Vicksburg woman handed 30-year term for cocaine sale|[08/03/07]

Published 12:00 am Friday, August 3, 2007

A Vicksburg woman was sentenced to 30 years Tuesday after being convicted in the Warren County Circuit Court of selling cocaine.

She was the last of three people sentenced for involvement in a cocaine-dealing enterprise that was disrupted one year ago today by the Warren County Sheriff’s Department.

Cora Ann Turner, 36, 8348 Halls Ferry Road, her brother, William Charles Callahan, 23, 8348 Halls Ferry Road, and Tommy Hamberlin, 43, 4761 Lee Road, were arrested in a south Warren County drug raid on Aug. 3, 2006, and have been sentenced by Circuit Court Judge Frank Vollor on their charges.

Email newsletter signup

Sign up for The Vicksburg Post's free newsletters

Check which newsletters you would like to receive
  • Vicksburg News: Sent daily at 5 am
  • Vicksburg Sports: Sent daily at 10 am
  • Vicksburg Living: Sent on 15th of each month

Turner was the only one who requested a trial. Jurors found her guilty of sale of cocaine.

Callahan and Hamberlin entered plea agreements and were sentenced in February. Callahan received a 10-year prison term with five years of post-release supervision.

Hamberlin received a total of 20 years and 180 days to serve in prison on three counts to run consecutively.

A fourth person was also charged in the case, whose case is pending, authorities said.

Warren County Sheriff Martin Pace said the individuals were responsible for a large portion of the cocaine distribution in Vicksburg, Warren County and surrounding areas.

Pace said the investigation began in July 2005 after residents near the homes of Turner, Callahan, Hamberlin and the fourth person were continually calling in complaints of suspected illegal activity.

&#8220It involved several months of surveillance and undercover drug purchases at several locations around that area,” Pace said of the investigation, headed by Deputy Mike Traxler.

Following their arrests in August 2006, Turner, Callahan and Hamberlin were indicted on a number of sale-of-cocaine charges. In addition, Callahan was indicted for felon possession of a weapon and Hamberlin was in violation of parole from a previous offense.

Through their plea agreements, the indictments on all but one of Callahan’s four charges were dismissed, while one of Hamberlin’s sale-of-cocaine charges was reduced to possession. But while one of his charges was reduced, Hamberlin was indicted as a habitual offender, meaning he is ineligible for parole on that specific charge, which carried an eight-year sentence.

&#8220The arrests, indictments and convictions of these individuals has made that area safer and also tremendously reduced the availability of cocaine to this region,” Pace said.

Before their most recent sentencings, Turner, Callahan and Hamberlin had all appeared in court facing previous drug charges.

In addition to other drug offenses, Turner was sentenced to two years in 1998 for assault on a police officer at one of Hamberlin’s previous drug trials.