Hattiesburg, Miss. – Demethius Dixon, also known as Deezy, 29, of Shreveport, Louisiana, was sentenced today by U.S. District Judge Taylor B. McNeel to 120 months in federal prison, followed by 5 years of supervised release, for carrying and using a firearm during a drug trafficking crime, resulting in the firearm being discharged, announced Acting U.S. Attorney Darren LaMarca and Special Agent in Charge Brad Byerley with the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA). Dixon was also ordered to pay a $1500 fine.
On June 26, 2016, Dixon and his co-defendant, James Windham, met with a third party at a Hattiesburg Mugshots restaurant in order to sell two ounces of marijuana. Dixon was brought along by Windham as an armed enforcer and as backup in case the drug deal turned sour. During the drug transaction, Dixon discharged a firearm multiple times, ultimately resulting in the death of the third party.
Following the shooting, Dixon and Windham fled from the scene, at which time they discarded the marijuana and all firearms associated with the shooting. Due to the diligent police work of Hattiesburg Police Department, the marijuana and firearms were all recovered shortly after the shooting.
Dixon and Windham were originally indicted for this offense on June 25, 2019. Both defendants pled guilty on September 24, 2020.
Acting United States Attorney Darren LaMarca commented, “The United States Attorney’s Office will prosecute these violent criminals with the full arsenal of federal laws it has at its disposal. Guns and illegal drug distribution are a deadly combination. I want to thank the DEA, the Hattiesburg Police Department and the Office of District Attorney Hal Kittrell for their unwavering commitment and assistance in this investigation and prosecution.”
“Nothing is more important than keeping our communities safe. DEA and our local law enforcement partners will continue to utilize our combined resources to target individuals trafficking drugs and guns, threating the safety of our citizens in Mississippi and beyond, committing heinous violent acts. This sentence should send a strong, unified message that this violent criminal activity will not be tolerated in our communities, and that those accused of committing these offenses will be brought to justice,” stated DEA Assistant Special Agent in Charge Kevin Gaddy.
This case is part of Project EJECT, an initiative by the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Southern District of Mississippi under the U.S. Department of Justice’s Project Safe Neighborhoods (PSN) and Project Guardian. EJECT is a holistic, multi-disciplinary approach to fighting and reducing violent crime through prosecution, prevention, re-entry and awareness. EJECT stands for “Empower Justice Expel Crime Together.” PSN is bringing together all levels of law enforcement and the communities they serve to reduce violent crime and make our neighborhoods safer for everyone. Project Guardian draws upon the Department’s past successful programs to reduce gun violence; enhances coordination of federal, state, local, and tribal authorities in investigating and prosecuting gun crimes; improves information-sharing by the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives when a prohibited individual attempts to purchase a firearm and is denied by the National Instant Criminal Background Check System (NICS), to include taking appropriate actions when a prospective purchaser is denied by the NICS for mental health reasons; and ensures that federal resources are directed at the criminals posing the greatest threat to our communities.
The Drug Enforcement Administration and the Hattiesburg Police Department investigated the case. District Attorney Hal Kittrell and the 15th Circuit District Attorney’s Office were instrumental in guiding early investigative steps in the matter and involving federal partners. The case was prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorney Andrew W. Eichner.