November 17, 2022

California Drug Traffickers Sentenced to Federal Prison for Distributing Methamphetamine in Natchez

Morgan Howard

A Victorville, California man and his wife were sentenced today by U.S. District Judge David C. Bramlette, III, for their participation in an interstate drug trafficking operation distributing kilogram quantities of illegal drugs in the Natchez, MS area from 2016 through 2018.

37-year-old Thomas Jerome Mitchell and 32-year-old Justine Chambers were indicted by a federal grand jury and subsequently pled guilty to conspiracy to possess with intent to distribute methamphetamine.

Mitchell was sentenced today to 66 months in federal prison and Chambers was sentenced 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 kilogram quantities of methamphetamine in the Natchez area.

Swearengen was separately sentenced today to 90 months in prison for his participation 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, as well as conspiracy to commit money laundering, for his operation of a separate drug trafficking organization in the Natchez area.  Wilson is scheduled for sentencing on January 11, 2023. Bell is currently awaiting sentencing.

This case is part of an Organized Crime Drug Enforcement Task Forces (OCDETF) operation. 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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