McNairy Co. man sentenced to life in prison for meth trafficking

McNAIRY COUNTY, Tenn. — A West Tennessee man with four prior drug trafficking convictions has been sentenced to life in prison for methamphetamine trafficking.

Michael Jay Harris, 47, of McNairy County was sentenced Thursday after being convicted by a jury in August of possession of 98 grams of methamphetamine with intent to distribute, according to a release from the office of D. Michael Dunavant, U.S. Attorney for the West District of Tennessee.

Harris had four previous drug trafficking convictions in the state of Tennessee and faced a mandatory life sentence as a career drug offender, the release says.

According to evidence presented at trial, agents with the McNairy County Narcotics Unit went to Harris’ residence Feb. 13, 2017, in Finger to arrest Harris on an outstanding warrant. There agents found three and a half ounces of meth and marijuana along with digital scales and drug paraphernalia, according to the release.

When agents found the drugs, Harris tried to fight the officers, the release says.

A chemist with the DEA found the methamphetamine was more than 97 percent pure, and an agent with the FBI testified it could have been distributed to more than a thousand drug users, based on its purity, according to the release.

“Methamphetamine that is trafficked in and through West Tennessee continues to increase in purity, which increases its potential to cause addiction, injury, and death,” U.S. Attorney Dunavant said in the release. “Harris is a career drug offender who has devoted his life to criminal activity that endangered the citizens of West Tennessee, and this life sentence is well-earned and justified to protect the public. I commend the outstanding investigative work of local law enforcement, and thank (Assistant U.S. Attorney) Matt Wilson for his effective prosecution of this important case.”

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