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Eight Contractors Arrested in Operation Hammer Strike
From: Office of the State Attorney General    Filed 7/6/07  GCN

Attorney General Jim Hood announced today the results of a joint effort with the U.S. Marshals Service, Gulf Coast Fugitive Task Force.  The operation, dubbed “Operation Hammer Strike”, is an ongoing effort to locate and apprehend suspects of Home Repair Fraud.  Jim Hood said, “The U.S. Marshals have provided an invaluable service in this operation.  Together, we are sending a clear signal that Home Repair Fraud will not be tolerated.  Our people have already lost enough to Katrina.”  The operation, which has been underway for two weeks, has resulted in the arrest of 8 Home Repair Fraud suspects in the past week.

The people arrested so far are:

Mark Glennwood Tripp of 200 Fairway Drive, Pass Christian

Bobby Gene Stimits of 6085 DeSoto, Bay St. Louis, MS

William Scott Davis of Road 140, Box 58 Lakeshore, MS

Randy Leo Lundy of 9103 Travis Avenue, Vancleave, MS, is currently being held in the Jackson County Jail on unrelated charges.

Charles Reeder of Wiggins, MS.  The U.S. Marshals Service tracked Reeder from Vancleave to St. Louis, MO.  Reeder will be extradited to Mississippi after he faces unrelated felony charges in St. Louis, MO.

Fred Eugene Barnette of 3603 Hummingbird Drive, Alvin, TX is currently being held in Okaloosa County Florida on unrelated charges.  Barnette has waived extradition and will be transported to Mississippi to face his charges.

David Jeremy Burgess  of Elberta, AL is currently being held in Baldwin County, AL on unrelated charges where he has been held since September 2006.`

Reginald Cazenave of 1401 East 1st Street, Okmulgee, OK

Nehemiah Flowers, Jr., the United States Marshal for the Southern District of Mississippi, was quoted as saying “The U.S. Marshals Service is proud to assist the Mississippi State Attorney General’s Office in tracking down those individuals who have taken advantage of the citizens who have already lost so much as a result of Hurricane Katrina.  We will continue to employ our nation-wide network of fugitive task forces to assist the Attorney General and ensure that no criminal escapes justice.”

The Attorney General’s Office has worked diligently with local, state and federal law enforcement agencies to fight the onslaught of crooked contractors since Hurricane Katrina with 237 cases currently under investigation.  Operation Hammer Strike is the latest effort to bring some of these contractors to justice.  Jim Hood stated, “Home Repair Fraud is one of those rare cases which does not have a statute of limitations.  That means that crooked contractors can’t just sit back and hope these complaints go away.  With continued cooperation and assistance from agencies like the U.S. Marshals, these people will be found and they will be prosecuted.”

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