Crime

An 11-pound FedEx shipment of pot to St. Martin turned out to be more. Way more, officials say.

From left: Kristopher Nguyen, Jonathan Mathieu Martin and George Tapper III
From left: Kristopher Nguyen, Jonathan Mathieu Martin and George Tapper III

Three friends ordered and arranged for FedEx to ship more than 40 pounds of legal weed from Colorado to a home in St. Martin, officials say.

But Jackson County authorities intercepted the FedEx package in June 2017, and recent Ole Miss graduate Kristopher Nguyen, 23, Jonathan Mathieu Martin, 38, of Ocean Springs and George Robert Tapper III, 35, of St. Martin never got a chance to try the weed they planned to sell.

The Sun Herald had previously reported the amount shipped was 11 pounds. That amount Nguyen said he ordered, and his friends ordered the rest.

All three were indicted on drug trafficking charges, but each pleaded guilty to reduced charges of possession of a controlled substance, a felony that carries a maximum sentence of 20 years in prison.

The trio was set for sentencing in May, but their attorneys asked for a delay. Their time is up come Tuesday, when they are set for sentencing before Circuit Judge Dale Harkey.

Because they had no felony records, prosecutors recommended a sentence of 20 years, with 10 years suspended and 10 years to serve in prison for each.

However, the judge will ultimately decide the sentences.

Since Nguyen graduated from Ole Miss with a bachelor of science degree, he had been working at a nail salon in Ocean Springs.

Martin attended Ocean Springs High School but dropped out and earned a GED before taking some college courses at Mississippi Gulf Coast Community College. He had other jobs in the carpet cleaning business and held down two other jobs in land surveying and home siding installations along with doing some jobs in pipe-fitting.

In a plea petition, Tapper said he worked three jobs, one involving work with air conditioner compressors, another in a family construction business and another in fire and water restoration efforts.

Margaret Baker 228-896-0538, margar45
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