Madison and Rankin Counties’ District Attorney Bubba Bramlett announced today that Justin R. Williams of Canton pled guilty and was sentenced to eleven (11) years to serve in the Mississippi Department of Corrections for his part in a scheme to distribute over 380 pills containing fentanyl, a schedule II controlled substance. The 11 years in custody will be spent day for day without the possibility of parole or early release.

“Our law enforcement in Madison and Rankin Counties should be commended for their tireless efforts in ridding our communities of this deadly drug,” said District Attorney Bramlett. “In this particular case, the Madison County Sheriff’s Department kept almost 400 potentially deadly pills off the streets and out of the hands of our young people.”

Counterfeit pain pills are causing significant overdose deaths in Mississippi. These pills often contain fentanyl, an opioid that is 100 times more potent than morphine. While these pills look identical to medications such as hydrocodone, oxycodone or xanax, these counterfeit versions often contain fentanyl.

“Fentanyl is not to be experimented with…the first time may be the end,” stated District Attorney Bramlett. “Fentanyl does not forgive—one pill can kill. Each time an individual takes a pill that did not come from their doctor or pharmacy, he or she is playing Russian Roulette, plain and simple.”

Without knowing the strength of an individual pill, fatal overdoses are common when dealing with counterfeit opioids. The amount of fentanyl required to make someone overdose is as little as a few grains of salt. According to the Centers for Disease Control, over 80,000 people died of a drug overdose in the United States from June 2019 through May 2020. And over 70% of those deaths involved a synthetic opioid.

District Attorney Bramlett concluded, “Please educate your teenagers and young adult children of the dangers of counterfeit pills. Overdose victims often are not prior drug abusers…some are simply offered the deadly pill at a party or other similar venue, and unfortunately, they do not survive.”

Name: Justin R. Williams
Date of Birth: 01/27/1995