Desoto County News

Two arrested in Olive Branch human trafficking sting

The Mississippi Department of Public Safety has identified two suspects in a human trafficking sting operation in Olive Branch that included an officer-involved shooting of one of the suspects at an Olive Branch car wash.  

DPS said the arrests also led to the identification of four human trafficking victims who were referred to victim services. 

Arrested were Darielle Davone Sparks, age 26 of Marion, Arkansas and John Edward Massingill, age 62 of Baldwyn.  

Darielle Davone Sparks
(DeSoto County Jail photo)

Sparks was shot by a DeSoto County Sheriff’s Department deputy on Thursday, Aug. 18, as part of a sting operation when deputies encountered him at the Brite Wash, 4896 Bethel Road in Olive Branch. Sparks was shot by the deputy when Sparks tried to run down one of the officers involved in the incident.  

“When our undercover officers and our marked units attempted a take down, the suspect attempted to run over one of our officers and he was shot,” Smith said. ‘Our deputy fired shots when the suspect tried to run over the deputy with the vehicle.”

Suspected human trafficker shot at Olive Branch car wash

Sparks is facing six counts of promoting prostitution and attempted aggravated assault on a peace officer. His bond was set at $850,000. 

John Edward Massengill (MDPS photo)

Massengill was charged with human trafficking of a minor, and child exploitation. His bond has been set at $200,000.

“The Human Trafficking Unit of the Mississippi Bureau of Investigation is continuing to execute

operations to identify and remove these criminals from our communities and protect those who are vulnerable and victims of human trafficking,” said DPS Commissioner Sean Tindell. “Great job to all who had a hand in this operation!”

Several law enforcement agencies were credited with being involved in the sting operation. 

They were listed as follows: DeSoto County Sheriff’s Department, Prentiss County Sheriff’s Department, Lee County Sheriff’s Department, Mississippi Bureau of Narcotics, Mississippi Department of Corrections, Homeland Security Investigations (HSI), Restore Corps Memphis, and the Center for Violence Prevention .