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A 33-year-old Jones County man who worked with an illegal Mexican alien to sell drugs was sentenced in federal court Monday in Jackson on massive drug charges. The charges earned him 146 months in federal prison, along with five years of supervised release.

Matthew Williams was sentenced by U.S. District Judge Henry T. Wingate for conspiracy to distribute 2.6 pounds of methamphetamine and 2.1 pounds of heroin. U.S. Attorney Mike Hurst and Brad L. Byerley, Special Agent in Charge of the Drug Enforcement Administration, announced the sentencing. Williams was also ordered to pay a $1,500 fine.

In May 2019, Williams and Edgar Soto-Leon, the illegal alien, agreed to distribute heroin and methamphetamine. To assist Soto-Leon, Williams contacted one or more individuals in order to find a buyer for illegal drugs from Soto-Leon.

Williams found a buyer and told him Soto-Leon was trying to sell about three pounds of methamphetamine, known as "ICE," and one kilogram of heroin that he was trying to sell. Williams connected the buyer to Soto-Leon, who started talking with the buyer. Soto-Leon and the buyer agreed on the price for all of the methamphetamine and heroin.

However, neither Williams nor Soto-Leon discovered the buyer was actually an undercover DEA agent.

On May 2, 2019, Soto-Leon and the buyer met near the Blair E. Batson Hospital in Jackson, where Soto-Leon gave the buyer methamphetamine and heroin. Williams had assisted the buyer and Soto-Leon by directing them to the meeting place. Lab tests later confirmed Soto-Leon had provided 414.7 grams (about 14.6 ounces) of methamphetamine, which was 99 percent pure, and 424.2 grams (about 15 ounces) of heroin.

On May 3, 2019, Soto-Leon and the buyer met again at a location in Pearl, where Soto-Leon again gave the buyer methamphetamine and heroin. Lab tests later confirmed that Soto-Leon had provided 772.4 grams (11.25 pounds) of methamphetamine, which was 98 percent pure, and two containers of heroin containing 344.6 grams and 228.8 grams (1 pound, 4.2 ounces total).

After the second batch of controlled substances were given to the buyer, law enforcement immediately arrested Soto-Leon. Williams was arrested a few days later.

In total, Soto-Leon and Williams conspired to sell and sold 2.6 pounds of methamphetamine and 2.1 pounds of heroin to the undercover DEA officer. The methamphetamine sold is a type known as "ICE" because of its purity.

The defendants were indicted and pleaded guilty before Judge Wingate on Oct. 18, 2019. Soto-Leon remains in federal custody and is awaiting sentencing.

The case was investigated by the DEA, the Hinds County Sheriff's Department, the Jones County Sheriff's Department, the Pearl Police Department, and the Richland Police Department. The case is being prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorney Dave Fulcher.

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