California drug traffickers sentenced to federal prison for distributing large amounts of drugs in Natchez

Published 5:08 pm Wednesday, November 16, 2022

Getting your Trinity Audio player ready...

NATCHEZ — A Victorville, California, man and his wife were sentenced today by U.S. District Judge David C. Bramlette III for their participation in an interstate drug trafficking operation distributing kilogram quantities of illegal drugs in the Natchez area from 2016 through 2018, announced U.S. Attorney Darren J. LaMarca and Special Agent in Charge Brad L. Byerley of the Drug Enforcement Administration.

Thomas Jerome Mitchell, 37, and Justine Chambers, 32, were indicted by a federal grand jury and subsequently pled guilty to conspiracy to possess with intent to distribute methamphetamine. Mitchell was sentenced today to 66 months in federal prison and Chambers was sentenced to 38 months.

According to court documents, Mitchell and Chambers conspired with Wesley Bell, of Natchez,   Jimmie Lee Swearengen, Jr., of  Mesquite, TX,  and Arthur Wilson, of Moreno Valley, CA, to distribute kilogram quantities of methamphetamine in the Natchez area.  Swearengen was separately sentenced today to 90 months in prison for his participation in drug trafficking operations in the Natchez area. Arthur Wilson was convicted by a federal trial jury in August 2022 of conspiracy to possess with intent to distribute methamphetamine and marijuana, as well as conspiracy to commit money laundering, for his operation of a separate drug trafficking organization in the Natchez area.  Wilson is scheduled for sentencing on January 11, 2023. Bell is currently awaiting sentencing.

Email newsletter signup

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 by the Drug Enforcement Administration, the Organized Crime and Drug Enforcement Task Force in Atlanta, GA, the Mississippi Bureau of Narcotics, the Adams County Sheriff’s Office, the U.S. Postal Inspection Service, the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives, the Mississippi Highway Patrol, and the Pearl Police Department.

Assistant U.S. Attorney Carla J. Clark prosecuted these cases.