerson for auto burglary; Joseph Bell for trafficking stolen firearms; Maefrances Bobo for aggravated assault and tampering with evidence; Splyndid Hollis for four counts of auto burglary; Jonathan Fleming for sale of methamphetamine; Harrison Browning for aggravated assault and Bradford Oakes for possession of cocaine with intent to distribute. 




County arrests 


During the operation, Oktibbeha County Sheriff's Office also made several arrests.  


OCSO Lt. Brett Watson said the department arrested a juvenile for animal cruelty after receiving reports of malnourished horses.  


Watson said Golden Triangle Horse Rescue made the report to the department and, after an investigation, OCSO arrested the juvenile, who owns one of the horses. Watson said the horse has been taken into custody until the case can be adjudicated through Oktibbeha County Justice Court, and the juvenile suspect was released to his family. 


OCSO also arrested 28-year-old Portia Cierra Manning for attempting to rob someone on the front steps of the Oktibbeha County Jail on Aug. 3. 


Watson said the incident happened at about 10 a.m., and deputies arrested Manning for armed robbery, possession of a controlled substance and disturbing the peace. Manning is still in jail on $105,000 bond. 


Further OCSO arrests, according to the joint press release, included arrests for possession of a weapon by a felon, simple assault, DUI and DUI second offense, possession of marijuana in a motor vehicle, possession of cocaine with intent to distribute and trespassing.


Alex Holloway was formerly a reporter with The Dispatch.



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