Retired FBI agent thinks Panola County drug arrests could help Jessica Chambers case

By: Tom Dees

Updated:

Hal Neilson spent 23 years working as a special agent with the Federal Bureau of Investigation. He's retired now and works as an attorney in Oxford.

Neilson told FOX13 yesterday's arrests in Panola County were more than just a drug bust. He believes they could possibly help solve the Jessica Chambers homicide case

"I think there is a possibility this could break it,” Neilson said. “Nine arrests and 17 indicted. Someone might know something that will send you in the direction of another person who could know about the crime.”

Neilson told FOX13 the drug part of the raid may be especially promising and could bring info that helps solve the case.

"These drug dealers will do anything in the world to help themselves,” Neilson said. “And if that means giving up their best buddy, they will do it.”

So in the eyes of this former supervisory FBI agent, the arrests in Panola County will turn into information gathering interviews on other crimes, such as the Chambers case.

"They might already know who has done this. They might not have enough evidence to prosecute that person,” Neilson said.

Either way, Neilson told FOX13 the arrests on Tuesday could only be described as a step in the right direction.

The official statement by investigators is that the two investigations are separate, and that the drug investigation developed out of the homicide investigation.

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