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Press Release

Philadelphia Man Sentenced to Over 22 Years in Federal Prison for Drug Conspiracy

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

Jackson, Miss. – Lorenzo Dyrell Hickman, 32, of Philadelphia, Mississippi, was sentenced yesterday by U.S. District Judge Henry T. Wingate, to 270 months in federal prison followed by five years of supervised release for conspiracy to distribute methamphetamine, announced U.S. Attorney Mike Hurst and Jere T. Miles, Special Agent in Charge of U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement's Homeland Security Investigations in New Orleans.

Hickman was charged in a single count indictment on May 2, 2018, and pled guilty on November 2, 2018, to conspiracy to distribute methamphetamine. Hickman was responsible for the distribution of kilograms of methamphetamine in the Philadelphia, Mississippi area. He also was convicted in Georgia of possessing a kilogram of cocaine that was destined for distribution in Mississippi.

This case is the result of an extensive Organized Crime Drug Enforcement Task Force (OCDETF) investigation, dubbed "Operation Highlife", which began as an operation targeting illegal narcotics distribution in east central Mississippi area that involved the distribution of methamphetamine, cocaine and marijuana. The distribution network encompasses the states of California, Tennessee, Alabama, Georgia and Mississippi.

"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 of Homeland Security Investigations New Orleans Jere T. Miles. "Today’s sentencing stems from an extensive HSI effort with its federal, state and local partners to dismantle a drug trafficking organization that decimated parts of Mississippi and Alabama with cocaine and other narcotics smuggled into the U.S. from Mexico. This operation is a testament to the seamless partnership between HSI, the Mississippi Bureau of Narcotics and the Drug Enforcement Administration, and we are thankful for their assistance as well as the U.S. Attorneys’ to improve the lives of law-abiding residents throughout Mississippi and Alabama."

The OCDETF program is a joint federal, state and local cooperative approach to combat drug trafficking and is the nation’s primary tool for disrupting and dismantling major drug trafficking organizations, targeting national and regional level drug trafficking organizations, and coordinating the necessary law enforcement entities and resources to disrupt or dismantle the targeted criminal organization and seize their assets.

This OCDETF case 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 and the United States Marshal Service. Assistant U.S. Attorney Erin Chalk is prosecuting the case.

Updated March 6, 2019

Drug Trafficking