Meridian Star

January 12, 2013

Gun found in jail tracked to burglary

By Brian Livingston /
The Meridian Star

MERIDIAN —     As the investigation continues into how a firearm was apparently smuggled into the Lauderdale County Adult Detention Facility in Meridian, sheriff's department officials have discovered the gun was initially stolen.

    Lauderdale County Sheriff's Department Chief Deputy Ward Calhoun said a background check with the the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms, (ATF) shows the .380 caliber semiautomatic handgun was reported stolen from an automobile in Lauderdale County in November 2011.

    The handgun was found recently on a Lauderdale County jail inmate, Anthony Duane Talley Jr., 31, of Meridian, during a search. The handgun was reportedly found in Talley's underwear. LCSD officials said Talley had no ammunition or a clip for the gun. But the fact Talley, who had been in the jail since June 2012 for felon in possession of a firearm and felony fleeing and eluding of law enforcement through the Meridian Police Department, had a firearm at all has prompted sheriff's department officials to find out exactly how the gun made its way into Talley's hands.

    Calhoun said that although those responsible for the initial auto burglary in 2011 have been arrested, there is no way to know how many times the gun changed hands before it ended up inside the jail.

    "It may have been just once, or a dozen or more times," Calhoun said. "There is no way for us to know that. The point is it ended up in our jail and we are still actively looking into this incident."

    Calhoun said there is a lesson for citizens who own firearms. He said nine out of 10 guns found on criminals are stolen, mostly from law abiding citizens who have their homes or vehicle burglarized.

    "Make sure you are in control of your firearm," Calhoun said. "Otherwise the criminals will control your firearm."

        Talley has another charge of felon in possession of a firearm added to his list of offenses, plus the added charge of possession of contraband inside a detention facility. Other charges may be forthcoming depending on the findings of the investigation.