DEC 20 (COLUMBUS, Ga.) - Michael J. Moore, United States Attorney for the Middle District of Georgia, announces that Keith B. Carver, 28, of Columbus, Georgia was sentenced on Thursday, December 19, 2013, to serve 228 months imprisonment for possession with intent to distribute methamphetamine and possession of a firearm in the furtherance of a drug trafficking crime. Toni McGriff, 30, of Columbus, Georgia, received a sentence of 46 months imprisonment for possession with intent to distribute methamphetamine in the same case. The sentences were handed down by the Honorable Clay D. Land, United States District Court Judge in Columbus, Georgia.
Both defendants entered pleas of guilty on August 13, 2013. In their plea agreements, the defendants admitted that on November 22, 2012, they were in an automobile accident in Harris County, Georgia and subsequently abandoned the vehicle. The responding deputy found drug paraphernalia (scales, plastic bags, and an amount of U.S. currency) inside the abandoned vehicle, later determined to be the property of Mr. Carver. Deputies later located Mr. Carver and Ms. McGriff entering a wooded area. A bag carried by Ms. McGriff contained 67 grams of methamphetamine. Another bag, being carried by Mr. Carver, contained a loaded Ruger .357 Magnum revolver.
"The difference in the sentences imposed on these two defendants is significantly influenced by the firearm carried by Mr. Carver. The message to drug dealers from this is clear: carrying a gun during a drug crime means doing significantly more prison time," said United States Attorney Michael J. Moore.
The case was investigated by the Harris County Georgia Sheriff's Office and the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA). The case was prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorney Mel Hyde.
Inquiries regarding the case should be directed to Pamela Lightsey, United States Attorney's Office at (478) 621-2603.
The DEA 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.justthinktwice.com, www.GetSmartAboutDrugs.com and www.dea.gov.