Natchez man gets nearly 10 years in federal prison for role in massive drug trafficking scheme

Published 2:25 pm Tuesday, December 13, 2022

A Natchez man was sentenced Tuesday to 116 months in federal prison n for his participation in separate interstate drug trafficking operations distributing kilogram quantities of illegal drugs in the Natchez area from 2016 through 2018.

Wesley Bell, 42, was convicted of conspiracy and possession with intent to distribute cocaine; conspiracy to possess with intent to distribute methamphetamine; and possession of ammunition by a previously convicted felon.  Bell previously was convicted in Adams County Circuit Court in 2002 of sexual battery and in 2010 of possession of more than one kilogram but less than five kilograms of marijuana.  Bell’s federal sentence includes a penalty for committing his federal crimes while under a state court sentence of supervision.

According to court documents, Bell conspired with Kevin Singleton, of Natchez; Sammy Davis Wright, of Woodville; Jimmie Lee Swearengen, Jr., of Mesquite, Texas; Thomas Jerome Mitchell, of Victorville, California; Justine Chambers, of Victorville, California; and Arthur Wilson, of Moreno Valley, California.

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Singleton was head of one of the drug trafficking organizations operating in the Natchez area. He received a 35-year prison sentence from U.S. District Judge David C. Bramlette, III, in September 2021. Swearengen, Mitchell, Chambers, and Wright were separately sentenced for their participation in drug trafficking operations in the Natchez area.  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.

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.