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Press Release

Stone County Man Sentenced to 7 Years in Prison for Possessing a Firearm in Furtherance of a Drug Trafficking Crime

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

Gulfport, Miss. – Eddie James Rhodes, 62, of Stone County, Mississippi, was sentenced today by Senior U.S. District Judge Louis Guirola, Jr. to 84 months in federal prison, followed by five years of supervised release, for possession of a firearm in furtherance of a drug trafficking crime, announced U.S. Attorney Mike Hurst and Special Agent-in-Charge Dana Nichols with the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF).   Rhodes pled guilty before Judge Guirola on March 4, 2019.  

In February 2013, the Stone County/City of Wiggins Narcotics Task Force received information that Eddie Rhodes and his co-defendant, Stacey Bond, made multiple purchases of pseudoephedrine, in timeframes and quantities indicative of procuring pseudoephedrine as a precursor for manufacturing methamphetamine.  Pursuant to a state search warrant, Rhodes’s home was searched, revealing precursor chemicals, equipment and material consistent with manufacture of methamphetamine. 

While no methamphetamine was found during the search, pseudoephedrine was found together with other materials and equipment consistent with a methamphetamine lab.  The majority of the items were together with firearms and ammunition, located inside a hidden compartment under a trapdoor in the floor.   Further investigation revealed that Rhodes and Bond conspired together to make pseudoephedrine purchases later used by Rhodes to manufacture meth, some of which Rhodes would distribute to Bond.

The ATF determined that one of the firearms recovered from Rhodes’s home was a 20-gauge, double barrel shotgun with both barrels sawed off, creating a short-barrel shotgun.  The other firearm was a .22 caliber rifle with the stock cut off or removed, creating a ‘pistol grip’ handle.  The ATF also verified that Rhodes had multiple felony convictions, making it unlawful for him to possess any firearm or ammunition.

On January 30, 2019, Bond pled guilty to use of a communications facility for the commission of a felony under the Controlled Substances Act (Aiding and Abetting).  Bond is scheduled to be sentenced by Judge Guirola on July 30, 2019, and faces a maximum penalty of four years in federal prison and a $250,000 fine.   

This case was investigated by the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives, Stone County Sheriff’s Office, Wiggins Police Department, and the Mississippi Bureau of Narcotics.  It was prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorneys Stan Harris and Annette Williams.

Updated June 10, 2019

Drug Trafficking
Firearms Offenses