Undercover operation nets Mid-South organized theft ring

MEMPHIS, Tenn. — A long-term undercover operation into an organized theft ring in the Mid-South has led to numerous arrests, the Shelby County Sheriff’s Office announced on Thursday.

During a news conference, authorities revealed agents from various agencies made several buys from 11 persons of interest in the past 10 months. All of the items recovered had been reported stolen from Tennessee, Alabama, Mississippi or Arkansas.

Arrest and search warrants were issued Tuesday and executed the following day. So far, five suspects — Aaron Taylor, Steven Weatersby, Steven Weathersby Jr., Arvell Cox and Damien Fason — have all been taken into custody, and authorities say more arrests are pending.

In all, more than $600,000 worth of stolen property was recovered including seven vehicles, four tractors, a Polaris Ranger ATV, three lawn mowers, a bass boat with trailer, 10 utility trailers, and an AR-15 rifle.

The Shelby County Sheriff’s Office, Tennessee Highway Patrol Criminal Investigative Division, FBI, FBI Cargo Theft Task Force, Memphis Police Department Appling Farms Task Force, Tipton County Sheriff’s Office, National Insurance Crime Bureau, and Madison County Sheriff’s Office are participated serving the warrants.