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June 02, 2020

Mississippi Fugitive Found Hiding in a Closet in Bogalusa

On Monday (June 1, 2020), the Washington Parish Sheriff’s Office received notification from the Hancock County, Mississippi Sheriff’s Office that a person they were seeking was in Washington Parish. Hancock County had a warrant for Justin Nathaniel Gunnell (20) for aggravated battery for stabbing another person.

Today (June 2, 2020) the Sheriff’s Office received additional information from Hancock County indicating the wanted man was hiding out in a residence at 1807 Avenue E in Bogalusa. WPSO deputies responded to the residence accompanied by WPSO Drug Task Force detectives, Hancock County Sheriff’s Office detectives and the Rayburn Correctional Center canine unit. Gunnell was located hiding in a closet and taken into custody without incident. When he was searched, illegal drugs were discovered in his pockets. He was transported to the Washington Parish Jail where he will remain until extradited to Mississippi.

Gunnell is no stranger to Washington Parish law enforcement. In 2017, he was arrested for burglary of an inhabited dwelling, criminal damage to property and five counts of theft of firearms. He was released the following day after posting a $10,500 bond. He was arrested again in 2018 for possession of illegal drugs. In 2019, he was arrested for unauthorized entry into an inhabited dwelling and unauthorized use of a movable.

“After Gunnell’s 2017 arrest,” stated Sheriff Randy Seal, “I hoped that the stark reality of that arrest would signal the beginning of a new course for him. Obviously it didn’t. Gunnell continues to engage in criminal activity and he is likely to spend much of his adult life behind bars. Jails and prisons were designed for persons who refuse to conform to the standards of a decent and civilized society and who have no respect for the rights of others. It seems Gunnell fits that description. I appreciate the help of all of our WPSO officers as well as our law enforcement partners from Rayburn. We are glad to be able to assist Hancock County and will always stand ready to work with any law enforcement agency to solve crimes and arrest criminals.”

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