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Multi-state drug trafficking ring exposed, 11 charged 

A joint operation has resulted in the indictment of 11 individuals on federal drug trafficking charges.

U.S. Attorney Mike Hurst announced that “Operation Highlife” has revealed that a multi-state drug network, operating in central Mississippi, has been discovered. The distribution of drugs included over 40 kilograms of methamphetamine, over 3 kilograms of cocaine and over 100 pounds of marijuana.

A news release stated that the network reached Texas, California, Tennessee, Alabama, Georgia and Mississippi.

Each of the 11 suspects could face life in prison and millions of dollars in fines if they are convicted on their respective charges. A full list of the suspects including their charges can be seen below:

Brandon Deshanta Miller, 32, of Dallas, Texas, is charged with conspiracy to possess with intent to distribute fifty grams or more of methamphetamine, possession with intent to distribute fifty grams or more of methamphetamine, and being a felon in possession of a firearm. If convicted, Miller faces a maximum penalty of life in prison and up to a $30.25 million fine.

Shandlette Hudson, 42, of Philadelphia, Mississippi, is charged with conspiracy to possess with intent to distribute fifty grams or more of methamphetamine and possession with intent to distribute fifty grams or more of methamphetamine. If convicted, Hudson faces a maximum penalty of life in prison and up to a $20 million fine.

Dijon James Seales, a/k/a “DJ,” 28, of Philadelphia, Mississippi, is charged with conspiracy to possess with intent to distribute fifty grams or more of methamphetamine, possession with intent to distribute fifty grams or more of methamphetamine, possession with intent to distribute five grams or more of methamphetamine, being a felon in possession of a firearm, and possession of a firearm in furtherance of a drug trafficking crime. If convicted, Seales faces a maximum penalty of life in prison and up to a $25.5 million fine.

Lorenzo Dyrell Hickman, 32, of Philadelphia, Mississippi, is charged with conspiracy to possess with intent to distribute fifty grams or more of methamphetamine, conspiracy to possess with intent to distribute five hundred grams or more of cocaine, and possession with intent to distribute more than five hundred grams or more of cocaine. If convicted, Hickman faces a maximum penalty of life in prison and up to a $20 million fine.

Latrice Cherrrell Boler, 29, of Philadelphia, Mississippi, is charged with conspiracy to possess with intent to distribute fifty grams or more of methamphetamine. If convicted, Boler faces a maximum penalty of life in prison and up to a $10 million fine.

Chaddis Demond McAfee, 36, of Philadelphia, Mississippi, is charged with possession with intent to distribute more than five hundred grams of methamphetamine, being a felon in possession of a firearm, and possession of a firearm in furtherance of a drug trafficking crime. If convicted, McAfee faces a maximum penalty of life in prison and up to a $10.5 million fine.

Courtny Orlando Campbell, 27, of Philadelphia, Mississippi, is charged with possession with intent to distribute fifty grams or more of methamphetamine. If convicted, Campbell faces a maximum penalty of life in prison and up to a $10 million fine.

Danny L. Drake, 43, of Philadelphia, Mississippi, is charged with possession with intent to distribute five grams or more of methamphetamine. If convicted, Drake faces a maximum penalty of 40 years in prison and up to a $5 million fine.

Kevin Ashley Wells, a/k/a “Big 50,” 37, of Philadelphia, Mississippi, is charged with possession with intent to distribute five grams or more of methamphetamine. If convicted, Wells faces a maximum penalty of 40 years in prison and up to a $5 million fine.

Jimmie Terrell Harrison, 43, of Forest, Mississippi, is charged with being a felon in possession of a firearm. If convicted, Harrison faces a maximum penalty of 10 years in prison and up to a $250,000.00 fine.

Tray Beamon, 32, of Louisville, Mississippi, charged with conspiracy to possess with intent to distribute fifty grams or more of methamphetamine and possession with intent to distribute fifty grams or more of methamphetamine. If convicted, Beamon faces a maximum penalty of life in prison and up to a $20 million fine.

After the indictments were announced, Hurst thanked law enforcement for their work on this case as they seek to rid the streets of dangerous drugs.

“Illegal drugs are killing our youth, destroying families, and fueling violent crime across our state and our country. I commend our federal, state and local law enforcement officers for coming together to take down this criminal element plaguing our communities. Yesterday’s arrests are a result of the commitment and tenacity that our law enforcement brethren have to dismantling criminal organizations wherever they may be found. Because of this work, our streets, neighborhoods and citizens in East Central Mississippi are safer today,” said U.S. Attorney Mike Hurst.

Special Agent in Charge Jere T. Miles of Homeland Security Investigations in New Orleans oversees a five-state area of operations including Mississippi, Alabama, Arkansas, Louisiana and Tennessee and echoed Hurst’s comments.

“Methamphetamine has devastated countless communities due to the dramatic health and public safety consequences that typically accompany its introduction into an area,” said Special Agent in Charge Jere T. Miles of Homeland Security Investigations in New Orleans. “Today’s arrests mark the culmination of an extensive joint effort by HSI, the Mississippi Bureau of Narcotics, and the Drug Enforcement Administration to dismantle a drug trafficking organization that decimated parts of Mississippi and Alabama with methamphetamine smuggled into the U.S. from Mexico. This operation is a testament to the seamless partnership between federal, state and local law enforcement, which HSI sincerely appreciates in the combined effort to improve the lives of law-abiding residents throughout Mississippi and Alabama.”

The Mississippi Bureau of Narcotics assisted in the operation and Director John Dowdy spoke to how this will make Mississippi safer.

“The arrests announced today are another great example of the cooperative efforts between MBN and our federal law enforcement partners to rid our communities of the parasites that try to latch on to our children and family members with the peddling of their poison,” said MBN Director John Dowdy. “As a result of these arrests, Mississippi is a safer place to live, work and raise a family.”

Philadelphia Police Chief Grant Myers stated: “I am really pleased with multiple agencies coming together to work an investigation of this size. This criminal organization is responsible for a significant portion of the illegal narcotics coming into not only Philadelphia but East Central Mississippi as well. Almost all of the crimes we deal with, from assaults to thefts, and everything in between, can be traced back to illegal narcotics. Taking down an organization of this size will have a significant impact on crime in our area.”

The OCDETF operation is a result of a joint investigation by the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement’s Homeland Security Investigations, the Drug Enforcement Administration and the Mississippi Bureau of Narcotics. Assisting agencies include the Philadelphia Police Department, Neshoba County Sheriff’s Department, Neshoba County District Attorney’s Office, Scott County Sheriff’s Office, Flowood Police Department, Rankin County Sheriff’s Department, Hinds County Sheriff’s Department, Carthage Police Department, Union Police Department, Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives, Louisville Police Department, Mississippi Highway Patrol, United States Attorney’s Office Southern District of Mississippi and the United States Marshal Service. Assistant U.S. Attorney Erin Chalk is prosecuting the case.

Arraignments are scheduled for tomorrow, June 1, 2018, before United States Magistrate Judge F. Keith Ball at 9:00 a.m. and before United States Magistrate Judge Linda R. Anderson at 9:30 a.m.

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