GULFPORT -- A former college administrator has pleaded guilty to a meth-trafficking charge that carries a penalty range of 10 years to life in prison.
Morris Wilson Etheredge, 41, former academic dean of Virginia College in Biloxi, pleaded guilty Tuesday to possession with intent to distribute meth in Harrison County and elsewhere.
Etheredge, of Gulfport, also faces a possible fine of $1 million for having two pounds of meth brought to South Mississippi from Oakland, Calif.
U.S. District Judge Sul Ozerden will sentence him April 14.
Etheredge's job with Virginia College reportedly ended in February 2013, according to his early statements to investigators. He is a licensed nurse and had a different job at the time of his arrest, his attorney said in a court filing.
His co-defendant, James Corey Broussard, 35, is set for trial Jan. 19 on a three-count indictment. Broussard also is from Gulfport.
The men had been arrested in a traffic stop in Hancock County on Aug. 5.
One pound of the meth was concealed in a cereal box in a duffle bag and the other pound was in a clear container under the duffel bag, a Homeland Security Investigations agent said in a criminal complaint.
After the traffic stop, Etheredge admitted he and Broussard had bought the meth for $13,000 and were driving it back to Harrison County, the complaint said. Etheredge also said they had bought meth in the same city a few weeks earlier, court papers show.
Both men were ordered held without bond after a hearing with testimony on their admissions that they each used meth on a regular basis.
A federal grand jury indicted the men Sept. 1.
Broussard faces trial on charges of conspiracy, possession with intent to distribute meth and interstate travel in aid of drug-racketeering enterprises.