Multiple agencies charge 8, identify 7 victims in trafficking operation

Published 10:00 am Saturday, July 17, 2021

On Friday, July 9, the Mississippi Bureau of Investigation launched an undercover operation in Lee County, which resulted in the arrests and charges of eight individuals and the identification of seven human trafficking victims.

“The Mississippi Department of Public Safety, in conjunction with the Mississippi Bureau of Investigation, will continue to collaborate … to put an end to human trafficking in Mississippi,” said Commissioner Sean Tindell. “Our agency is committed to referring human trafficking victims to dedicated services and arresting the criminals behind their exploitation.”

“Human trafficking has no place in Mississippi. And, traffickers need to know that our women and children are off limits,” said Attorney General Lynn Fitch. “We must support and empower victims to move forward without shame or blame. Our efforts will always be victim-first as we connect recovered individuals with the tools and resources they need to build a new life with hope and dignity.”

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The Mississippi Bureau of Narcotics, Mississippi Highway Safety Patrol, Tupelo Police Department, National Guard Counterdrug Task Force, Booneville Police Department, Monroe County Sheriff’s Office, Tennessee Bureau of Investigation, Restore Corps Memphis, Center for Violence Prevention and the Office of the Mississippi AG assisted in the operation, which resulted in the arrests of the following individuals:

• Dewayne K. Davis, 51, was charged with child exploitation.

• Noe Andres Muz, 34, was charged with child exploitation.

• Keelan Jerome Smithy, 30, was charged with child exploitation.

• Willis Dewayne Traylor, 40, was charged with 2 counts of possession of methamphetamines and cocaine.

• Bobby Wade Green, 54, was charged with promoting prostitution.

• Keenan Hardy, 32, had three felony warrants for domestic violence out of Illinois and was arrested for extradition.

• Two more were charged with promoting prostitution, and their names will be released upon arrest.

If you suspect someone is a victim of human trafficking, call the National Human Trafficking Hotline at 888-373-7888.