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Four Meridian Police Officers Indicted for Federal Crimes

Jackson, Miss. – Four present and former officers of the City of Meridian Police Department have each been charged in separate indictments for theft and embezzlement of federal funds, announced United States Attorney Mike Hurst and Michelle A. Sutphin, Special Agent in Charge of the Federal Bureau of Investigation in Mississippi.

The four indictments, dated November 6, 2019, were unsealed today in United States District Court charging Captain James F. Arrington, 62, with two counts of theft and embezzlement amounting to over $22,000 in loss; Sergeant Dareall D. Thompson, 41, with two counts of theft and embezzlement, totaling over $14,000; Officer Tenesia A. Evans, 37, with one count of theft and embezzlement of over $13,000; and former Officer Erica L. Harmon, 51, with one count of theft and embezzlement of more than $5,000. 

According to the indictments, between January 2016 and December 2019, each defendant is alleged to have been an employee of the City of Meridian Police Department who embezzled and otherwise converted to his or her own use funds from the City, which was a governmental entity which received federal funding during each specified one year period.

Arrington, Thompson, Evans and Harmon all appeared today for arraignment on their respective indictments before United States Magistrate Judge F. Keith Ball in Jackson, Mississippi.  The Court released all four defendants on bond, subject to conditions including that each of them refrain from violations of state or federal law while awaiting trial.

Each of the four defendant police officers faces maximum penalties of 10 years in prison for theft from an agency receiving federal funds.  Each count also can merit a fine of up to $250,000.   

Trial has been set for James F. Arrington on June 22, 2020, before the Hon. Henry T. Wingate, United States District Judge.

Trial has been set for Dareall D. Thompson on June 8, 2020, before the Hon. David C. Bramlette, Senior United States District Judge.

Trial has been set for Tenesia A. Evans on July 6, 2020, before the Hon. Carlton W. Reeves, United States District Judge.

Trial has been set for Erica L. Harmon on June 22, 2020, before the Hon. Daniel P. Jordan, Chief United States District Judge.

U.S. Attorney Hurst commended the work of the Special Agents with the FBI’s Jackson Division, and the Mississippi State Auditor’s Office, who investigated the case.  The case is being prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorney Theodore Cooperstein.

The public is reminded that an indictment is merely a charge and should not be considered as evidence of guilt.  Every defendant is presumed innocent until proven guilty in a court of law.

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