News Release
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
August 5, 2010
Contact: Chuvalo J. Truesdell
PIO/AFD
Number: 404-893-7124

Statesboro Area Drug Traffickers Receive Lengthy Sentences

AUG 5 -- STATESBORO, GA + ELIJAH NAHUM SIMMONS, 32, from Statesboro, Georgia, KEVIN LAMONT GOURDINE, 28, from Pembroke, Georgia, KEITH DENARD FIELDS, 26, from Pembroke, Georgia and LYMAN FIELDS, JR., 25, from Pembroke, Georgia, were sentenced yesterday by U.S. District Judge B. Avant Edenfield to lengthy prison sentences for their roles in a drug trafficking conspiracy operating out of Statesboro, Georgia and elsewhere. On May 27 th of this year, LOUIS RASHARD GRACE, 21, of Register, Georgia was also sentenced for his role in the conspiracy.

The case against Simmons and his coconspirators was prosecuted as part of the Organized Crime Drug Enforcement Task Force (OCDETF) initiative which targets the most significant drug trafficking organizations in the Southern District of Georgia. The evidence showed that the drug organization was headed by Simmons and Gourdine. Simmons was mainly responsible for acquiring cocaine and marijuana from sources in Atlanta and Texas, while Gourdine primarily arranged the distribution of the drugs in and around Statesboro. The Drug Enforcement Administration estimates that the organization was responsible for the distribution of at least 16 kilograms of cocaine between October 2007 and October 2009, along with about 150 pounds of marijuana.

The indictment followed a joint investigation by the United States Drug Enforcement Administration, the Statesboro Police Department, the Bulloch County Sheriff’s Department, and the Georgia Bureau of Investigation. The investigation featured numerous investigative techniques, including a wiretap of Gourdine’s cellular phone, controlled drug purchases, physical surveillance, and the use of confidential informants and cooperating defendants. Several warrants were executed and traffic stops were conducted based on information developed during the investigation.

United States Attorney Edward J. Tarver stated, “The Organized Crime Drug Enforcement Task Force program is specifically designed to encourage cooperation between federal, state and local agencies. Cooperation is an essential component of efforts by law enforcement to dismantle large-scale drug organizations that seek to operate in smaller rural communities in an attempt to avoid detection. I commend the agents and officers who made this prosecution successful.”

Sentences imposed against the following defendants by Judge Edenfield included:

ELIJAH NAHUM SIMMONS - 240 months in prison;

KEVIN LAMONT GOURDINE - 225 months in prison;

KEITH DENARD FIELDS- 78 months in prison;

LYMAN FIELDS, JR. - 45 months in prison;

LOUIS RASHARD GRACE - 18 months in prison.

Assistant United States Attorney Karl Knoche prosecuted the case for the United States. For additional information, please contact First Assistant United States Attorney James D. Durham at (912) 201-2547.

Rodney G. Benson, Special Agent in Charge of the DEA Atlanta Field Division encourages parents, along with their children, to educate themselves about the dangers of legal and illegal drugs by visiting DEA’s interactive websites at www.justhinktwice.com, www.GetSmartAboutDrugs.com and www.dea.gov.

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