A Pass Christian man turned to look at his attorney when a federal judge asked him if the details of his guilty plea in a crystal meth case were correct.
Robert Necaise Jr., 43, wanted to make sure he wasn’t admitting to 22 pounds of meth when he appeared Thursday before Chief U.S. District Judge Louis Guirola Jr.
Under an indictment, he had faced 10 years to life in prison through a DEA Task Force investigation.
Instead, he now faces five to 40 years in prison. He accepted a plea bargain on a distribution charge filed by prosecutors.
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A grand jury had indicted Necaise on charges he was responsible for distributing 500 grams or more of meth over six months. The minimum amount may seem small, but that’s the wording for a federal drug law that carries the stiffest of penalties for trafficking meth.
Necaise was pleading guilty in July when Guirola stopped the plea because the charge should have said 50 grams or more, not 500 or more.
Necaise was found with nearly 263 grams of meth March 12 when Harrison County deputies pulled him over, Assistant U.S. Attorney John Meynardie said Thursday.
Necaise’s attorney raised concerns when Meynardie told the judge a man had identified Necaise as his supplier. Necaise had been linked to 22 pounds of meth seized during the investigation.
“That count no longer exists,” Meynardie said.
Guirola will sentence Necaise on Jan. 5.