Seven Individuals Arrested on Narcotics Charges
OXFORD, Miss. – William C. Martin, United States Attorney for the Northern District of Mississippi, Joel K. Reece, Assistant Special Agent in Charge, Drug Enforcement Administration and Marshall Fisher, Director of the Mississippi Bureau of Narcotics, announced that seven individuals have been arrested on federal complaints charging them with narcotics related offenses.
Specifically, as alleged in the complaints, each defendant is charged with conspiring to possess with intent to distribute in excess of five hundred grams of cocaine hydrochloride. The criminal complaints were unsealed following the arrests of the defendants today.
The charged defendants, who each made initial appearances in United States District Court in Aberdeen, Mississippi before United States Magistrate Judge Jerry A. Davis following arrest, include:
Ronnie Dean Bennett, West Point, MS
Jamie Terrell Bean, Pheba, MS
Undrake Lawmarco Lane, West Point, MS
Clemeko Dewayne Starks, Sardis, MS
Lonzo Lezell Griffin, Courtland, MS; Cypress, TX
Tomisha Latrice Ford, Nettleton, MS
LC Ewing, Tupelo, MS
If convicted, each defendant faces a penalty of not less than five years and not more than 40 years in prison, a fine of not more than $2,000,000, supervised release of not less than five years, and a $100 special assessment.
Marshall Fisher, Director of the Mississippi Bureau of Narcotics stated, “The success of this complex operation once again proves that the most important domestic law enforcement mission is a team effort. The agents and prosecutors involved in this extraordinary effort are to be commended. Drug trafficking organizations continue to pump out their poison on our streets, while MBN and our federal, state, and local partners continue in our resolve to combat this threat to the public safety and our community. ”
Joel K. Reese, Assistant Special Agent in Charge, Drug Enforcement Administration added: “The Drug Enforcement Administration in Northern Mississippi enjoys a partnership with the United States Attorney’s Office and our state and local counterparts, especially the Mississippi Bureau of Narcotics, that is unprecedented. This unique partnership enables us to target and dismantle sophisticated drug trafficking organizations that operate in our area of responsibility. The successful dismantling of this organization is yet another example of what can be achieved when agencies at all levels work toward a common goal with no regard as to who gets the accolades.”
A criminal complaint is merely a method of charging a defendant. The matters must be presented to a grand jury to determine if probable cause exists that a crime was committed. Each defendant is presumed innocent unless and until guilt has been proven beyond a reasonable doubt at trial.
This matter is being investigated by the Drug Enforcement Administration and Mississippi Bureau of Narcotics. Assisting in the execution of the arrest warrants were the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives; Internal Revenue Service; United States Marshals Service; Mississippi Highway Patrol; Mississippi Bureau of Investigation; Mississippi Department of Corrections; State of Mississippi Attorney General’s Office; Yalobusha County Sheriff’s Department; Clay County Sheriff’s Department; Lee County Sheriff’s Department; Chickasaw County Sheriff’s Department; Winston County Sheriff’s Department; Coffeeville Police Department; Pontotoc County Sheriff’s Department; Louisville Police Department; Batesville Police Department; Water Valley Police Department; and the North Mississippi Narcotics Unit. Prosecution of the cases is being handled by Assistant United States Attorneys Curtis Ivy, Jr. and Clyde McGee, IV.