Friday, July 19, 2019

Sheriff takes down Rep. Edward Hagen

Is this just the tip of the iceberg?

Black & white photo of hands grasping prison barsIt seems the long-standing rumors of high-stakes poker games held at The Rebel Yell for the elite who can afford it are true.

The Yoknapatawpha County Sheriff's Department arrested Big Jack Rowan and Congressman Edward Hagen early this morning, Big Jack for hosting the games and Hagen for playing in them. Sources who were present tell us that Sheriff Taylor Sheldon himself was there to slap the cuffs on Hagen personally.

Sheriff's spokesperson Elizabeth Jones said Hagen allegedly participated in illegal high-stakes poker games on multiple occasions. The games were reportedly held at The Rebel Yell restaurant/bar on Highway 6 near the eastern county line. Additional arrests are expected, Jones said.

Staffers at Hagen's Mississippi and Washington, D.C. offices had no comment on the arrest. An official statement is expected by Monday.

A woman answering the telephone at The Rebel Yell, who refused to identify herself, said she was not aware of any illegal activity at the establishment and claimed the sheriff's department was unfairly targeting the business and Rowan.

Both Hagen and Rowan are expected to be released on bail later today.

Jones said the evidence against the men was found during an unrelated investigation. She wouldn't say what that investigation is, but we've been told it's the Monica Drum murder investigation. What did Monica Drum have to do with illegal poker games in the back rooms of a seedy bar? We'd all like to know, but for now, no one's talking.

The Rebel Yell is notorious throughout Yoknapatawpha County as a place where folks can go to sin as little or as much as they want to. The YCSD has raided the business numerous times over the last ten years, but have never been able to make any significant charges stick.

These arrests raise a lot of questions. Like, what was Edward Hagen thinking? As a former county prosecutor and district attorney in north Mississippi, he can't credibly claim ignorance of the law as a defense. Will the voters forgive him this "indiscretion" or is his political career over?

But maybe the biggest question of all is whether Hagen or Rowan or both were involved in Monica Drum's murder, and if so, how? And why?

It's obvious the sheriff's department knows more than they're telling right now. Once they do, this whole situation could get a lot uglier.

By Kemper Jones at 2:05 PM

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