Crime

Man caught with 50 kilos of ‘party supplies’ for spring break gets prison and fine

A Saucier man has been sentenced to prison and fined $7,500 for his role in a conspiracy to bring 50 kilos of marijuana to Gulfport as “party supplies” for a busy spring break weekend.

Keandre Deair Marks, 36, received a 21-month prison term Wednesday in U.S. District Court.

Judge Sul Ozerden ordered the prison term served consecutive to a five-year prison term the judge gave Marks on April 25 for violating probation on a different drug conviction.

Gulfport police had announced the arrest of Marks after a traffic stop April 6 on Interstate 10 near U.S. 49. Marks was traveling with bundles of marijuana that came from Texas, Police Chief Leonard Papania said.

The marijuana’s weight, in excess of 110 pounds, had an estimated street value of $200,000.

A federal grand jury indicted Marks and two other men on multiple charges on May 2.

Marks was arraigned June 13 and accepted a plea agreement July 21.

Officials had seized the marijuana the day before the official start of Biloxi Black Beach Weekend, and said the pot was brought to Gulfport for the purpose of selling during spring break.

Marks had been indicted in federal court in 2008 in a cocaine trafficking conspiracy involving more than five kilos of cocaine distributed in Harrison County over a period of eight years.

Ozerden sentenced Marks Oct. 26, 2009, ordering a prison term of 11 years and 11 months, a $10,000 fine and five years of probation, court records show. Marks also forfeited $12,396 in jewelry.

Marks’ co-defendants in the marijuana case are Victor Alfonso Lagarda and Carlos Orozco, both of El Paso, Texas.

Lagarda pleaded guilty Oct. 19 to interstate travel in aid of drug racketeering enterprises. The indictment says Marks and Orozco made the trip with him.

Orozco is set for trial Jan. 18.

Robin Fitzgerald: 228-896-2307, @robincrimenews

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