ATF Undercover Operation Leads to Hattiesburg Guilty Pleas
Hattiesburg, Miss – Santoria L. French, 41, of Hattiesburg, and Lemont Antoine Jackson, 37, of Jackson, each entered guilty pleas to felony charges yesterday before U.S. District Judge Keith Starrett, announced U. S. Attorney Mike Hurst and Special Agent in Charge Dana Nichols with the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives.
French entered a guilty plea to conspiracy to possess with intent to distribute cocaine. Jackson, a three time convicted felon, pled guilty to possession of a firearm by a convicted felon. Jackson transported from the City of Jackson to Hattiesburg a Yugoslavian 7.62 caliber rifle with two 30 round magazines which he sold an undercover agent for $530 on May 25, 2017.
The Bureau of Alcohol Tobacco and Firearms conducted an undercover operation in Hattiesburg during 2016-2017 targeting persons selling illegal narcotics and firearms. French, who had no prior felony convictions, sold a confidential informant cocaine and firearms on at least 12 different occasions between October 17, 2016, and February 9, 2017. Agents were also able to identify and purchase narcotics from French’s supplier Thomas Michael Jordan, a/k/a "Big Mike," who entered a guilty plea to the conspiracy charge in June 2018.
French will be sentenced by Judge Starrett on October 2, 2018, and faces a maximum penalty of 20 years in prison and a $1 million fine. Jackson will be sentenced by Judge Starrett on September 18, 2018, and faces a maximum penalty of 10 years in prison and a $250,000 fine.
The case was investigated by the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives and prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorney Annette Williams.