Gulfport, Mississippi – An Ocean Springs woman pleaded guilty today to conspiracy to possess a firearm in connection with a felony drug trafficking, U.S. Attorney Darren J. LaMarca and the Special Agent in Charge Brad Byerley of the Drug Enforcement Administration.
Mary Matthews (also known as Mary Wells), 20, pleaded guilty in US District Court in Gulfport. She is due to be sentenced on May 12, 2022 and faces a maximum sentence of 20 years in federal prison.
According to court documents and information presented to the court, in 2020 the DEA and the Gulfport Police Department began investigating a local drug trafficking organization involved in the distribution of oxycodone, marijuana, alprazolam (“Xanax”), methamphetamine and fentanyl squeezed tablets. During the investigation, law enforcement learned that various members of the organization, like many drug dealers, owned firearms to protect themselves, their drugs, and the proceeds of their drug sales. .
During their investigation, officers uncovered evidence that Mary Matthews was a member of the drug trafficking organization and was carrying a gun when she sold. During the plot, she and a co-conspirator repaired his gun for use in drug trafficking.
The DEA and the Gulfport Police Department investigated the case.
Assistant U.S. Attorney Jonathan Buckner is prosecuting the case.
The case is being prosecuted under the joint federal, state, and local Project Safe Neighborhoods (PSN) program, the centerpiece of the Justice Department’s violent crime reduction efforts. PSN is an evidence-based program that has been shown to be effective in reducing violent crime. Through the PSN, a wide range of stakeholders work together to identify the most pressing violent crime issues in the community and develop comprehensive solutions to address them. As part of this strategy, the PSN focuses its law enforcement efforts on the most violent offenders and partners with local prevention and rehabilitation programs for a lasting reduction in crime.