Skip to main content
Press Release

Athens, Georgia, Career Offender Sentenced to Prison for Federal Crimes

For Immediate Release
U.S. Attorney's Office, Middle District of Georgia

ATHENS, Ga. – A federal career offender with a lengthy criminal history in the Athens community to include multiple aggravated assault and controlled substance convictions was sentenced to serve 18 years in federal prison this week after he admitted to drug trafficking charges.

Wayne L. McKinley, 36, of Athens, was sentenced as a career offender to serve 220 months in prison to be followed by five years of supervised release after he pleaded guilty to one count of distribution of heroin and one count of distribution of cocaine before U.S. District Judge C. Ashley Royal on Sept. 18. McKinley is not eligible for parole.

“Federal prosecutors will not turn a blind eye to repeat criminal activity by violent offenders in Athens or elsewhere in the Middle District of Georgia,” said U.S. Attorney Peter D. Leary. “Our office will continue to collaborate with local law enforcement to hold repeat criminals accountable for their continued crimes.”

“Repeat offenders pose serious threats to public safety in our communities,” said Keri Farley, Special Agent in Charge of FBI Atlanta. “McKinley’s history of continued criminal activity demonstrates his lack of concern for the welfare of others and his disregard for the law.”

According to court documents, FBI confidential informants contacted McKinley to purchase heroin and cocaine from him in May 2016. The informants agreed to meet McKinley at an apartment complex on Fourth Street in Athens. Under surveillance, McKinley sold the illegal drugs to the informants, and was taken into custody.

McKinley has prior criminal convictions in the Athens-Clarke County community for aggravated assault, distribution of controlled substances, possession of a firearm during the commission of a felony, robbery by sudden snatching, terroristic threats and criminal trespassing.

This case was investigated by the FBI Middle Georgia Safe Streets Gang Task Force, the Northeast Georgia Regional Drug Task Force and the Athens-Clarke County Police Department. Assistant U.S. Attorney Mike Morrison prosecuted the case for the Government.

Updated September 20, 2023

Drug Trafficking
Violent Crime