Former Lawrence County Jailer Renee Simpson and 47 others were arrested July 6 and 7 in raids in five southwest Mississippi counties. The arrests culminated an 18-month joint drug investigation by the Mississippi Bureau of Narcotics, Monticello Police Department and Lawrence County Sheriff Department, according to MBN Director John Dowdy.

Federal, state and local law enforcement officers served two search warrants and arrest warrants for the suspects in Lawrence, Lincoln, Walthall, Jefferson Davis, Pike and Copiah counties, though most face charges for selling drugs in Lawrence County, Director Dowdy said.

Among the drugs agents encountered during the investigation, Director Dowdy said, were 423 dosage units of hydrocodone, 107 dosage units of oxycodone, 135 grams of methamphetamine, 19 grams of crack cocaine and eight grams of cocaine powder.

Assisting the MBN in the raids were the Mississippi Department of Corrections, Mississippi Department of Wildlife, Fisheries and Parks, Mississippi Alcoholic Beverage Control, Mississippi Highway Patrol, U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration, U.S Marshals Service, as well as the Monticello Police Department, and the sheriff departments in Lawrence County, Jefferson Davis County, Copiah County, Walthall County and Lincoln County.

All suspects were transported to the Lawrence County Jail, where they were booked and held pending initial appearances.