STONE COUNTY, Miss. (WLOX) - A drug trafficker convicted of transporting nearly $50,000 worth of methamphetamine in Stone County will spend the next 25 years in prison.
Dwight Kent, 38, pleaded guilty this week to aggravated drug trafficking after authorities found 470 grams of meth hidden throughout the vehicle he was driving.
Kent was arrested on July 31, 2018, after trying to flee from police. Authorities say a Stone County sheriff's deputy tried to pull over the vehicle Kent was driving after spotting it on Highway 49 in the Bond community. The deputy said he saw a vehicle driving carelessly and crossing the center line. When the deputy got behind the vehicle and ran its license plate, the plates came back registered to a different type of car.
The deputy tried to pull Kent over but authorities say he fled south on Highway 49. Other deputies joined in the pursuit, which proceeded down the west frontage road. The vehicle came to a stop after trying to drive up a mud embankment. Authorities say Kent tried to run away on foot but was caught shortly after in some nearby woods.
Once deputies began searching the vehicle, they discovered multiple hiding spots filled with drugs, said assistant district attorney Matthew D. Burrell.
"Once deputies returned to the defendant's vehicle, they located approximately nine grams of methamphetamine in the center console of the vehicle," said Burrell. "The deputies also located a toolbox in the passenger floorboard. When the deputies opened the toolbox, they located approximately 470 grams of methamphetamine divided into 19 different bags."
Authorities estimated the street value of the meth at almost $50,000.
Kent appeared in court this week before Circuit Judge Chris Schmidt. At the plea hearing, Kent told the judge that he was coming from Mendenhall, Miss. with the drugs and intended to distribute them. After entering pleading guilty to the charges, Judge Schmidt conducted a separate sentencing hearing to determine whether any sentencing deviation was warranted. During the sentencing hearing, the judge noted how methamphetamine has been a plague on our society and how using it causes other crimes to be committed, resulting in more victims of crime.
The judge then sentenced Kent to serve a mandatory 25 years in prison.
"The trafficking of methamphetamine has caused numerous problems in our community and the tremendous work of the Stone County deputies allowed us to seek justice today," said district attorney Joel Smith. "Judge Schmidt's sentence sends a strong message about meth and the dangers involved with its use and distribution."
*A mug shot has not been made available by authorities. If one is released, the story will be updated.*