Three Individuals Arrested in “Operation Stone Duck”
Gulfport, Miss - Mark Necaise, Samuel Necaise and John Cuevas were arrested on October 17th on federal charges relating to the distribution of methamphetamine, U.S. Attorney Dunn Lampton announced today. All three are scheduled to appear in U.S. District Court in Gulfport at 3:30 p.m. today before U.S. Magistrate Judge Robert H. Walker for an initial appearance. Mark Necaise and Samuel Necaise are charged with distributing more than five (5) grams of methamphetamine. John Cuevas is charged with conspiracy to distribute more than five (5) grams of methamphetamine.
These arrests, accompanied by the execution of federal search warrants in Harrison and Hancock counties, are a part of “Operation Stone Duck,” a joint investigation involving the Mississippi Department of Wildlife, Fisheries and Parks (MDWFP), the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), the U. S. Fish and Wildlife Service (FWS) and the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms (ATF).
The MDWFP launched “Operation Stone Duck” over a year ago as an investigation initially focused on the illegal killing of trophy Whitetail deer in Mississippi. Investigators documented the illegal killing of large trophy bucks on state and federal lands, including Panther Swamp National Wildlife Refuge and the John C. Stennis Space Center, as well as on private property. Many trophy bucks were killed by means of “spotlighting” at night using motorized vehicles and high powered rifles. Trophy Whitetail bucks were also killed in the closed season with some bucks still in velvet. Agents also documented numerous Migratory Bird Treaty Act violations.
Further into the investigation, investigators discovered that the individuals were also violating numerous other federal, state and local laws, including drug trafficking and possession of stolen property and illegal weapons.
U.S. Attorney Dunn Lampton commended the teamwork of the MDWFP, the FBI, ATF, and FWS. “All of the federal and state agencies involved did an outstanding job of working together to achieve a common goal, which is putting criminals in jail,” said Lampton.
“MDWFP’s Special Operations unit did an outstanding job with this investigation.” stated Robert T. Oliveri, Resident Agent in Charge with the U.S. FWS. Col. John Collins of the MDWFP also praised the efforts of his unit and the other investigators and conservation officers involved in the investigation.
This investigation is ongoing, and anyone with information that could help investigators should contact the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service in Jackson, Mississippi at 601-965-4469.
U.S. Attorney Lampton noted that, as in any criminal case, these charges are merely accusations and all defendants are presumed innocent until and unless proven guilty.
NOTE: You can view our releases or subscribe to receive them -- via e-mail -- at the Service's Southeast Regional home page at http://www.fws.gov/southeast/news. Our national home page is at: http://www.fws.gov/news/newsreleases/. Atlanta, GA 30345, Phone: 404/679-7289 Fax: 404/679-7286