Federal Indictment Names 14 Defendants in Coordinated Drug Distribution Plot From Inside Georgia Jail | USAO-SDGA

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BRUNSWICK, Georgia: A newly unsealed federal indictment charges 14 defendants in a drug trafficking conspiracy in southern Georgia that was allegedly carried out from inside a Georgia state prison.

The indictment in Operation Pope’s GOAL, an organized drug trafficking task force investigation, alleges the drug trafficking conspiracy has distributed methamphetamine, heroin and fentanyl since 2018 in at least seven counties in Southern Georgia, said David H. Estes, U.S. Attorney for the Southern District of Georgia.

The 14 defendants are charged with conspiracy to possess with intent to distribute and distribute 50 grams or more of methamphetamine, and an amount of heroin and fentanyl, a charge that carries a minimum statutory sentence of 10 years in prison. prison, up to life, along with substantial fines and at least five years of supervised release at the end of any prison sentence.

There is no parole in the federal system.

“The use of cell phones and other contraband devices inside prisons for the coordination of criminal activity outside prison walls is a growing danger to our communities,” said U.S. Attorney Estes. . “Our law enforcement partners, including the Georgia Department of Corrections, have done an outstanding job of identifying and infiltrating this network to put an end to this illegal plot.”

As described in United States v. Pope and. Al, Operation Pope’s GOAL alleges that the drug trafficking operation began as early as April 2018 and operated in Glynn, Brantley, Bacon, Pierce, Coffee, Camden and Ware counties, and beyond. Those charged in the indictment include:

  • Jonathan Alvin Pope38, inmate at Calhoun State Prison, charged with conspiracy to possess with intent to distribute and distribute 50 grams or more of methamphetamine, and a quantity of heroin and fentanyl;
  • Christy Renee Popeaka Christy Renee Dowling, 42, inmate at Pulaski State Prison, charged with conspiracy to possess with intent to distribute and distribute 50 grams or more of methamphetamine, and an amount of heroin and fentanyl ;
  • Ashlee Pope32, of Waycross, Ga., charged with conspiracy to possess with intent to distribute and distribute 50 grams or more of methamphetamine, and a quantity of heroin and fentanyl;
  • Lena Leigh Davis, 45, of Homeland, Georgia, charged with conspiracy to possess with intent to distribute and distribute 50 grams or more of methamphetamine, and an amount of heroin and fentanyl; and, Conspiracy to use, carry or possess firearms;
  • Jode Lee Weaver41, of Waycross, Georgia, charged with conspiracy to possess with intent to distribute and distribute 50 grams or more of methamphetamine, and a quantity of heroin and fentanyl;
  • Jason Wilde, 40, inmate at Ware County Detention Center, charged with conspiracy to possess with intent to distribute and distribute 50 grams or more of methamphetamine, and a quantity of heroin and fentanyl; and, Conspiracy to use, carry or possess firearms;
  • Richard Reginald Perkins Jr., alias “Reggie,” 46, of Nahunta, Georgia, charged with conspiracy to possess with intent to distribute and distribute 50 grams or more of methamphetamine, and a quantity of heroin and fentanyl;
  • Joshua Lance Lee45, of Nahunta, Georgia, charged with conspiracy to possess with intent to distribute and distribute 50 grams or more of methamphetamine, and a quantity of heroin and fentanyl;
  • Clark Bennett, 50, inmate at Floyd County Jail, charged with conspiracy to possess with intent to distribute and distribute 50 grams or more of methamphetamine, and an amount of heroin and fentanyl; Conspiracy to use, carry or possess firearms; Possession of a firearm in pursuit of a crime related to drug trafficking; and, possession of a firearm by a convicted felon;
  • Sara Elisabeth Laroche37, of Nahunta, Georgia, charged with conspiracy to possess with intent to distribute and distribute 50 grams or more of methamphetamine, and a quantity of heroin and fentanyl;
  • Kristina Ashley Montgomeryaka Kristina Ashley Crews, 37, detained at the Brantley County Detention Center, charged with conspiracy to possess with intent to distribute and distribute 50 grams or more of methamphetamine, and a quantity of heroin and fentanyl ;
  • Tony Marvin Johns63, inmate at Brantley County Detention Center, charged with conspiracy to possess with intent to distribute and distribute 50 grams or more of methamphetamine, and a quantity of heroin and fentanyl;
  • Michel Mancil, 45, detained at the Brantley County Detention Center, charged with conspiracy to possess with intent to distribute and distribute 50 grams or more of methamphetamine, and a quantity of heroin and fentanyl; and,
  • James Edward Lane55, inmate at Dooley County Detention Center, charged with conspiracy to possess with intent to distribute and distribute 50 grams or more of methamphetamine, and a quantity of heroin and fentanyl.

Indictments only contain charges; the accused are presumed innocent until proven guilty.

The case was investigated as part of Operation Organized Crime Drug Task Forces (OECDTF). The OECDTF identifies, disrupts and dismantles the highest level criminal organizations that threaten the United States using a prosecutor-led, intelligence-driven, multi-agency approach.

The investigation is being led by the Savannah office of the United States Drug Enforcement Administration; the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives; Georgia Department of Corrections Investigative Unit; Brantley County Sheriff’s Office; the Ware County Sheriff’s Office; Glynn County Sheriff’s Office; the Coffee County Sheriff’s Office; Charlton County Sheriff’s Office; and the Pierce County Sheriff’s Office, with the assistance of the Georgia State Patrol, and prosecuted for the United States by Assistant United States Attorney Noah J. Abrams and OECDTF Coordinator Marcela C. Mateo .

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