District Attorney Joel Smith announced Thursday that Dwight Kent, age 38, pled guilty to aggravated drug trafficking before Circuit Judge Chris Schmidt at the Stone County Courthouse earlier this week.
Kent was sentenced to serve 25 years in prison.
The case began on July 31, 2018, when the Stone County Sheriff’s Department was conducting routine patrol on Highway 49 in the Bond Community.
An SCSD deputy attempted to pull Kent over for a traffic infraction and received quite the surprise.
Kent had a good reason for not wanting to interact with a law enforcement officer and did his best to flee from Walker.
“He took off and ran the unfinished roads in the development across from Walmart and then headed south on West Frontage Road,” said an SCSD spokesman. “When he came to the stop sign and dead end across from Hall Street, he attempted to go off road and get into the power line. He got his vehicle stuck and bailed.”
At that point, two deputies and a reserve deputy engaged in a short foot pursuit before apprehending the 36-year-old Kent.
“Once deputies returned to the defendant’s vehicle, they located approximately 9 grams of methamphetamine in the center console of the vehicle,” said Assistant District Attorney Matthew D. Burrell. “The deputies also located a toolbox in the passenger floorboard. When the deputies opened the toolbox, they located approximately 470 grams of methamphetamine, divided into 19 different bags.
“The street value of the drugs was almost $50,000,”
At his plea, the defendant told Judge Schmidt he was coming from Mendenhall with the drugs and intended to distribute them.
After the defendant entered his plea, Judge Schmidt conducted a separate sentencing hearing to determine whether any sentencing deviation was warranted. After reviewing the facts and the appropriate law, Judge Schmidt noted the plague methamphetamine has been on society and how methamphetamine use causes other crimes to be committed, resulting in more victims of crime.
The judge concluded the hearing by ruling that no deviation was warranted and sentenced the defendant to serve a mandatory 25 years in the custody of the Mississippi Department of Corrections.
"The trafficking of methamphetamine has caused numerous problems in our community and the tremendous work of the Stone County deputies allowed us to seek justice today. Judge Schmidt’s sentence sends a strong message about meth and the dangers involved with its use and distribution, " Smith said.