Man caught with $1.1M cash, pounds of cocaine pleads guilty to federal drug crimes

Published 2:46 pm Monday, April 29, 2019

A Natchez man who had more than $1 million in cash in his house when law enforcement raided it March 2, 2018, pleaded guilty in federal court Monday to four counts included in an indictment on drugs and weapons charges, including possession and distribution of heroin, cocaine and methamphetamine.

Kevin Singleton, 41, pleaded guilty before Judge David C. Bramlette on Monday morning in U.S. Southern District Court Western Division as approximately 30 family members and friends filled the courtroom, some clasping their hands in front of their faces in prayer, others with their heads bowed.

“We love you, Kevin,” said a person in the courtroom when a U.S. Marshal ushered Singleton, who was wearing an orange sweat suit emblazoned on the back with “Madison County Jail,” into the courtroom.

As part of a plea agreement with the U.S. Attorney’s office, Bramlette said, Singleton had agreed to plead guilty to counts 1, 8, 11 and 13 of the indictment.

After ensuring Singleton was competent, understood the proceedings, was satisfied with his legal representation, E. Carlos Tanner III of Jackson, and was entering guilty pleas of his own free will, Bramlette read the counts to the court.

Count 1, Bramlette said, was a conspiracy to violate the controlled substance laws, specifically possessing with intent to distribute cocaine hydrochloride. The maximum penalty if convicted at trial, Bramlette said, would be no less than 10 years minimum and maximum life in prison with a possible fine of up to $10 million and five years post-release supervision.

Count 8, Bramlette said, was possession of heroin, more than 100 grams, with intent to distribute. The maximum penalty if convicted at trial, Bramlette said, would be no less than five years in prison and no more than 40 years in prison and a possible fine of up to $5 million.

Count 11, Bramlette said, was possession of 50 grams or more of methamphetamine with intent to distribute. Maximum penalty if convicted at trial, Bramlette said, would be no less than 10 years to life in prison and a possible fine of up to $10 million.

Count 18, Bramlette said, was possession of a firearm in furtherance of a drug trafficking crime of possession of controlled substance with intent to distribute. The maximum penalty if convicted at trial, Bramlette said, is no less than five years and a possible fine of up to $250,000.

“These sentences could run concurrent,” Bramlette said in making sure Singleton understood the charges against him. Bramlette told Singleton that federal sentencing does not allow early release, such as parole and would carry post-release supervision requirements after time is served

Bramlette asked Singleton if he understood that as part of the plea agreement, he would waive his right to withdraw his guilty pleas, any right to appeal sentencing or forfeiture of property seized. Also, Bramlette said convicted felons lose rights to vote, possess firearms and run for office.

Bramlette said under a plea agreement, sentencing would take into account mandatory minimum and maximums but would use those only as a guide.

Singleton said he understood all of that information.

Bramlette then asked lead U.S. Attorney on the case, Carla J. Clark, to read the charges and any evidence the federal government had on each of the counts to which Singleton was pleading.

Clark said the government had a wiretap on five telephones, including two used by Singleton, and others by his associates.

Clark said narcotics trafficking activity was monitored on all five telephones, including the following statements attributed to Singleton:

“I’ve got one good round left in me. I’m going to crank back up for a minute. Take back over,” Clark said Singleton was on record saying in a captured telephone conversation with an associate.

On Nov. 7, 2017, Clark said law enforcement officers witnessed a drug transaction between Singleton and another individual, and officers followed Singleton’s vehicle after he left the transaction, pulled Singleton over, searched his vehicle and seized 122.22 grams of cocaine hydrochloride.

Agents, Clark said, confiscated the drugs and did not make an arrest at the time but continued to monitor Singleton’s telephone conversations and recorded one in which Singleton told his associate that law enforcement had confiscated the cocaine.

“He was concerned that some of the cops were narcotics officers,” Clark said of the telephone conversation.

Several law enforcement agencies later searched Singleton’s property and properties of his associates in Adams and Wilkinson counties, Clark said, seizing 134.25 grams of cocaine hydrochloride, 1.9 grams of 99% pure methamphetamine 114.2 grams of heroin.

Also seized at Singleton’s residence, Clark said, was packaging materials such as plastic bags, scales and $1,114,413 in cash stored in dresser drawers and containers in Singleton’s bedroom, along with three firearms, including a semi-automatic rifle and a Glock and a Smith & Wesson handgun and extra magazines and ammunition.

Clark said Singleton’s residence at 301 Johnson St., Natchez, also had nine security cameras monitoring both inside and outside of the house.

“Singleton was not home when the search warrant was served,” Clark said, adding that officers intercepted a telephone conversation Singleton was having with an associate during the search that indicated he was monitoring the search live via the security cameras.

“They got me, Holmes,” Clark said Singleton is captured on tape saying. “They all up in my s—. I’m going to have to turn myself in.”

Clark said, however, that Singleton did not turn himself in, and he was captured March 20, 2018, with $6,583 in cash, a Rolex watch, diamond earrings and a white gold diamond-encrusted cross pendant.

Singleton told Bramlette that he did not dispute any of what Clark had said and entered his guilty pleas to the four counts.

Singleton was remanded to custody and will be held until sentencing, which will be Aug. 13, in federal court in Natchez, Bramlette said.