Sheriff's deputy shoots once after undercover op
Thursday, April 17, 2014 1:00 AM
RIDGELAND - Three suspects had their initial appearance in court on Tuesday following a drug deal gone bad off County Line Road last week.
Paul Maddox, John Earl Hargraves and Jeremy Davis, all of Jackson, were charged with aggravated assault on law enforcement officers.
Maddox was also charged with possession of a controlled substance and felony fleeing and was given a $155,000 bond. Hargraves was charged with possession of a controlled substance, too, and was given a $30,000 bond. Davis was given a $5,000 bond.
According to law enforcement officers, the three had just finished a drug deal with undercover investigators with the Madison County Sheriff's Department on April 10 around 3:30 p.m. When officers attempted to make an arrest, Maddox, the driver, began to give chase in a 2002 Kia Optima.
Ridgeland Police Lt. John Neal said Maddox backed into an undercover vehicle and then pulled forward despite armed officers telling him to shut the vehicle off. He backed up and pulled forward again, this time allegedly driving towards a deputy sheriff.
"The deputy jumped out of the way and discharged his weapon," Neal said. "The round went into the driver side, grazed Maddox and struck Hargraves in the lower abdomen."
From there, Maddox is alleged to have sped off, hitting a civilian car in the parking lot, before making his way into a congested County Line Road. The three fled on foot from there.
"Two of them were taken into custody in front of Edwin Watts Golf," Neal said. "We found Hargraves in the bathroom of Whataburger. He was standing on the floor in a stall trying to get the bleeding to stop."
Maddox and Hargraves were transported to UMC and were treated and released within the hour.
Madison County Sheriff Randy Tucker said his narcotics investigators had purchased both cocaine and marijuana from the suspects.
He said the situation could have escalated even further, but they have a great working relationship with the local police departments and involve them during these investigations.
"When you pick up the phone and make a phone call and you're able to get the resources or manpower you need, it makes it a lot easier," Tucker said. "It's a win-win for everybody. The only people that lose in the end are the bad guys."
Tucker said they know they are doing a good job to curb the drug trade in Madison County because it's so hard to get criminals to step foot over the county line to make transactions.
Neal concurred, saying some people don't realize County Line Road is part Madison County.
"You get along the County Line corridor and a lot of them don't associate being in Madison County or Ridgeland," he said. "People see Jackson Police up there and think it's all Jackson."