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Contact: John Hearn, (662) 680-4014
TUPELO, MISSISSIPPI – Jason Thomas Williams of Oktibbeha, MS, and Daniel Wayne Easley of Brandon, MS, both pled guilty to Theft of Government Property and were sentenced to prison, serve probation, and to pay restitution to the Natchez Trace Parkway (Parkway) for a series of thefts that occurred in 2016.
In March 2016, Parkway maintenance employees found several items missing from the maintenance facility located in Dancy, MS. Additional items were taken from the same facility in July, including a hydraulic winch valued at over $10,000. In August, Clay County and Oktibbeha County law enforcement officers arrested three suspects, including Easley and Williams, on charges of arson and theft in a series of crimes that spanned multiple counties. Clay County investigators contacted Parkway rangers with information connecting Easley and Williams to the Parkway thefts.
Rangers worked with Oktibbeha County and Clay County to execute search warrants. They recovered several items, including the missing winch, from multiple locations. Based on the information provided by investigators from Oktibbeha and Clay Counties and the Mississippi Agricultural and Livestock Theft Bureau, Easley and Williams were interviewed about the stolen property. Both suspects confessed and provided detailed information about the two break-ins.
In January 2017, Parkway rangers presented the case before the Grand Jury in Oxford, Mississippi and obtained a felony indictment against both Williams and Easley for Theft of Government Property; both pled guilty to the charge in June. Williams was sentenced in September to time served, three years’ probation, and ordered to pay $848.50 in restitution. Easley was sentenced earlier this month to 12 months and one day of incarceration, followed by three years of supervised probation, and ordered to pay the $2516.15 in restitution.
The Parkway thanks the local agencies for their assistance in this matter. If you see suspicious activity at any Parkway facility, please call 1-800-300-PARK or 911. For more information about the Natchez Trace Parkway, please visit our website at www.nps.gov/natr.
About the National Park Service. More than 20,000 National Park Service employees care for America’s 417 national parks and work with communities across the nation to help preserve local history and create close-to-home recreational opportunities. Learn more at www.nps.gov.