Former city policeman’s appeal set for April

Published 12:00 am Thursday, March 26, 2009

From staff and AP reports

A former Vicksburg police sergeant found guilty in October 2007 of accepting bribes will have his appeal heard April 27.

Kevin Dewayne Williams, 38, a former narcotics division investigator, was found guilty in U.S. District Court in Natchez of extortion for protecting what he thought were shipments of cocaine into the city.

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

The 5th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals this week scheduled oral arguments on Williams’ appeal in New Orleans.

Prosecutors said Williams took bribes totaling $3,000 in November 2002 and May 2003 from undercover officers in an investigation coordinated by the FBI, Vicksburg police and the Warren County Sheriff’s Department.

At the time, Williams was a sergeant with about 4 1/2 years’ tenure in the city’s narcotics division. He was not indicted until March 6, 2007, and when arrested a few days later, was serving as a U.S. Army military police officer in Hawaii.

At his sentencing, Williams said he had felt guilty about his criminal actions and resigned from the Vicksburg Police Department in 2004, after nearly 10 years of service, as “an act of self-redemption. I wanted to do something positive.”

He rejoined the military, where he had served from 1989 to 1991, and was part of the 58th Military Police Brigade where superiors rated him among the very best of its officers. His position was that he had self-rehabilitated.

Initially sentenced to more than 15 years in federal prison, Williams was resentenced on April 30 to 10 years in prison followed by three years of probation, said a representative of the U.S. District Court in Jackson.

No information was available as to why the sentence was reduced.

Williams filed an appeal March 27.

Willie Shoto, legal associate for Jackson attorney Sanford Knott, said today that Knott no longer represents Williams. Shoto had no information on Williams’ current legal representation.

Police Chief Tommy Moffett, who initiated investigations into corruption in the department when he took over duties in 2001, said after Williams was sentenced that he knew the arrest and conviction would be painful for Williams’ family, friends and the department, but that he could not stand by “and let 15 kilos of cocaine come into the community.”

Williams has a wife and three children.