Defendants Enter Not Guilty Pleas In Federal Case

By David Howell
Editor


OXFORD – Three men with Water Valley connections have entered not guilty pleas after being indicted back in January for allegedly engaging in drug trafficking activities that spanned six years.
    Raymond McKinney, Edward Scanlon and Shedlia “Shelly” Freeman were among 11 people indicted on January 23 in a variety of charges dating from 2006 to September, 2012.
    The pleas came in separate arraignments held in April and May.
    Raymond McKinney of Texas, formerly of Water Valley, and Freeman  of Water Valley have each been charged with one count of conspiracy to distribute marijuana and three counts of Money-Laundering-Interstate Commerce.
    Scanlon, also of Water Valley faces a 10-count indictment which includes one count of conspiracy to distribute marijuana; four counts of violent crime/drugs/machine gun; and five counts of unlawful transport of firearms, etc. The weapons charge stem from Scanlon’s possession of seven firearms for the furtherance of the alleged crime. Scanlon is a previous convicted felon.
    All three men are out on bond.  Both Scanlon and Freeman’s restrictions include not traveling outside the Northern District of Mississippi. Raymond McKinney also has a home in Water Valley and is restricted to travel to the Northern District of Texas (Dallas) and Northern District of Mississippi and between those districts for  court appearances, according to court documents.
    Others indicted include Jeremy Pettis Fondren, Billy McThune, Joseph Tyrone Barr, Randy Oneal Newsom, Shamus Gray, Marlos McKinney, Ronnie Brown and Quintin Terence Ford.
    The 12-page federal indictment numbering begins with 42 instead of the usual 1, which indicates other activity in the case is sealed.
    In addition to narcotics, the indictment also alleges Raymond McKinney, Fondren and Freeman are  involved in illegal gambling on sporting events with proceeds from drug transactions. McKinney would send out lines on the sporting events and betters would place bets with either McKinney or Freeman.
    A Wells Fargo bank account was used for the proceeds of the illegal gambling operation and narcotics operations, according to the indictment.
    A trial date has not been set for the charges.

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