Tupelo man convicted of drug trafficking and illegal possession of firearms

Published 3:23 pm Wednesday, December 15, 2021

A federal jury has convicted a Tupelo man of conspiracy to distribute methamphetamine and marijuana and possession of firearms by a convicted felon.

According to court documents and evidence presented at trial, Samuel Wilson, III, 32, conspired with multiple individuals who were identified as part of a larger drug trafficking organization to sell and distribute methamphetamine and marijuana.  The jury also found Wilson guilty of being a convicted felon in possession of two firearms.

Wilson was one of nine defendants charged with conspiracy to distribute drugs, drug distribution, and firearms offenses as part of a drug trafficking organization led by Jeremy K. Mairidith. Eight of the defendants charged, including Mairidith, pled guilty prior to trial.

The drug trafficking organization was comprised of defendants from California, Georgia, Illinois and Mississippi and was responsible for distributing methamphetamine and marijuana in the Northern District of Mississippi and elsewhere.  The investigation of this drug trafficking organization and its participants spanned multiple years.

Individuals who have been charged and convicted of conspiracy to distribute methamphetamine in this case include: Jeremy K. Mairidith; Fernando Gonzalez; Kennoris Hughey; Stefanie K. Johnson; Eiko T. Jones; Dimitri R. Kimble; Desmonya Lewis; and Andraea Stovall.

Acting U.S. Attorney Clay Joyner of the Northern District of Mississippi made the announcement.

The Bureau of Alcohol Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives, and FBI Jackson Division’s Oxford Resident Agency investigated the case as part of the Organized Crime Drug Enforcement Task Force (OCDETF) and Project Safe Neighborhoods programs in partnership with state and local law enforcement.

Agencies assisting with the investigation included the Tupelo Police Department, Lee County Sheriff’s Office, Corinth Police Department, Alcorn County Sheriff’s Office, United States Attorney’s Office for the Northern District of Mississippi, Mississippi Highway Patrol, Mississippi Bureau of Narcotics, North Mississippi Narcotics Unit, DEA, United States Postal Inspection Service, Mississippi Department of Corrections and the United States Marshals Service.

Assistant U.S. Attorney Chad M. Doleac prosecuted the case with assistance from AUSAs Jay Hale and Scott Leary.

This case is part of Project Safe Neighborhoods (PSN), 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.