John Dowdy - MS Bureau of Narcotics

John Dowdy, was a career prosecutor with 28 years at the U.S. Attorney's Office, headed the U.S. attorney's criminal division beginning in 2004. He was court appointed as the interim U.S. attorney in January 2011 until Gregory Davis, appointed by President Barack Obama, took the office in April 2012. Dowdy then returned to his job as head of the criminal division.

In May 2016, Dowdy left the U.S. attorney's office. He had worked there since 1988, when he was an intern under late U.S. Attorney George Phillips before he graduated from Mississippi College School of Law.

Former U.S. Attorney's Office Criminal Division Chief John Dowdy will be the next Mississippi Bureau of Narcotics director.


As the State's primary drug enforcement agency, the MBN accomplishes its mission by confiscating drugs and other contraband, and by arresting suspected drug violators for prosecution under applicable state and federal laws. The goals of the MBN are to: 1) Identify, target, and dismantle Drug Trafficking organizations responsible for illicit drug traffic and abuse in Mississippi. 2) Enforce the Mississippi uniform controlled substance laws efficiently and effectively. 3) Provide oversight of intrastate drug task forces. 4) Target major drug trafficking organizations, violent career offenders, clandestine drug manufacturers, and violators of prescription drug laws. 5) Protect state borders by targeting intra and interstate drug trafficking. 6) Broaden agency intelligence through information sharing with local, state, and federal law enforcement agencies. 7) Participation in federal law enforcement task forces in order to ensure adequate and efficient use of agency resources.


Mr. Dowdy informed the club that the Opioid epidemic is still very much at the forefront of the drug crisis in Mississippi.  Currently the number one killer of Americans, opioids are killing more citizens than the Vietnam war.  Most are still a result of over prescribing, although there has been a slight decrease because of recent legislation.  Additionally, Mr. Dowdy highlighted a need to focus on communication regarding addiction, the effects, the behavior and the crimes associated with addiction versus criminal intent.


Mr. Dowdy highlighted the issues regarding illegal narcotics and indicated that 97% are being smuggled in from Mexico.  The greater danger of the illegal narcotics is the fentanyl lacing.  Drugs cut with fentanyl are much more deadly and addictive.


Mr. Dowdy discussed the marijuana legalization and the impact that has on addiction and the illegal drug trade.  The current marijuana that is being produced today has a much higher THC content, therefore much more likely to cause negative long-term effects.  Looking at the current issue of medical use for marijuana, Dowdy indicated that research shows no definitive proof that there is medical need for marijuana.


Currently the MBN is understaffed and is working with a shortage of field agents.  With that being said, it is up to the communities of Mississippi, to create a frontline defense against drugs in our communities.  In a recent poll, Jr. high and high schoolers, indicated that it was easier to get drugs than alcohol.  Parents and citizens need to be aware of what is happening throughout the state and the country.