News Release
Date: June 6, 2007

Nine Defendants In Vicksburg Charged With Crack Cocaine
Distribution Conspiracy

Four Federal Search Warrants Executed in Vicksburg

photo - Assault Rifle and two handguns seized during search warrant
Assault Rifle and two handguns seized during search warrant

JUN 6 -- United States Attorney Dunn Lampton, Stephen A. Luzinski, Assistant Special Agent in Charge of Mississippi, Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) and Marshall Fisher, Director of the Mississippi Bureau of Narcotics (MBN) announce the culmination of a four year investigation targeting a major crack cocaine organization operating in Vicksburg, Mississippi. On June 5, 2007, teams of state, local, and federal law enforcement officers arrested eight defendants and executed four federal search warrants at locations in Vicksburg. The searches resulted in the seizure of one AR-15 assault rifle, 6 handguns, a large quantity of United States currency, 88 grams of crack cocaine, and smaller amounts of Ecstasy and marijuana.

DEA Assistant Special Agent in Charge of Mississippi Luzinski stated, “ This morning, the law abiding citizens of Vicksburg and Warren County are safer in their communities as a result of the dismantlement of this major crack cocaine trafficking ring. ”

MBN Director Marshall Fisher stated, “ For years, this drug ring has been one of the largest sources of crack cocaine in the Vicksburg area. MBN and our law enforcement partners remain committed to weeding out these groups operating in our communities. ”

photo- GS Art Richards and members of the Mississippi Highway Patrol Swat Team executing search warrant
  photo - DEA and Mississippi Bureau of Narcotics agents coordinating execution of search warrant
GS Art Richards and members of the Mississippi Highway Patrol Swat Team executing search warrant
DEA and Mississippi Bureau of Narcotics agents coordinating execution of search warrant

U.S. Attorney Dunn Lampton praised the efforts of law enforcement officers stating that “ cooperation between law enforcement agencies is essential to making our neighborhoods and communities safer. ” Lampton pointed out that this investigation was partially funded by the Organized Crime Drug Enforcement Task Force (OCDETF) which was created in 1982 for the purpose of attacking, in a coordinated manner, drug-related organizations that engage in criminal activities, such as drug trafficking, money laundering, violence and corruption. The OCDETF program is separately funded by Congress and is structured to facilitate cooperation in each judicial district and beyond. In addition to federal law enforcement agencies, state and local agencies are essential participants in the investigative activities coordinated through OCDETF. “ This OCDETF investigation is a text book example of what federal, state and local law enforcement authorities can accomplish working together, ” said Lampton.

Motorcycle found at home of arrested defendant with designer Louis Vuitton
custom paint job

Over the course of the investigation, undercover purchases of over 380 grams of crack cocaine were made from various members of the organization. Agents also seized 3 kilograms of cocaine hydrochloride and over $100,000 in cash from the group and successfully traced the source of the crack cocaine from the streets of Vicksburg to Dallas, Texas suppliers. This drug trafficking organization is believed to be responsible for the distribution of approximately 8 kilograms of crack cocaine per month in the Vicksburg area.

Among those charged is Michael TYLER, the individual who oversaw the street distribution arm of the trafficking ring. By occupying a position of organizer, supervisor, or manager, in concert with a least five other persons, TYLER was indicted for engaging in a continuing criminal enterprise (CCE), a charge that carries a minimum penalty of 20 years in prison and a maximum penalty of life in prison.

This case is being prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorney Sandra G. Moses.

The Defendants:

Age: 34
Vicksburg, MS

Age: 53
Vicksburg, MS

Age: 24
Vicksburg, MS

Age: 35
Vicksburg, MS

Age: 60
Vicksburg, MS

Age: 28
Vicksburg, MS

Age: 31
Vicksburg, MS

Age: 28
Vicksburg, MS

The Indictment also charges TYLER with conspiring with the eight other individuals listed above to distribute crack cocaine, twelve counts of distribution of crack cocaine and one count of possession of crack cocaine with intent to distribute. The Government also intends to seek forfeiture of the proceeds of the illegal activity and any property used to facilitate a violation as charged in Counts 1 through 16 of the Indictment.

Other agencies participating in this investigation include the Gulf Coast High Intensity Drug Trafficking Area (HIDTA) Major Investigations Team, the Vicksburg Police Department, the Warren County Sheriffs Office, the Federal Bureau of Investigation, the United States Marshals Service, and the Mississippi Highway Patrol

As in any criminal case, a person is presumed innocent until and unless proven guilty. The charges filed merely contain allegations of criminal conduct.

For further information, please contact U.S. Attorney Dunn Lampton at 601-965-4480, DEA Assistant Special Agent in Charge Stephen Luzinski at 601-965-4400, or MBN Director Marshall Fisher at 601-371-3623.