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Press Release

Picayune Man Sentenced to over Five Years in Prison for Possession with Intent to Distribute Heroin

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

Gulfport, Miss. –   A Picayune, Mississippi man was sentenced to 69 months in federal prison for possession with intent to distribute 12 grams of heroin.

Damon Andrew Stafford, 55, was sentenced in U.S. District Court in Gulfport.  

According to court records, in 2015, an investigation began into a large-scale drug trafficking organization located largely in Picayune (Pearl River County).  In 2019, Damon Stafford and Eric Slaydon were identified as being part of the conspiracy.  Federal agents used a confidential source to begin making purchases of methamphetamine and heroin.  On June 5, 2019, a confidential source purchased 12 grams of heroin from Damon Andrew Stafford and Eric Andrew Slaydon at Stafford’s residence in Picayune.

A federal grand jury returned an indictment against Stafford and Slaydon.  Both defendants pled guilty.  Slaydon was sentenced on August 30, 2023, to 84 months in prison.   

U.S. Attorney Todd W. Gee 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 Homeland Security Investigations with the assistance of the Mississippi Bureau of Narcotics. 

The case was prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Erica Rose.

This case is part of an Organized Crime Drug Enforcement Task Forces (OCDETF) operation. 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.


Updated November 9, 2023

Drug Trafficking