A pair of Hattiesburg men were sentenced to federal prison last week with significant penalties for their roles in selling methamphetamine.

Justin Williams, 30, was sentenced by Senior U.S. District Judge Keith Starrett to seven years in prison, followed by five years of supervised release, for conspiracy to possess with intent to distribute meth, announced U.S. Attorney Mike Hurst and Special Agent in Charge Jere T. Miles with Homeland Security Investigations in New Orleans.  

Williams’ co-defendant, 31-year-old Rodney Renchie, 31, was sentenced to serve 20 years in federal prison, followed by five years of supervised release, by Judge Starrett the previous week. Both defendants were also ordered to pay a $5,000 fine.

“These individuals put kids, families, neighbors and entire communities at a significant risk of harm by slinging this poison throughout the Hattiesburg area,” Hurst said. “I applaud our HSI agents and our federal prosecutors for taking these criminals off our streets, as their hard work has literally saved people’s lives.”

Miles added, “These sentences reflect the seriousness of the charges and the danger this drug poses to our communities. 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 agents discovered that Renchie and Williams had sold 1.7 kilograms of methamphetamine, commonly known as “ICE,” to individuals in the parking lot of a hotel on Hardy Street in Hattiesburg. When HSI 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 meth as he ran from agents. Williams was apprehended a short time later.   

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

The case was handled by Homeland Security Investigations and prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorney Shundral H. Cole.

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