A Gautier man has admitted he’s been the supplier of cocaine for illegal activity on The Hill, an area near a park and a school in Vancleave.
Michael Todd Ward, known as Chicken, supplied Terry Reddix and his associates with cocaine for distribution, a news release from the Department of Justice said.
Ward, 51, of Moss Point, is one of nine people, including Reddix, indicted in an investigation of criminal activity focused on what locals call The Hill. It’s an area behind Martin Luther King Park on Mississippi 57, just north of Vancleave High School.
The nine are accused of conspiring to distribute cocaine and crystal meth from sometime in 2016 until the time of their indictment in July.
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An investigation by the FBI Safe Streets Task Force revealed gang affiliations and the fencing of stolen goods traded for narcotics.
Seven of the defendants were arrested in a roundup before sunrise in July.
Drugs involved in this investigation include meth, prescription pills, cocaine, crack cocaine and marijuana, Jackson County Sheriff Mike Ezell said after the roundup.
Ward pleaded guilty Friday to conspiracy to possess with intent to distribute cocaine.
Ward faces up to 40 years in prison and a $5 million fine.
U.S. District Judge Louis Guirola Jr. will sentence him April 25 in a case prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney John Meynardie.