Crime

Man who agents say declared, 'Y'all got me good' pleads not guilty

Victor John Wendell Jr.
Victor John Wendell Jr.

GULFPORT -- A man who reportedly told federal agents, "Y'all got me good," when they found 11 kilos of cocaine in his RV has received a trial date.

The agents were sitting in a federal courtroom Thursday as Victor John Wendell Jr., 69, was brought in for arraignment. He looked over at the agents, nodded his head and gave them a slight smile as walked up to a podium to stand with his attorney.

Wendell pleaded not guilty and Magistrate Judge Robert Walker set a trial date for a court calendar that starts June 6.

Walker told him he faces two charges that each carry a penalty of 10 years to life in prison and a fine of up to $10 million. The charges are conspiracy and possession with intent to distribute cocaine.

Wendell said he understood.

Federal drug agents had arrested him April 12 after a Harrison County deputy pulled him over on Interstate 10 in Gulfport. Wendell was driving a 1999 Coachmen RV. A deputy reported the RV was drifting into other lanes. The deputy said Wendell appeared to be impaired, and he had crack cocaine and paraphernalia under his seat.

A Drug Enforcement Administration task force agent has testified fresh handprints and footprints on the RV and its roof led them to the cocaine. The cocaine was in heat-sealed bags in the RV's air-conditioning system, an agent said.

Agents said Wendell told them, "I'm done, y'all got me good, I'm going to die in prison."

Agents have said Wendell told them he was making his second trip to an RV park in Jackson County to deliver cocaine and return to McAllen, Texas, with the money.

He is held with no bond.

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