‘Don’t Tell On Me Bro’ investigation lands Columbia man behind bars
HATTIESBURG, Miss. (WDAM) - An ongoing, extensive investigation of drug trafficking around the Hattiesburg area led to the arrest and conviction of a Columbia man on multiple federal drug charges.
After a three-day trial, 37-year-old Alfredric James was found guilty on a federal indictment of one count of conspiracy to distribute methamphetamine and one count of possession with intent to distribute methamphetamine.
According to court documents and trial testimony, James retrieved a pound of pure methamphetamine on Dec. 9, 2020, that two of his conspirators had hidden in a barbecue grill at a Hattiesburg residence. Law enforcement became aware of the pick-up and attempted to stop James’ vehicle. While he initially fled, officers were able to apprehend James with the meth still in his possession after a short pursuit.
Investigators said James was responsible for distributing over 8 kg. of methamphetamine to the Hattiesburg area over two months in the fall of 2020.
The case is part of “Don’t Tell On Me Bro,” which is the nickname of an ongoing investigation by an Organized Crime Drug Enforcement Task Forces (OCDETF) in the Pine Belt. James’ case was investigated by an OCDETF comprised of the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA), Lamar County Sheriff’s Office, Forrest County Sheriff’s Office, Hattiesburg Police Department and the Mississippi Bureau of Narcotics.
Assistant U.S. Attorneys Keesha Middleton and Shundral Cole prosecuted the case.
U.S. Attorney Darren LeMarca and Special Agent in Charge Brad L. Byerly of the DEA announced the verdict on Friday, Sept. 23.
U.S. District Judge Keith Starrett will sentence James on Jan. 12, 2023. He faces a maximum penalty of life in prison.
The U.S. Dept. of Justice said that “OCDETF identifies, disrupts and dismantles the highest-level drug traffickers, money launderers, gangs and transnational criminal organizations that threaten the United States by using a prosecutor-led, intelligence-driven, multi-agency approach that leverages the strengths of federal, state and local law enforcement agencies against criminal networks.”
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