This is an ongoing investigation of farm, logging business-related theft involving property valued into the thousands of dollars
The Mississippi Department of Agriculture and Commerce (MDAC) announced that on Wednesday, October 26th, agents with the Mississippi Agriculture and Livestock
Theft Bureau (MALTB) and the Panola County Sheriff’s Department executed search warrants at two properties, simultaneously.
MDAC reported that authorities recovered several dual axle utility trailers, a horse trailer, two (2) boats with missing VIN plates, a 500-gallon fuel tank, saddles, cement mixer, night vision scope, cameras and numerous other valuable items stolen from a farm in Yalobusha County and a timber operation in Panola County.
“This is an ongoing investigation of farm and logging business-related theft involving property valued into the thousands of dollars. To date, one arrest has been made in connection with the operation,” MDAC said. “Christopher Lamar Morris, age 32, of Batesville, Miss., has been charged with Grand Larceny in Panola County.”
MDAC said it appears conspirators were attempting to possibly place the items on eBay and Facebook marketplace and black-market avenues for sale.
“Agents and deputies expect additional arrests and charges to be coming against Morris and others that have been identified as involved, but not yet arrested,” MDAC continued. “According to agents and deputies, once they go through the inventory of stolen items, they will attempt to reach out to any other owners as the case moves forward.”
Mississippi Agriculture and Commerce Commissioner Andy Gipson commended Director Dean Barnard, Ag Theft investigators and the Panola County Sheriff’s Department for their efforts in this ongoing investigation.
“Farmers rely on equipment daily as part of their livelihoods. We aim to protect and serve our agricultural community, and we look forward to bringing the culprits to justice,” Commissioner Gipson said.