A Gulfport man has has pleaded not guilty of conspiring to bring more than 50 kilos of marijuana to the city for sale to spring-breakers.
Deandre Deair Marks, 36, pleaded on a three-count indictment filed in U.S. District Court weeks after his arrest in a traffic stop in Gulfport.
Marks was arraigned on June 13. He is set for trial on a court calendar that starts July 24.
The marijuana was brought to Gulfport from Texas, according to the indictment. Gulfport police arrested Marks on April 6.
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The next day, Gulfport Police Chief Leonard Papania described the marijuana, worth about $200,000, as “party supplies” destined for Gulfport for sale on a busy weekend during spring break.
Marks was pulled over on a traffic violation on Interstate 10 as he was eastbound nearing Exit 34 to Gulfport. Papania said bundles of marijuana were in a pickup truck Marks was driving.
The federal indictment alleges Marks and two other men conspired for at least three months to distribute more than 50 kilos, or in excess of 110 pounds, in Harrison County and elsewhere for at least three months, starting on or about Feb. 1.
Marks is held with no bond.
Also indicted are Carlos Orozco and Victor Alfonso Legarda. They were tentatively scheduled for initial appearances and arraignments the same day as Marks. Court records and jail dockets indicate they have not yet been brought to South Mississippi.
The three men each face charges of conspiracy, possession with intent to distribute marijuana and interstate travel in aid of unlawful activity.
A federal grand jury indicted them May 2. The indictment was sealed until June 7.