Three plead guilty to their roles in drug trafficking conspiracy

 

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Date: July 30, 2021

Contact: newsroom@ci.irs.gov

Jackson, MS — Two Mississippi men and a Louisiana man pled guilty today to their roles in a drug trafficking conspiracy, announced Acting U.S. Attorney Darren J. LaMarca and Brad Byerley, Special Agent in Charge of the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA).

Chey Johnson of Terry, pled guilty to conspiracy to possess with intent to distribute 5 kilograms or more of cocaine; Alton Monroe of Jackson, pled guilty to possession with intent to distribute 500 grams or more of cocaine; and Dwight Powell of New Orleans, pled guilty to use of a communication facility to facilitate a controlled substance offense.

According to court documents, from January 2017 to December 2017, DEA agents carried out an extensive investigation into drug traffickers in central Mississippi. The investigation resulted in the indictment of multiple defendants and the seizure of approximately $585,000 in U.S. currency and 12 kilograms of cocaine.

This Operation, dubbed "Deadly Dose" is part of an Organized Crime Drug Enforcement Task Forces (OCDETF) investigation. OCDETF identifies, disrupts, and dismantles the highest-level drug traffickers, money launderers, gangs, and transnational criminal organizations that threaten the United States by using a prosecutor-led, intelligence-driven, multi-agency approach that leverages the strengths of federal, state, and local law enforcement agencies against criminal networks.

All three defendants will be sentenced on November 9, 2021 in Jackson. Johnson faces a maximum penalty of life in prison and a $10,000,000 fine; Monroe faces a maximum penalty of 40 years in prison and a $5,000,000 fine; and Powell faces a maximum penalty of 48 months in prison and a $250,000 fine. A federal district judge will determine any sentence after considering the U.S. Sentencing Guidelines and other statutory factors.

The case was investigated by the Internal Revenue Service – Criminal Investigation, the Drug Enforcement Administration, the Bureau of Alcohol Tobacco Firearms and Explosives, the U.S. Marshals Service, the Hinds County Sheriff's Office, the Jackson Police Department, and the Mississippi Bureau of Narcotics.

The case is being prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorneys Chris Wansley and Keesha Middleton.