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Theft Investigation of airplane engine leads to large cache of stolen equipment in Sunflower County



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On Friday, Nov. 4, an engine was stolen off an airplane that was stored in a crop-duster hanger in Valley Park in Issaquena County. The theft of the plane engine was reported to the Issaquena Sheriff’s Office. The Mississippi Agricultural and Livestock Theft Bureau (MALTB) was asked to assist in the theft investigation.

During the investigation, information surfaced that led investigators to Sunflower County. Agents with MALTB, Issaquena County Sherriff’s Office, Sunflower County Sherriff’s Office and the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) executed a search warrant on several locations in Sunflower County on Thursday, Nov. 10.

As a result of the search, numerous stolen items were recovered including the stolen plane engine, a John Deere tractor, trailers, four-wheelers, ATV’s, lawn mowers, welding machine, ditch witch trencher, fuel tanks and a commercial grade bush hog, along with other additional items. One arrest was made during the search warrant execution. This is an ongoing investigation, with additional arrests expected.

“I commend Director Dean Barnard, Ag Theft investigators, Issaquena and Sunflower County Sheriff’s Offices and the FAA for their efforts in this ongoing investigation. This is an example of multiple law enforcement agencies working together to quickly and successfully resolve a case,” said Commissioner of Agriculture and Commerce Andy Gipson.

Mississippi Agricultural Theft Bureau Director, Dean Barnard, praised MALTB investigators, Issaquena and Sunflower Sheriff’s Offices and the FAA for their diligent work in this ongoing investigation.

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