Drug dealer gets 15 years

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Father of 3 was selling 3 kinds of drugs near South Jones

Travis Thompson in Jones County Circuit Court with public defender Grant Hedgepeth. (Photo by Mark Thornton)

An Ellisville man who was selling three kinds of drugs got his third felony conviction, so now he will be behind bars until his three young children are young adults.

Travis Thompson, 32, was ordered to serve 15 years in prison after pleading guilty in Jones County Circuit Court to possession of methamphetamine, cocaine and marijuana with intent to distribute. Assistant District Attorney Kristen Martin sentenced him as a habitual offender, meaning he will have to serve all of his time day for day, with no chance for early release.

He was convicted of possession of cocaine in Forrest County in August 2008 and possession of a firearm by a convicted felon in Jones County in July 2011.

His latest conviction came as a result of a joint operation by the Laurel and Ellisville police departments. A confidential informant for the LPD purchased drugs from him and Ellisville police also had complaints about possible drug activity at his apartment on Lee Street.

He was arrested in March 2015 along with Letaria Ducksworth, 32, and charged with selling the drugs after police found 69 grams of meth, 30 grams of cocaine and 423 grams of marijuana. The charge was enhanced because the drugs were being sold within 1,500 feet of a school, South Jones.

Thompson’s public defender, Grant Hedgepeth, filed a motion to get the search warrant thrown out, but Williamson denied the motion. Thompson had also said that he was going to hire his own attorney, but then asked for a public defender. All of that delayed his punishment, and he was set to go to trial when he decided to plead guilty to the charges.

As part of the plea agreement, Thompson said that he was solely responsible for the crimes and Ducksworth had no knowledge of it, so charges against her were dropped.

The 15 years in prison was for the meth charge and he got five years each for the cocaine and marijuana charges. The sentences for the latter two will run concurrently, meaning he will serve 15 years, but if he gets in trouble again, he will be facing many more years in prison, Judge Dal Williamson warned. Thompson was also ordered to serve five years of post-release supervsion under the Mississippi Department of Corrections and pay $1,917.50 in court fees and fines.

Thompson told the judge that he has three children, ages 8, 9 and 11.

“It’s hard for me to rationalize how you could have any concern for your children and be contributing to this sort of thing that makes the world a worse place,” Williamson said. “It affects families everywhere, your family, my family, everybody’s family.”