Tupelo man sentenced to more than 20 years in prison for drug trafficking

Published 11:26 am Monday, May 9, 2022

Oxford, MS – A Tupelo man was sentenced today to 262 months in prison for conspiracy to distribute methamphetamine and marijuana and possession of firearms by a convicted felon.

According to court documents, Samuel Wilson, III, 32, was convicted following a trial in December of conspiring with members of a drug trafficking organization led by Jeremy Mairidith to sell and distribute methamphetamine and marijuana.  Wilson was also convicted of being a convicted felon in possession of two firearms. On Tuesday morning, U.S. District Judge Michael P. Mills sentenced Wilson after hearing arguments and comments from Wilson, his counsel, and prosecutors from the U.S. Attorney’s Office.

Following the sentencing, U.S. Attorney Clay Joyner stated: “Today’s sentence has removed from the streets an individual who has supported himself by distributing illicit drugs in our community and elsewhere. I commend our local, state and federal partners who worked on this investigation for years to see that the individuals involved in the violent and illegal activities of this drug trafficking organization were finally brought to justice.”

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“ATF is committed to the disruption of violent gun crime.  As with this joint effort, we will continue to focus on violent offenders who possess a firearm in conjunction with narcotics violations,” said ATF Special Agent in Charge Kurt Thielhorn. “Reducing firearm related crimes and keeping our communities safe is the top priority for ATF.”

Wilson is one of nine defendants convicted for his role in the drug trafficking organization.

The Bureau of Alcohol Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives, and FBI Jackson Division’s Oxford Resident Agency investigated the case as part of the Organized Crime Drug Enforcement Task Force (OCDETF) and Project Safe Neighborhoods programs in partnership with state and local law enforcement.  Multiple agencies played critical roles in the investigation, including the Tupelo Police Department, Lee County Sheriff’s Office, Mississippi Bureau of Narcotics, North Mississippi Narcotics Unit, DEA, Corinth Police Department, Alcorn County Sheriff’s Office, Mississippi Highway Patrol, United States Postal Inspection Service, Mississippi Department of Corrections and the United States Marshals Service.

Assistant U.S. Attorneys Chad M. Doleac, Jay Hale and Scott Leary prosecuted the case.

This operation was one of many parts of Project Safe Neighborhoods (PSN), the centerpiece of the Department of Justice’s violent crime reduction efforts.  PSN is an evidence-based program proven to be effective at reducing violent crime.  Through PSN, a broad spectrum of stakeholders work together to identify the most pressing violent crime problems in the community and develop comprehensive solutions to address them.  As part of this strategy, PSN focuses enforcement efforts on the most violent offenders and partners with locally based prevention and reentry programs for lasting reductions in crime.