Oct. 26 update:
Damien Kelso, 29, of Henderson, Tennessee, and JDawaun Dewayne Grant, 20, of Senatobia, Mississippi, were both arrested by the Hernando Police Department and charged with enticement of a minor for sexual purposes Kelso was apprehended on Oct. 16 and Grant on Oct. 23. This brings the total number of arrests made in relation to the Operation Masked Justice investigation to 27.
Sept. 22 update:
The Hernando Police Department arrested two more individuals for "Enticement of A Minor For Sexual Purposes" on Friday, Sept 18. The two suspects travelled to Mississippi from different parts of Tennessee to commit the alleged crime, according to HPD. This brings the total number of arrests related to "Operation Masked Justice" to 25.
Hernando Police Department aids in apprehension of 23 suspected child predators.
Aug. 21. 6:04 PM
The Hernando Police Department and Mississippi Attorney General’s office announced on Friday the completion of an investigation dubbed “Operation Masked Justice” which resulted in the arrest of 23 suspected child predators.
These individuals were either soliciting minors for sex or asking them to produce child pornography, according to a statement from Attorney General Lynn Fitch.
Investigators with the Hernando Police Department have been conducting undercover operations related to the investigation for several months. Investigators from the Cyber Crime Division of the Mississippi Attorney General’s Office worked alongside HPD to apprehend eight of the 23 suspects over a three-day period. At least 13 of the 23 suspects were arrested in Mississippi.
The suspects, ranging from 23 to 59 years old, traveled within Mississippi as well as the neighboring states of Arkansas, Louisiana, and Tennessee to commit the alleged crimes. All charges related to the operation will be presented to the District Attorney’s Office for prosecution in DeSoto County.
“We would like to publicly plea with parents to maintain vigilance in regards to the use of social media by your children and the children within our community,” said Scott Worsham, Hernando Chief of Police, in a statement.
The operation was coordinated by the Office of Attorney General Lynn Fitch, Mississippi Bureau of Investigation, Hernando Police Department, Pearl Police Department, Clinton Police Department, Brandon Police Department, Flowood Police Department, Richland Police Department, the Florence Police Department, United States Department of Homeland Security, and the Federal Bureau of Investigation.
“I will continue to work with our partners in the Task Force to aggressively pursue justice for victims of child exploitation across the State,” said Attorney General Lynn Fitch in a statement. ”I would like to thank the many law enforcement officers and prosecutors who assisted in this operation for their hard work this week and for their continued dedication to the safety of our children."