U.S. Department of Justice
United States Attorney
Northern District of Mississippi
900 Jefferson Avenue
Oxford, Mississippi 38655
Fax: (662) 234-0657
For Immediate Release
June 18, 2009
Jim M. Greenlee, United States Attorney
Contact: John Marshall Alexander
Eight Individuals Convicted for Theft of Guns and Drugs from Greenwood Police Department
Jim M. Greenlee, United States Attorney for the Northern District of Mississippi, and Resident Agent in Charge Lisa Green, Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF), Oxford, Mississippi office, announced today that all eight (8) people charged in federal court with the 2005-2006 theft of firearms and drugs from the Greenwood Police Department have been convicted and are now awaiting sentencing.
Greenwood Police Department (GPD) initiated an investigation on January 6, 2006, when officers within the department discovered that five machine guns were missing from the police department’s secured firearms closet. A subsequent inventory of that closet revealed that 11 Smith & Wesson .40 caliber duty pistols were also missing. Officers also determined that approximately 88 pounds of marijuana that was being held as evidence in pending criminal cases was missing from the GPD vault.
Upon discovering the missing firearms and drug evidence, the Greenwood Police Department contacted the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF). Lead investigator Special Agent Jackson Price and other members of the Oxford ATF Office commenced investigation of the gun and drug thefts in January 2006, eventually revealing that the thefts of both the guns and drugs were spearheaded by inmates from the Community Work Center in Greenwood, Mississippi, who were assigned to work as trustees at the police department and on the Leflore County Road Crew.
The investigation revealed that in 2005, CEDRICK LOWERY, FREDDIE MCGEE and ANDRE REDMOND were inmates with the Mississippi Department of Corrections housed at the Community Work Center in Greenwood, Mississippi. While housed at the Community Work Center (hereinafter “CWC”), LOWERY and MCGEE worked in a trustee capacity, often performing clean-up duties in and around the Greenwood Police Department and the City Annex Building. During the same time frame, DEREK SALLEY was employed by the Leflore County Road Department and was in charge of supervising inmates on work details from the CWC. ANDRE REDMOND was one of the inmates assigned to the CWC and supervised by DEREK SALLEY.
A total of 11 pistols were reported by the Greenwood Police Department as having been stolen from the GPD secure closet. The investigation also revealed that CEDRICK LOWERY was involved in stealing machine guns from the police department. Aided by another inmate trustee, JOHN CHAMP SMITH, LOWERY was able to remove five machine guns from the GPD firearms closet.
In addition to the theft of the firearms from the Greenwood Police Department secured closet, the investigation revealed that LOWERY was involved in the theft of marijuana from the narcotics evidence vault at the Greenwood City Annex building.
Seven of the eleven pistols stolen from the Greenwood Police Department have been recovered by law enforcement officers in Chicago, Illinois, during criminal incidents. One of the stolen machine guns has also been recovered. The remaining firearms and the marijuana have not yet been recovered by law enforcement.
In addition to those named above, JENNIFER MCGEE, JOHN BREWER and REEANN SKINNER were also charged in the case for their role in the scheme. All eight charged defendants have now entered pleas of guilty in the instant case.
CEDRICK LOWERY pled guilty to four counts of the indictment on May 11, 2009, including: Conspiracy to Receive, Possess, Conceal, Store and Dispose of a Stolen Firearm, Stealing a Firearm, Felon in Possession of a Firearm, and Possession with Intent to Distribute a Controlled Substance. LOWERY faces up to 30 years imprisonment as a result of his plea.
FREDDIE MCGEE pled guilty on February 17, 2009, to Conspiracy to Receive, Possess, Conceal, Store and Dispose of a Stolen Firearm, and Felon in Possession of a Firearm. MCGEE faces up to 15 years imprisonment as a result of his plea.
ANDRE REDMOND pled guilty on June 15, 2009, to Conspiracy to Receive, Possess, Conceal, Store and Dispose of a Stolen Firearm, Stealing a Firearm, Felon in Possession of a Firearm, and Receiving, Possessing, Concealing, Storing and Disposing of a Stolen Firearm. REDMOND faces up to 35 years imprisonment as a result of his guilty plea.
DEREK SALLEY pled guilty on June 4, 2009, to Receiving, Possessing, Concealing, Storing and Disposing of a Stolen Firearm and Felon in Possession of a Firearm. SALLEY faces up to 20 years imprisonment as a result of his guilty plea.
JOHN CHAMP SMITH pled guilty on March 25, 2009, to Aiding and Abetting Another to Steal a Firearm. SMITH faces up to 10 years imprisonment as a result of his guilty plea.
JENNIFER MCGEE, JOHN BREWER and REEANN SKINNER all pled guilty to Misprision of a Felony. Each of them faces up to three years imprisonment. JENNIFER MCGEE pled guilty to her role in the offense on June 9, 2009, JOHN BREWER pled guilty on June 4, 2009, and REEANN SKINNER pled guilty on May 11, 2009.
United States Attorney Jim Greenlee stated: “We must always be vigilant to keep guns and machine guns away from criminal gangs and convicted felons. Hopefully, we all protect and secure our firearms. When they are stolen or illegally purchased, we must prosecute those responsible; to not do so would be a travesty to the victims of violent gun crime and to our lawabiding citizens that legally possess and use guns. I would like to commend the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives, and especially Special Agent Jackson Price, for their outstanding investigation of this case. I would also like to thank the Greenwood Police Department for identifying and reporting the incidents leading up to these arrests and convictions. I must congratulate AUSAs Susan Bradley and Clay Joyner for their excellent work in prosecuting the offenders.”
“Today’s convictions were made possible by diligent investigative efforts and supported by information received from concerned citizens,” said Lisa Green, Resident Agent in Charge of ATF’s Oxford Field Office.
“This case is a perfect example of a cooperative federal\state and local law enforcement commitment to deal with habitual criminals and to help make our neighborhoods safer,” said Green.
This investigation was directed by Special Agent Jackson Price and agents from the Oxford ATF office, with assistance from officers at the Greenwood Police Department. The Chicago ATF Office, Chicago Police Department, Cook County Sheriff’s Office, and the Mississippi Bureau of Investigation (MBI) also assisted in the investigation. The case is being prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorney Susan Bradley and Assistant United States Attorney Clay Joyner.