Drug ring suspects inlcude four men on Coast

By ROBIN FITZGERALD – rfitzgerald@sunherald.com

Four Moss Point men have been ordered held with seven others on allegations they were part of a cocaine-smuggling ring based in Pensacola.

Federal court documents show the 11 arrests come after a two-year investigation in which more than $500,000 in cash and cocaine have been seized. The sworn statement of a federal agent said the men smuggled multiple kilograms of cocaine on numerous trips to Houston from areas around Pensacola and Moss Point.

The Moss Point men are Ernest Mallety, 59, Kevin Mallety, 28, Johnnie Mallety Jr., 29, and Terry Dunning, 29. Also accused are Houston residents Jason Green, 23, and Perry Jennings, 25, and Pensacola residents Tracy Hull, 38, Karriem Jones, 37, Douglas Jones, 41, Donnelle Gulley, 29, and Justin Odom, 19.

The investigators used confidential informants, traffic stops, wire taps, phone records and surveillance to include monitoring by aircraft, according to the sworn statement of an agent with the Drug Enforcement Administration in Pensacola. The DEA alleges the cocaine was distributed in Escambia County, Moss Point and Pascagoula.

A 102-page affidavit outlines how the probe began after cocaine fell out of a man’s pocket at the Escambia County jail in June 2008 after an arrest by the Florida Highway Patrol. Court papers say the man, identified only as a confidential informant, identified Tracy Hull as the leader of a cocaine-smuggling ring.

DEA identified Ernest Mallety as one of the key couriers who delivered drug money with a Nissan Titan registered in his name. Court papers describe surveillance of his home and his visits to other residences and businesses before and after alleged trips to Houston.

DEA agents linked the suspects through several traffic stops in which large amounts of cocaine or money were found hidden inside vehicles.

One of those traffic stops was in Harrison County on Oct. 8, 2008. Documents show Sheriff’s Sgt. Bruce Carver found $83,350 in a car. In a related stop, the West Baton Rouge Sheriff’s Office found $49,940 hidden in a vehicle pulled over in 2009.

The 11 men were brought before federal magistrates last week in Gulfport, Pensacola and Houston. The Moss Point men are held for further court hearings in Pensacola.

They each face more than 10 years in prison if convicted.

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