California man gets life sentence for methamphetamine trafficking in Mississippi

Published 4:20 pm Thursday, January 6, 2022

GULFPORT, Miss. — A California man was sentenced to life in prison for conspiracy to possess with intent to distribute methamphetamine, announced U.S. Attorney Darren J. LaMarca and Special Agent in Charge Jermicha Fomby of the Federal Bureau of Investigation in Mississippi.

According to court documents, following an investigation that began with the July 24, 2019, seizure of 12 pounds of methamphetamine in Pascagoula, Sharard Collier, 44, of Inglewood, CA, was arrested on November 4, 2019, at a home in Pass Christian where law enforcement found 24 kilos of methamphetamine and close to a kilo of fentanyl.

Surveillance had followed Collier when he met with co-defendant Gerald Wayne Jones, of Mobile, AL, at a truck stop. A semi-truck owned by the two was searched and contained an additional 28 kilos of methamphetamine. Subsequent lab results showed the methamphetamine had purity levels of 99% and 100%. The investigation revealed Collier had been supplying narcotics traffickers on the Gulf Coast for years.

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Collier was indicted on November 19, 2019, for conspiracy to possess with intent to distribute methamphetamine. He pled guilty on December 2, 2020.  Collier’s co-defendant Aaron Whavers, of Pass Christian, pled guilty and was sentenced to 292 months in prison.  Gerald Wayne Jones pled guilty and was sentenced to 120 months in prison.

“According to the Drug Enforcement Administration, two milligrams of fentanyl can be lethal,”

depending on a person’s body size, tolerance and past usage,” said U.S. Attorney Darren LaMarca.  “This defendant possessed with the intent to distribute enough fentanyl to kill 500,000 people. We will never know the number of overdoses he caused when he combined this killer with methamphetamine. But, what we do know is he won’t do it again.”

FBI Special Agent in Charge Jermicha Fomby stated: “The FBI Safe Streets Task Force and our partnering agencies forged this team to investigate criminal enterprises operating within our communities. The tireless efforts of law enforcement and the sentence handed down today reflect the determination with which we are combating and deterring the distribution of illegal, potentially deadly, narcotics. In this case, the severity of the sentence matches the seriousness of the crime.”

The FBI Safe Streets Task Force, which is comprised of members from the FBI, Mississippi Bureau of Narcotics (MBN), Jackson County Sheriff’s Office, Pascagoula Police Department, Ocean Springs Police Department, Gautier Police Department, and Moss Point Police Department, investigated the case.

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 targeting illegal narcotics distribution in Mississippi.

Assistant U.S. Attorney Annette Williams prosecuted the case.