Natchez, Miss. – A Victorville, California man and his wife were convicted today by US District Judge David C. Bramlette, III, of their involvement in an interstate drug trafficking operation that has been trafficking illegal drugs in kilogram quantities in the Natchez, MS area since 2016 were by 2018, announced US Attorney Darren J. LaMarca and the responsible Special Agent Brad L. Byerley of the Drug Enforcement Administration.
Thomas Jerome Mitchell, 37, and Justine Chambers, 32, were indicted by a federal grand jury and subsequently pleaded guilty to conspiracy to possess with intent to distribute methamphetamine. Mitchell was sentenced today to 66 months in federal prison and Chambers to 38 months.
According to court documents, Mitchell and Chambers conspired with Wesley Bell of Natchez, Jimmie Lee Swearengen, Jr. of Mesquite, TX, and Arthur Wilson of Moreno Valley, CA to distribute methamphetamine by the kilo in the Natchez area. Swearengen was separately sentenced today to 90 months in prison for his involvement in drug trafficking operations in the Natchez area. Arthur Wilson was convicted by a federal trial jury in August 2022 of conspiracy to possess with intent to distribute methamphetamine and marijuana and conspiracy to commit money laundering for his operation of a separate drug trafficking organization in the Natchez area. Wilson is scheduled to be sentenced on January 11, 2023. Bell is currently awaiting sentencing.
This case is part of an operation by the Organized Crime Drug Enforcement Task Forces (OCDETF). OCDETF identifies, disrupts, and dismantles the high-level drug traffickers, money launderers, gangs, and transnational criminal organizations that threaten the United States by employing a prosecutor-led, intelligence-gathering, multi-agency approach that leverages the strengths of federal, state, and local law enforcement agencies against criminals networks.
This OCDETF case is the result of an extensive investigation into the illegal distribution of narcotics by the Drug Enforcement Administration, the Organized Crime and Drug Control Task Force of Atlanta, GA, the Mississippi Bureau of Narcotics, the Adams County Sheriff’s Office and the U.S. Postal Inspection Service targets the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives, the Mississippi Highway Patrol, and the Pearl Police Department.
Assistant US Attorney Carla J. Clark prosecuted these cases.