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Former DHS Agent Cut and Pastes Fake DNA Tests Results in Paternity Scandal

A former DHS agent and police officer in Hancock County, Mississippi was arrested on May 8, 2023, for allegedly failing to comply with court ordered child support payments. Sun Herald reported that the former “Sheriff’s Narcotics Commander,” Benjamin Marcus Taylor, 43, was arrested at Chancery Court in Biloxi, and was charged with contempt of court for allegedly declining to pay the entirety of court ordered sums to his wife during their divorce proceedings. Taylor had previously been terminated from the sheriff’s department after he was alleged to have supplied “fraudulent DNA test results” in an effort to say that he was not the father of a child in a separate case.

The divorce proceedings were initiated in June 2022. During divorce hearings later in the year, Taylor’s wife claimed that it was hard to pay off the bills since the start of the divorce that she and Taylor earned together, claiming Taylor had refused to pay full child support. This alleged failure despite the fact that Taylor began his own cannabis transport business on Sep. 1, 2022, months after the divorce was started. The website for the business reportedly touts Taylor’s experience as a drug law enforcement official.

The allegedly fraudulent DNA test results were claimed to have been entered in a separate case. Taylor had a child-support suit filed against him in 2020 by a woman named Branissa Stroud, who claims that her child, who lives with her, was fathered by Taylor. The judge in that case ordered in April 2023 that media not be allowed into the rest of the proceedings for the ongoing child-support case related to Stroud’s allegations. The test results allegedly came in on letterhead from the Hunt’s Genetics but had a fake notary stamp and “a fraudulent and forged signature of a non-existent laboratory director.” The allegedly false test results have also, according to Sun Herald reporting, come under scrutiny from a federal investigator. That investigator, Donald Smith, claimed to have recommended that the U.S. Attorney’s Office file charges against Taylor, but that the office had refused. After his arrest on May 8, 2023, Taylor was reportedly taken to Harrison County jail and required to pay $10,000 to be released. That amount would go to paying his child support and the related costs for his divorce.

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