Man pleads guilty to cocaine charge



A Gulfport man faces five to 40 years in prison on a guilty plea to possession with intent to distribute cocaine in Harrison County.

Jeffrey Allen Isabell, 26, was set for trial Monday but changed his plea on Wednesday.

He also faces a fine of up to $2 million.

Isabell remains free on bond. U.S. District Judge Walter J. Gex III will sentence him on Oct. 28 at 10 a.m.

Isabell was indicted by a federal grand jury after his arrest in a traffic stop in Gulfport in March.

The government accused him of having nearly 43 grams of cocaine in his 2010 Chevrolet Camaro, which led to a search of his home in the 2100 block of 38th Avenue.

Drug agents said they seized a kilogram of cocaine and a large amount of money from the attic, paraphernalia used to turn powdered cocaine into crack cocaine, and 21 pounds of marijuana in the trunk of a different vehicle in his front yard.

A kilogram is about 2.2 pounds.

Agents said they also seized a loaded 9mm handgun from the dresser of Isabell’s bedroom.

Isabell admitted buying cocaine by the kilo about twice a month over the previous eight to 12 months, according to a drug agent’s sworn statement.

Records show Gulfport police detective Wendell Johnson made the traffic stop that led to the searches. Johnson stopped Isabell on a violation of having his windows tinted darker than allowed by law and called in a drug-sniffing dog based on Isabell’s nervous response, according to documents.

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