News and Press Releases

Last Of 48 Defendants Sentenced On Federal Charges Arising From Undercover Investigation

March 7, 2012

AUGUSTA, GA – Derek Darnell Thompson, 26, of Augusta, Georgia, was sentenced today by Judge J. Randal Hall to 4 ½ years in prison and 3 years of supervised release on his cocaine trafficking conviction. With the exception of three fugitive defendants, Thompson’s sentencing marked the end of Operation “Fox Hunt,” an undercover operation that netted the convictions of 48 defendants on firearm, drug and other federal crimes.

United States Attorney Edward J. Tarver stated, “The sentences imposed against the Operation Fox Hunt defendants are necessary, appropriate and severe. Those who illegally traffic in firearms and drugs in this district should and will be prosecuted.” Mr. Tarver commended the partnership between the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF) and the Richmond County Sheriff’s Office (RCSO) in investigating these offenses.

The RCSO and the ATF initiated Operation Fox Hunt in August of 2009. Undercover RCSO deputies posed as members of the Augusta community interested in purchasing guns and drugs from the criminal element. During the operation, undercover officers purchased or recovered over 192 firearms, including handguns, rifles, assault rifles and sawed-off shotguns; and, approximately $75,000 worth of illegal drugs, including marijuana, cocaine and ecstasy pills. Many of the individuals who sold firearms and drugs to the undercover agents were convicted felons. In addition, a number of the guns purchased by undercover agents were reported stolen.

48 defendants all pleaded guilty to firearm, drug or other federal crimes, receiving an average 5-year prison sentence without the possibility of parole. The longest sentence was just over 14 years imprisonment. The attached chart lists the sentences for all those convicted and the three defendants that remain fugitives.

Assistant United States Attorneys Nancy C. Greenwood and Lamont A. Belk prosecuted the federal cases for the United States. For additional information, please contact First Assistant United States Attorney James D. Durham at (912) 201-2547.



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