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Press Release

Gulfport Man Pleads Guilty to Possession with Intent to Distribute over 81 Grams of Fentanyl

For Immediate Release
U.S. Attorney's Office, Southern District of Mississippi

Gulfport, MS – A Gulfport man pled guilty to possession with intent to distribute over 81 grams of fentanyl.

According to court documents, on April 21, 2023, the Harrison County Sheriff’s Office conducted a search warrant on the residence of Ashton Craig Cuevas, 19, in Gulfport.  The search took place the day after agents conducted a controlled purchase of fentanyl pills from Cuevas.  The search of Cueva’s home yielded 81.1 grams of fentanyl, as well as the pre-recorded buy money from the controlled purchase.

Cuevas is scheduled to be sentenced on April 16, 2024, and faces a mandatory minimum of five years and a maximum of forty years in prison. A federal district judge will determine any sentence after considering the U.S. Sentencing Guidelines and other statutory factors.

According to the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration, fentanyl is approximately 100 times more potent than morphine and 50 times more potent than heroin.  The DEA reports that two milligrams of fentanyl can be lethal, and one kilogram of fentanyl has the potential to kill 500,000 people.  More facts on fentanyl can be found at and

U.S. Attorney Todd W. Gee of the Southern District of Mississippi and Special Agent in Charge Brad L. Byerley of the Drug Enforcement Administration made the announcement.

The case was investigated by the Drug Enforcement Administration and the Harrison County Sheriff’s Office.

Assistant U.S. Attorney Erica Rose is prosecuting the case.

Updated January 5, 2024

Drug Trafficking