3 Jeff Davis County men stand trial in Federal Court - WDAM-TV 7-News, Weather, Sports-Hattiesburg, MS

3 Jeff Davis County men stand trial in Federal Court

Gulfport, MS (WDAM) -

The trial for three Jefferson Davis County men facing a multi-count indictment on federal drug charges began today before U.S. Federal Judge Keith Starrett in Gulfport.

Kentorre Hall, a/k/a-Toto, Roger Randale Jones, a/k/a-Hitman, and Martel Torres Barnes, a/k/a-Marty Mar were all present with their individual attorneys to stand trial for the six-count indictment involving their connection with the alleged Cedar Grove drug trafficking organization.

Jury selection took place with 41 jurors, and by 3:00 p.m. was narrowed to nine males, and six females in the Dan M. Russell Jr. United States Courthouse.

Opening statements took place around 4:30 p.m. and consisted of government attorney Annette Williams painting the picture of the alleged drug trafficking organization which spans Jefferson Davis, Covington, Forrest, and potentially Lamar Counties as well as other parts of central Mississippi.

According to Williams, the prosecution has in the neighborhood of 20 witnesses that can testify to how the organization worked, as well as various aspects of it. Williams also stated that the primary purpose of the organization was trafficking methamphetamine.

All three defense attorneys spent a portion of their opening statements to remind the jury that some witnesses being brought forward by the government have some type of charges being brought against them. All of the attorneys each stated their clients all had no part in the conspiracy.

The six-count indictment, which had count two dismissed, details that the defendants knowingly and intentionally conspired, confederated and agreed together with each other, and with other persons known and unknown to the Grand Jury, that they conspired to possess with intent to distribute a controlled substance.

According to the indictment, it was part of the conspiracy that they conspired to possess with intent to distribute at least 500 grams or more of methamphetamine, less than 50 kilos of marijuana, as well as a controlled substance that involved a substance that contained a detectible amount of cocaine.

The indictment also details the use of the residence at 314 Cedar Grove in Prentiss Mississippi, as a place that was used for unlawfully manufacturing, distributing, storing, and using controlled substances, to wit, methamphetamine, marijuana, and cocaine.

The fourth-count of the indictment details the use of carrying and possessing firearms in relation to a drug trafficking crime.

According to Williams, count five of the indictment only pertains to Kentorre Hall, and states that he did knowingly and willingly possess with intent to distribute a substance containing methamphetamine.

The sixth-count of the indictment states that beginning on an unknown date, prior to Sept. 1, 2011, and continuing through April 2014, in Jeff Davis County the defendants did knowingly carry and use a firearm, during and in relation to a drug trafficking crime.

 

Testimony is expected to begin Tuesday starting at 9:00 a.m. as the prosecutors will call their first witness. 

 

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