Man Carrying 500 Pounds of Marijuana Sentenced to 30 Years

For Immediate Release
Wednesday, April 9, 2008
For more information, please contact
Michael Guest at (601) 825-1472

Madison and Rankin Counties’ District Attorney Michael Guest announced today that Ian Robert Austin of Georgia was sentenced to 30 years for possession with intent to sell and/or distribute 500 pounds of marijuana. Fifteen years will be suspended. Austin will be required to spend 85% of his sentence in prison because he was previously convicted of a felony. Upon his release from the Mississippi Department of Corrections, Austin will also be required to serve five years of post release supervision. Austin was sentenced in open court by Circuit Court Judge Samac Richardson.

In March of 1998, during a routine traffic stop, the Madison County Sheriff’s Department pulled Austin’s tractor trailer over because it did not have a tag. The law enforcement official smelled marijuana and was granted permission to search the truck. The deputy and a K-9 unit then found 500 pounds of marijuana in the cab of the truck.

Guest stated, “With 500 pounds of marijuana, Austin had every intent to sell these drugs. These drugs would have ended up in our streets and neighborhoods and ultimately in the hands of our children.” Guest added, “We have seen a public trend that individuals who experiment with marijuana often graduate to much more harmful drugs that ruin lives, divide families and cause crime after crime. Drugs are the root of most crimes in our society.”

Guest concluded, “The public should be very proud of the efforts by the Madison County Sheriff’s Department for their professionalism and diligence that led to Austin going to jail for many years and for removing a large quantity of drugs out of circulation.”

District Attorney Michael Guest was sworn into office in January 2008 and represents the Twentieth Judicial District, Madison and Rankin Counties.