Sheriff hires former MBN agent involved in narcotics task force shooting

mbbaker@sunherald.comDecember 3, 2012 

Jackson County Sheriff Mike Byrd

JAMES EDWARD BATES — SUN HERALD Buy Photo

PASCAGOULA -- Jackson County Sheriff Mike Byrd has hired Todd McGehee, a former Mississippi Bureau of Narcotics agent who became the subject an internal MBI probe for his involvement in a July 31 shooting at the office of the Narcotics Task Force of Jackson County.

"He's a good officer and we're glad to have him," Byrd said in statement Monday.

MBN Director Marshall Fisher ordered an internal investigation in McGehee's role in the July 31 shooting. MBN spokeswoman, Delores Lewis, said the results of that investigation are confidential.

McGehee worked for MBN from October 2001 to Nov. 30, 2012, Lewis said, though McGehee was sworn in as a Jackson County sheriff's deputy on Nov. 28. He was an MBN agent assigned to the FBI Safe Streets Task Force until shortly after the shooting at the task force office. The FBI said after the task force shooting, McGehee was "...allowed to return to his duties at MBN."

An investigation into the Jackson County narcotics task force shooting was launched in September after Moss Point Police Chief Keith Davis learned of the shooting through independent sources and called for an emergency meeting of the task force board, ultimately resulting in an independent investigation by the Mississippi Bureau of Investigation.

According to reports obtained by the Sun Herald, the task force shooting occurred after Agent Chad Powell, a sheriff's deputy, poked a syringe at sheriff's Sgt. Jackie Trussell, then commander of the Jackson County narcotics task force. Powell was injured.

A Jackson County grand jury has since indicted Trussell on a charge of misdemeanor simple assault in connection with the shooting.

Trussell is currently on administrative leave without pay.

After the shooting, Trussell called McGehee. Trussell said he asked McGehee to bring a first aid kit from his truck to the task force office. But when McGehee got there, he learned a suture kit was needed.

The report said McGehee called someone to retrieve the suture kit.

Trussell and Sheriff's Sgt. Shawn Kimmerly administered "lidocaine in the suture kit and placed two stitches in Agent Powell's left shin."

Trussell said he recovered the needle Powell had thrown against the conference room wall after he was injured and threw it in the "hazardous materials sharps bin."

No evidence was collected, the report said.

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