California man sentenced to 25 Years in federal prison for distribution of meth, marijuana in Mississippi

Published 5:13 pm Tuesday, February 14, 2023

A California man was sentenced to 25 years in federal prison for his involvement in a conspiracy to traffic over a quarter of a million dollars worth of methamphetamine and marijuana into the Natchez area.

According to court documents, Arthur Wilson, 57, of Moreno Valley, CA, conspired with Wesley Bell of Natchez,  Jimmie Lee Swearengen, Jr., of Mesquite, Texas, Thomas Jerome Mitchell and Justine Chambers of Victorville, California, and Kevin Singleton, formerly of Natchez, to traffic kilograms of methamphetamine and marijuana into the Natchez area for distribution and sale.

Wilson was also convicted of conspiracy to commit money laundering for his role in moving more than $345,000 in drug proceeds from Natchez to his drug suppliers in California.

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In November 2022, several individuals involved in a drug trafficking investigation from March 2018 were sentenced. That investigation, initiated by the Adams County Sheriff’s Office, led to the breakup of a major interstate drug trafficking network, headed by Singleton.

On March 2, 2018, law enforcement raided Singleton’s home at 301 Johnson St., Natchez. Officers seized more than $1 million in cash and large amounts of cocaine, heroin and methamphetamine, which was determined to be 99 percent pure, and a cache of firearms and ammunition.

Singleton pleaded guilty in federal court on April 29, 2019, to four counts including possession and intended distribution of heroin, cocaine and methamphetamine and was sentenced to 35 years in federal prison. His guilty plea was part of a plea deal with the U.S. Attorney’s office.

Multiple agencies joined the ACSO investigation, including the Drug Enforcement Administration, the Mississippi Bureau of Narcotics, the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives, the U.S. Marshal Service, the Mississippi Highway Patrol and the U.S. Postal Service Office of Inspector General.

During the execution of the search warrant at Singleton’s home, officers seized packaging materials such as plastic bags, scales and $1,114,413 in cash stored in dresser drawers and containers in his bedroom with approximately 25.5 kilograms of cocaine, about 114.2 grams of heroin and about 1.9 kilograms of methamphetamine with a substance purity of approximately 99 percent. Agents also seized three firearms, including a semi-automatic rifle loaded with a high-capacity magazine holding 44 rounds of ammunition with an additional magazine holding 30 rounds and an additional 66 rounds of ammunition. Also seized was a Glock .40 caliber handgun loaded with 13 rounds of ammunition and an additional 24 rounds and a Smith and Wesson .38 special revolver. Singleton’s residence had nine security cameras monitoring the inside and outside of the house. He was not at home at the time of the raid, but was monitoring his security cameras and fled.

He was captured on March 20, 2018. At the time of his capture, he was carrying $6,583 in cash, a Rolex watch, diamond earrings and a white gold, diamond-encrusted cross pendant.

This case is part of an Organized Crime Drug Enforcement Task Forces (OCDETF) operation. OCDETF identifies, disrupts, and dismantles the highest-level drug traffickers, money launderers, gangs, and transnational criminal organizations that threaten the United States by using a prosecutor-led, intelligence-driven, multi-agency approach that leverages the strengths of federal, state, and local law enforcement agencies against criminal networks.

This OCDETF case is the result of an extensive investigation by the Drug Enforcement Administration, the Organized Crime and Drug Enforcement Task Force in Atlanta, GA, the Mississippi Bureau of Narcotics, Adams County Sheriff’s Office, the U.S. Postal Inspection Service, the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives, the Mississippi Highway Patrol, and Pearl Police Department.

The case was prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorneys Carla J. Clark and Clay B. Baldwin.