State

31 gang members arrested in Mississippi roundup

Gang-related graffiti in a book confiscated at the George/Green County Regional Correctional Facility in Lucedale, where officials say a significant portion of the inmates are gang members.
Gang-related graffiti in a book confiscated at the George/Green County Regional Correctional Facility in Lucedale, where officials say a significant portion of the inmates are gang members. jcfitzhugh@sunherald.com

Federal and state law enforcement officers say they have arrested 31 documented gang members in and around Mississippi’s capital city.

U.S. Attorney Mike Hurst and U.S. Marshal George White announced the arrests Monday. That culminated work by several police departments and other agencies in the metro Jackson area during the previous week.

They say those arrested were in gangs such as the Gangster Disciples, Vice Lords, Simon City Royals, Latin Kings and Aryan Brotherhood.

Names of those arrested were not immediately released.

Officers say some guns were seized, and some people were found with illegal drugs, including marijuana and crystal methamphetamine.

Gang activity is not just a problem in Jackson.

In South Mississippi, a man with a reputation as a member of the Simon City Royals was released from jail after witnesses refused to testify against him out of fear, according to a report by Margaret Baker of the Sun Herald.

The story was part of a larger issue about gangs gaining ground in Mississippi. A bill that called for stricter penalties for gang members never made it to a vote in the House during the recent state Legislature session.

In January, a group of seven people affiliated with the Simon City Royals were sentenced for their involvement in the kidnapping of a woman.

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