Former Hotel Managers Sentenced in Drug Distribution Case

Published 10:36 am Thursday, February 15, 2024

Two former managers at the Economy Inn in Bay St. Louis were sentenced today for their involvement in a conspiracy to possess with intent to distribute drugs containing methamphetamine and fentanyl from the hotel.

Pernell Robert Galloway, 54, was sentenced to 131 months in prison, while Cassie Louise McKenzie, 42, received a 115-month sentence.

Court documents indicate that in 2023, law enforcement agents received information alleging that Galloway and McKenzie, both managers at the Economy Inn on Hwy 90 in Bay St. Louis, were selling drugs from the hotel. Subsequent investigation revealed they were distributing a methamphetamine/fentanyl mixture. On June 8, 2023, agents executed a search and discovered 14 grams of the mix in two separate bags, along with a firearm, digital scales, and additional unused distribution baggies.

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Fentanyl, according to the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA), is approximately 100 times more potent than morphine and 50 times more powerful than heroin. The DEA reports that just two milligrams of fentanyl can be lethal, and one kilogram has the potential to kill 500,000 people.

A federal grand jury indicted both Galloway and McKenzie, who later pleaded guilty to possession with intent to distribute a controlled substance.

U.S. Attorney Todd W. Gee of the Southern District of Mississippi and Acting Special Agent in Charge Michael J. Arnett of the DEA announced the sentences.

The DEA and the Hancock County Sheriff’s Office investigated the case, with Assistant U.S. Attorney Erica Rose prosecuting.