Federal prosecutors could push for life sentence for Port Neches man after guilty plea

Published 7:33 pm Wednesday, November 2, 2022

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PORT NECHES — A local man, who pleaded guilty Wednesday to federal drug charges, faces a potential life sentence for what authorities said was his role in distributing deadly fentanyl in Southeast Texas.

Prosecutors said 49-year-old Marcus Terrance Weathersby of Port Neches was receiving drugs for distribution.

According to court documents, beginning in January, local law enforcement and federal agents began investigating a drug trafficking conspiracy involving phencyclidine (PCP) and fentanyl in Jefferson County.

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Law enforcement ultimately seized approximately 1.7 kilograms of PCP and three ounces of fentanyl during the course of the investigation.

Arthur Wilson McDaniels, 46, of Houston, the supplier, and Weathersby were indicted May 11 by a federal grand jury.

The investigation revealed McDaniels was supplying drugs from Houston to Weathersby in Port Neches.

McDaniels and Weathersby each pleaded guilty Wednesday to drug trafficking violations before U.S. Magistrate Judge Zack Hawthorn.

Weathersby pleaded guilty to conspiracy to possess with intent to distribute fentanyl. McDaniels pleaded guilty to conspiracy to possess with intent to distribute PCP and fentanyl.

“If you are dealing dangerous drugs in our community we are coming after you,” U.S. Attorney Brit Featherston said. “These drugs are capable of killing many people. There is a dangerous wave of illegal fentanyl poisoning our citizens. Please talk about this, discuss this, share this message with others to save a life. In 2022, fentanyl is suspected of killing more Americans than car crashes and gun crimes combined. This is a problem.”

McDaniels faces up to 40 years in federal prison. Weathersby faces up to life in federal prison.

The Court will determine sentencing based on advisory guidelines and other statutory factors.

Sentencing hearings are scheduled after the U.S. Probation Office completes and presents its investigation results.

The U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration and Port Arthur Police Department investigated the case. Assistant U.S. Attorney Michael Anderson prosecuted the case.