CARTHAGE — A Carthage man who authorities said faked Facebook messages from a government witness to try to exonerate himself from allegations of his involvement in a Panola County meth ring was found guilty on several charges Friday, officials said.
Winfred Earl Ware Jr., 30, was found guilty of conspiracy to possess with intent to distribute methamphetamine, obstruction of justice and witness tampering after a two-week trial.
Ware has not yet been sentenced in the case.
Ware was accused along with 10 other area residents of operating a meth ring in Panola County. Ware was the only defendant in the case to plead not guilty.
In August 2018, prosecutors dismissed Ware’s drug case without prejudice to consider new evidence submitted as part of the defense exhibits ahead of his trial. The evidence, Facebook messages Ware told a reporter that he said proved he was innocent, appeared to have been taken as screenshots that July.
But federal authorities later refiled charges against Ware in the case — adding obstruction and tampering charges because prosecutors said Ware had faked the messages to “influence the testimony of several witnesses in the original trial and to corruptly influence the due administration of justice,” officials said.
Ware faces a minimum each of 10 years in federal prison on the drug charge and tampering charges and up to 10 years for the obstruction charge. He will be sentenced after the completion of a presentence report by the U.S. Probation Office.