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Justice News

Department of Justice
U.S. Attorney’s Office
Western District of Tennessee

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Friday, August 10, 2018

McNairy County Man Convicted of Methamphetamine Trafficking

Jackson, TN – Following a jury trial in federal court, Michael Jay Harris, 46, of McNairy County, Tenn. was convicted of possessing 98 grams of actual methamphetamine with the intent to distribute. U.S. Attorney D. Michael Dunavant for the Western District of Tennessee announced the conviction today.

According to information presented in court, on February 13, 2017, agents with the McNairy County Narcotics Unit, including officers with the Selmer Police Department and McNairy County Sheriff’s Department, went to the residence of Michael Jay Harris, in the northwestern corner of McNairy County, in Finger, Tenn., to arrest Harris on an outstanding warrant.

While searching the residence, law enforcement discovered Harris was in possession of a bag containing three and a half ounces of ice methamphetamine and marijuana, as well as digital scales and drug paraphernalia. Harris became combative and attempted to fight the officers. A chemist with the Drug Enforcement Administration stated the methamphetamine was more than 97 percent pure, and an agent with the Federal Bureau of Investigation testified it could have been distributed to more than a thousand drug users, based on its purity.

U.S. Attorney D. Michael Dunavant said, "Harris is a career drug offender who was destroying this rural community by his sale of poisonous drugs, and his prior felony convictions have finally caught up with him. Thanks to the great investigative work by our local law enforcement partners at the Selmer Police Department and the McNairy County Sheriff’s Department, he has been held accountable and removed from the community."

Sentencing is set for November 9, 2018, before U.S. District Judge J. Daniel Breen. Harris has a lengthy criminal history, including convictions for trafficking in cocaine and morphine, and assault charges. Based on his prior convictions, he faces up to life imprisonment.

This investigation was conducted by the Selmer Police Department, McNairy County Sheriff’s Department, and the Drug Enforcement Administration.

Assistant U.S. Attorney Matt Wilson prosecuted this case on behalf of the government.

Updated August 10, 2018