Hancock County

Man pleads guilty to drug smuggling

A Massachusetts man has pleaded guilty in a drug-smuggling case involving the seizure of 4,497 pounds of marijuana brought from Jamaica and to Bay St. Louis.

James Stavely O’Carroll, the captain of the Sarah Moira, an 80-foot sailboat, has entered his plea in U.S. District Court in Gulfport.

He faces 10 years to life in prison. He is held pending sentencing.

O’Carroll and two others were detained Nov. 21 while the sailboat was searched at the Port of Gulfport.

“The conviction of O’Carroll and dismantling of the narcotics smuggling organization with which he was associated, underscores how effective the BEST concept has proven to be,” said

Raymond R. Parmer, Jr., special agent in charge of ICE HSI in New Orleans.

“By leveraging the combined investigative expertise of our domestic and international partners, we are able to fully and effectively address criminal activity that could undermine and threaten our ports of entry”.

Parmer oversees a five-state area which includes Mississippi, Alabama, Arkansas, Louisiana and Tennessee.

Read more in the Sun Herald on Thursday.