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June 19, 2020Gulfport, MSUnited StatesNarcotics

2 sentenced for distributing meth in Mississippi following ICE HSI investigation

GULFPORT, Miss. – An investigation led by U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement’s Homeland Security Investigations (HSI) led to a pair of Mississippi men being sentenced to 20 years and seven years for their roles in a criminal network distributing methamphetamine into Mississippi.

Justin Williams, 30, of Hattiesburg, was sentenced June 18, 2020, to 84 months in federal prison by Senior U.S. District Judge Keith Starrett, for conspiracy to possess with intent to distribute methamphetamine. Following his prison term, Williams must serve five years of supervised release.

Williams’ co-defendant, Rodney Renchie, 31, also of Hattiesburg, was sentenced by Judge Starrett June 11, 2020, to serve 240 months in federal prison, followed by five years of supervised release. Both defendants were also ordered to pay a $5,000 fine.

“These sentences reflect the seriousness of the charges and the danger this drug poses to our communities,” said Jere T. Miles, special agent in charge of HSI New Orleans. “It is also a gratifying outcome for the diligent work our special agents and law enforcement partners put into keeping our neighborhoods and community members safe.”

On June 19, 2019, HSI special agents with the Border Enforcement Security (BEST) Task Force Gulfport discovered that Renchie and Williams had sold 1.7 kilograms of methamphetamine to individuals in the parking lot of a hotel in Hattiesburg. When HSI Gulfport special agents arrived to arrest Renchie and Williams, Renchie attempted to flee in his vehicle, but backed into another car in the parking lot. Williams attempted to flee on foot and threw a bag containing methamphetamine as he ran from agents. Williams was apprehended a short time later.

On July 10, 2019, Williams and Renchie were charged in a federal criminal indictment with conspiracy to possess with intent to distribute methamphetamine. Williams pleaded guilty before Judge Starrett October 3, 2019 and Renchie pleaded guilty December 5, 2019.

Updated: 06/22/2020