- Associated Press - Wednesday, August 19, 2015

GULFPORT, Miss. (AP) - A man serving a 17 1/2-year prison term for bringing eight kilos of crystal meth to Waveland may receive a lighter sentence in a new guilty plea because of an attorney’s mistake.

The Sun Herald reports (https://bit.ly/1gVxVX5) 38-year-old Adan Casillas pleaded guilty Aug. 26, 2014, to possession with intent to distribute and was sentenced by Judge Sul Ozerden.

A federal prosecutor later asked the 5th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals to send the case back to the district level. Casillas had initially accepted a plea deal with a recommended sentenced based on his minor role in the distribution. But at sentencing, a different prosecutor - unfamiliar with the deal - argued against a sentence cut.

Ozerden set a new trial date for September, but Casillas pleaded guilty Monday.

He now faces 10 years to life when sentenced Oct. 27. Casillas will likely receive a prison term less than the original one.

His co-defendant, Francisco Villegas-Jaimes, 56, pleaded guilty to the same charge. He is serving a 18½ years. Since he was found in the U.S. without permission, he will be turned over to Immigration and Customs Enforcement when his time is served.

The men came under investigation after a “cooperating source” said two men would be travelling from Houston to the Mississippi Coast to deliver meth, a DEA agent’s criminal complaint said.

The source met Villegas-Jaimes at a motel on U.S. 49 in Gulfport as Casillas waited in a nearby parking lot. Agents said they followed the men to a warehouse in Waveland and arrested them.


Information from: The Sun Herald, https://www.sunherald.com

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