Philadelphia Man Pleads Guilty to Methamphetamine Possession

From:  News Release   7/21/18   GCN

Jackson, Miss. – Kevin Ashley Wells, a/k/a “Big 50,” 37, of Philadelphia, pled guilty today before U.S. Chief District Judge Daniel P. Jordan III to possession with intent to distribute 5 grams or more of methamphetamine, announced U.S. Attorney Mike Hurst and Thomas M. Annello, Acting Special Agent in Charge of U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement's Homeland Security Investigations in New Orleans.

 On October 13, 2015, Wells sold a quantity of methamphetamine to a confidential informant. The case is the result of an extensive Organized Crime Drug Enforcement Task Force (OCDETF) investigation, dubbed AOperation Highlife,@ which began as an operation targeting illegal narcotics distribution in east central Mississippi area that involved the distribution of methamphetamine, cocaine and marijuana. The distribution network encompasses the States of California, Tennessee, Alabama, Georgia and Mississippi.

Wells will be sentenced by Judge Jordan on October 24, 2018, at 9:30 am, and faces a maximum penalty of 40 years in prison and a $5 million fine. The OCDETF program is a joint federal, state and local cooperative approach to combat drug trafficking and is the nation’s primary tool for disrupting and dismantling major drug trafficking organizations, targeting national and regional level drug trafficking organizations, and coordinating the necessary law enforcement entities and resources to disrupt or dismantle the targeted criminal organization and seize their assets.

This OCDETF case is a result of a joint investigation by the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement’s Homeland Security Investigations, the Drug Enforcement Administration and the Mississippi Bureau of Narcotics. Assisting agencies include the Philadelphia Police Department, Neshoba County Sheriff’s Department, Neshoba County District Attorney’s Office, Scott County Sheriff’s Office, Flowood Police Department, Rankin County Sheriff’s Department, Hinds County Sheriff’s Department, Carthage Police Department, Union Police Department, Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives, Louisville Police Department, Mississippi Highway Patrol, United States Attorney's Office Southern District of Mississippi and the United States Marshal Service.

Assistant U.S. Attorney Erin Chalk is prosecuting the case.