Jackson County

Man leaves Ocean Springs home in handcuffs after FBI raid

Law enforcement agents led a man in handcuffs from a home on Temple Terrace near East Beach on Thursday at about noon after an FBI raid.

Agents from at least four state, federal and local agencies — including Ocean Springs police, Jackson County deputies and the FBI — were at the house. The man is believed to be in his 40s or 50s with a heavy build. No effort was made to cover his face.

Rachel Byrd, with the Gulfport FBI on the scene, said they would not release the man’s name because she said the arrest was part of an ongoing investigation and releasing his name could jeopardize the investigation or put possible victims in the case at risk.

Half a dozen unmarked cars were parked around the house and seven or eight officers from different agencies went in and out all morning, bringing documents out of the house to the unmarked cars and SUVs.

At 10:55 a.m., three agents escorted a small woman wearing a hooded sweatshirt out of the house with the hood over her head. They whisked her into a waiting black SUV and quickly drove off.

Byrd said some of the people in the house were victims and indicated law enforcement wanted to protect their identities.

Neighbors on the upscale cul-de-sac told the Sun Herald they did not know the man well. They said he had lived there with his family for only a year. The FBI and other agents were at the house at 7:45 a.m., they said.

Jackson County Sheriff Mike Ezell told the Sun Herald the Attorney General’s Office had called his office early Thursday asking for assistance with a search warrant. Ezell said his deputies also were assisting at the home.

One of the unmarked vehicles had a Leflore County tag.

“We have experts brought in from all over,” Byrd said.

Agents drove an unmarked black vehicle onto the lawn to bring the man out of the house. In the early afternoon, they drove an unmarked car into the garage and closed the garage door.

Asked whether a crime had been committed, Byrd would not say.

“We have victims in this case and it’s an ongoing case,” she said.

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