Desoto County News

UPDATE: Trusties escape from work detail, one captured

UPDATE: Sheriff Thomas Tuggle informed DeSoto County News that Moumen Mawlawi was captured Tuesday evening. Department fugitive units were working with counterparts in Shelby County and Mawlawi was found and captured in Shelby County. Tuggle said they “were close” to finding Saulsberry and more information would be released in a statement Wednesday morning.

The Shelby County Sheriff’s Department provided more information on Mawlawi’s arrest as well as identifying the accomplice charged with helping Mawlawi and Saulsberry escape.


Two DeSoto County Adult Detention Center trusties working at a site Tuesday morning have escaped and remain at large, although Sheriff’s Department officials said at a news conference they no longer are in the area. 

One unidentified accomplice was arrested about two hours after the trusties disappearance around 9:30 a.m. Tuesday morning. They were onsite at a location that Sheriff Thomas Tuggle described only as a “nonprofit facility in the county that feeds a lot of DeSoto County and homeless people in the community. These individuals were helping unload food and also load food. So we were actually helping that nonprofit.”

The two people now being sought for escaping from custody were identified as Gene Dwayne Saulsberry, age 31 of Memphis; and Moumen Rafat Mawlawi, age 25, also of Memphis.

Saulsberry was being held in connection with a felony shoplifting charge from the Southaven Police Department. Mawlawi was serving time for auto theft and violating his probation.  

Saulsberry’s case dated back to November 2023 and Mawlawi to Dec. 28, 2023.

Tuggle, in speaking with reporters Tuesday afternoon, said the ongoing investigation limited his ability to expand on some details.  But he did point out that Saulsberry and Mawlawi had left the area.  

“We believe these individuals have fled the area, so I want all our citizens to go on and conduct your business as usual,” Tuggle said.  “We are actively tracking these individuals. And I am confident that we’re gonna bring them to justice. You can commit crimes in DeSoto County, but we’re gonna find you and I feel very confident we’re gonna find these individuals.”

If you know the whereabouts of Saulsberry or Mawlawi, you are asked to call the DeSoto County Sheriff’s Department.  

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