GULFPORT, MS (WLOX) - A Gulfport man will spend every day of a 12 year prison sentence behind bars without the possibility of parole after being convicted as a habitual offender.
Tuesday, Julius Scott Turner, 31, pleaded guilty to possessing cocaine with the intent to distribute, and being a felon in possession of a weapon. Turner had previous felony convictions in 2002 for receiving stolen property and in 2004 for robbery.
The Gulfport Police Department began investigating Turner back in 2011. Then in March 2012, an investigator received a tip that Turner was cooking crack cocaine at a home on Teagarden Road.
"Investigators quickly obtained and executed a search warrant within an hour and a half of receiving the information. Turner was found sitting in his vehicle, where the cocaine was found in his center console," said ADA Robert McCormick who prosecuted the case.
Investigators also found two digital scales with cocaine residue, a beaker used to manufacture crack cocaine and a firearm in Turner's bedroom.
In a hearing late last week, Turner tried to get the evidence suppressed by claiming police lacked probable cause to search his property. After the judge ruled the evidence was admissible and could be presented to a jury, Turner decided to change his plea to guilty. The case was set to go to trial Tuesday morning.
"Today's conviction is a testament to the year-long investigation by the Gulfport Narcotics Division and their commitment to insure public safety in our neighborhoods" said District Attorney Joel Smith.