Skip to main content
Press Release

Vicksburg Man Sentenced to 8 Months in Prison for Possession with Intent to Distribute Marijuana

For Immediate Release
U.S. Attorney's Office, Southern District of Mississippi
Defendant used a drone to fly marijuana and other contraband items over a fence into a prison facility

Jackson, Miss. – A Vicksburg man was sentenced to 8 months in prison for possession with intent to distribute marijuana, announced U.S. Attorney Darren LaMarca and Special Agent in Charge Todd Damiani of the Office of the Inspector General for the United States Department of Transportation.

According to court documents, John Travis Ross, 34, flew a drone carrying approximately 60 grams of marijuana, lighters, a cell phone, and various cell phone cables over a fence onto the grounds of the Central Mississippi Correctional Facility in Pearl, Mississippi, during the early morning hours of August 6, 2020.  Ross’s actions were captured on surveillance video.  Ross has felony convictions for burglary of a building and sale of methamphetamine.  On April 28, 2022, Ross pled guilty to possession with intent to distribute marijuana. 

“Today’s sentencing demonstrates that using drone technology for illicit distribution of contraband will not be tolerated,” said Todd Damiani, Special Agent-In-Charge, U.S. Department of Transportation Office of Inspector General, Southern Region. “We will pursue and hold accountable those who choose to engage in such unscrupulous and unsafe criminal activity.”

The Mississippi Department of Corrections and the DOT OIG investigated the case.

Assistant U.S. Attorney Charles W. Kirkham prosecuted the case.

This case is being prosecuted as part of the joint federal, state, and local Project Safe Neighborhoods (PSN) Program, the centerpiece of the Department of Justice’s violent crime reduction efforts. PSN is an evidence-based program proven to be effective at reducing violent crime. Through PSN, a broad spectrum of stakeholders work together to identify the most pressing violent crime problems in the community and develop comprehensive solutions to address them. As part of this strategy, PSN focuses enforcement efforts on the most violent offenders and partners with locally based prevention and reentry programs for lasting reductions in crime.

Updated August 4, 2022