Mississippi Attorney General Lynn Fitch’s office today announced several arrests in what is called “Operation Blue Rain,” addressing child pornography in DeSoto County and the area.
Fitch said Operation Blue Rain was a week-long effort with the Hernando Police Department that involved using online, undercover and traditional investigative actions to find people trying to lure children to meet for sex, or asking them to produce child pornography.
Assisting in Operation Blue Rain was the United States Department of Homeland Security, Mississippi Bureau of Narcotics, Panola County, Monroe County, and Tishomingo County Sheriff’s Offices.
“Nothing motivates me more than protecting our children from predators who would rob them of their innocence,” said Fitch. “I would like to thank the law enforcement officers, investigators, and all of our federal, state, and local partners who assisted in Operation Blue Rain for their hard work and continued support in our fight to protect our children and our communities.”
Operation Blue Rain led to the arrest of at least six individuals on charges related to the sexual exploitation or enticement of minors, as well as three suspects arrested on charges related to narcotics. With investigations still ongoing, the operation may result in additional arrests. Law enforcement officers served eight search warrants in support of the operation.
The following were arrested and charged as part of Operation Blue Rain:
Michael Murphy, 37, was arrested on allegations of accessing child exploitation material following a search warrant. Murphy was apprehended at his place of employment in Panola County.
Terry Eugene Johnson III, 23, was arrested and charged with child exploitation for enticing a child. Johnson made arrangements to meet the child for sexually explicit conduct at a location in DeSoto County.
Rick Russell, 21, was arrested in DeSoto County and charged with child exploitation for enticing a child to meet for sexually explicit conduct.
Johnny Allen Polnitz, 23, was arrested for possession of drug paraphernalia in DeSoto County.
Tailya Tanee Smith, 20, was arrested for possession of drug paraphernalia in DeSoto County.
Deaundra Donelle Wilson, 29, was arrested in DeSoto County and charged with child exploitation for enticing a child to meet for sexually explicit conduct.
Johnathan Deshaun Ford, 21, was arrested in DeSoto County and charged with child exploitation for enticing a child to meet for sexually explicit conduct.
Jermichael Parker, 26, was arrested for possession of drug paraphernalia in DeSoto County.
Richard Carter, 62, who is already a registered sex offender, was arrested on charges originating from the State of Florida. Pending charges allege Carter sexually abused a minor in Mississippi and Florida. Mississippi investigators located Carter and collected evidence from Carter’s residence in Tishomingo County.
Mississippi Attorney General’s Office news release