One of five men indicted on drug trafficking charges distributed more than five kilos of cocaine in Pearl River County, a federal indictment says.
Patrick Johns, 45, also is accused of distributing more than 50 grams or more of crystal meth.
He and the others, all from Picayune, were arraigned on a 16-count indictment in U.S. District Court on Monday, court records show. Each pleaded not guilty.
Johns faces trial with co-defendants Antonio Irwin, 27; Timothy Jackson, 41; Dennis Smith, 48; and Paul Simmons Jr., 32. They are set for trial on a court calendar that starts July 17.
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They each face charges punishable by 10 years to life in prison.
The men were arrested June 13 and arraigned Monday.
All five face a conspiracy charge involving allegations of cocaine and meth distribution over a period of at least three years starting in 2014, the 16-count indictment says.
Johns is the only one facing individual charges of distributing cocaine. He faces two counts each involving cocaine and meth.
On meth distribution charges, Irwin is charged with five counts; Simmons has four counts; and Jackson and Smith are charged with one count each.
A Mississippi Bureau of Narcotics officer testified at their detention hearings Monday. They were each denied bond.
Their arrests came after a two-year investigation, according to MBN Director John Dowdy. Assisting in the investigation were the Pearl River County Sheriff’s Department, Drug Enforcement Administration, U.S. Department of Homeland Security and U.S. Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives.