Crime

Former state worker, one other face federal felony meth charges

Biloxi

Federal prosecutors have charged Elizabeth “Libby” Denyer and Dustin Powell with meth distribution in Jackson County.

Denyer is a former employee of the state Department of Marine Resources and is the daughter of Ocean Springs Alderman Greg Denyer.

The U.S. Attorney’s Office filed the charge in Gulfport on Thursday.

A bill of information — a prosecutors’ charge instead of a grand jury’s indicted charge — often is presented to a defendant as part of plea negotiations.

The charging document alleges Denyer and Powell conspired to possess with intent to distribute meth in Jackson County from August 2014 through Thursday.

A federal grand jury had indicted Denyer, Powell and Michael Worrell on related charges April 19.

The indictment alleged the three were each responsible for the distribution of more than 50 grams of meth in Jackson County from August 2014 through April 19.

Any amount of meth in excess of 50 grams is punishable by 10 years to life in prison, according to federal drug-trafficking laws.

The new charge does not specify an amount of meth.

The indictment charged Denyer with two counts — a conspiracy charge and attempt to possess with intent to distribute. Powell and Worrell faced only a conspiracy charge.

Worrell agreed to plead guilty and be sentenced in the Southern District of California in a document he signed Aug. 18.

Denyer and Powell have remained free on bond since May.

Denyer had worked as a contract employee for the DMR starting April 7, 2009, and left DMR in March 2012. She then became a part-time administrative assistant at the University of Southern Mississippi’s Cedar Point office in Ocean Springs while pursuing an accounting degree.

Her father, Greg Denyer, had no comment when contacted by the Sun Herald. He referred calls to her attorney, Jim Davis.

Davis said he is aware of the latest charge but a date for a court appearance hasn’t been set.

Staff writers Karen Nelson and Anita Lee contributed to this report.

Robin Fitzgerald: 228-896-2307, @robincrimenews

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