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Press Release

Bench Trial Guilty Verdict in SWGA Meth Distribution Case

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

ALBANY, Ga. – A Moultrie, Georgia drug dealer repeatedly caught in possession of large quantities of methamphetamine with intent to distribute the drugs was found guilty of his crimes, said Charlie Peeler, the U.S. Attorney for the Middle District of Georgia. U.S. District Judge Louis Sands pronounced Samuel Howard, 26, of Moultrie, guilty of two counts of possession with intent to distribute methamphetamine. Howard choose a bench trial before Judge Sands, which was held on September 23-24, 2019. Judge Sands rendered his verdict late yesterday afternoon. Howard faces a mandatory minimum ten years in federal prison, up to a maximum life imprisonment. Howard’s sentencing has not been scheduled. There is no parole in the federal system.  

Howard was first arrested in possession of 82.5 grams of “ice” methamphetamine on October 11, 2016. According to facts presented at trial, a confidential source notified a Thomas County-Thomasville Narcotics agent that a man known as “Cruze” would be delivering a large quantity of methamphetamine to a person on North Church Street in Meigs, Georgia within the hour. Agents discovered Howard with the packaged methamphetamine, as well as a scale with methamphetamine residue, numerous empty plastic sandwich bags and $1,819.00 in cash. Howard was again arrested on April 26, 2018, this time with 225 grams of “ice” methamphetamine. A confidential source texted Howard to meet him at a McDonald’s restaurant in Adel, Georgia to purchase methamphetamine. Howard was taken into custody at that McDonald’s in possession of methamphetamine.

“This defendant acted brazenly, continuing to push more and more methamphetamine into our communities even after his first arrest. Criminal drug dealers face severe punishment in the federal system, including life without parole,” said U.S. Attorney Charlie Peeler. “I want to thank the DEA, the GBI and the Thomas County-Thomasville Narcotics Unit for their excellent work in this case.”

“The severe punishment this defendant will face correctly reflects the criminal activities he engaged in. He continuously poisoned the community with “Ice” methamphetamine despite having been arrested previously for “Ice” distribution. The guilty verdict removes yet another dangerous criminal from our streets and sends a clear message to others who may choose to distribute this insidious drug,” said Robert J. Murphy, the Special Agent in Charge of the DEA Atlanta Field Division. “DEA, its law enforcement partners and the United States Attorney’s Office will relentlessly pursue and ultimately prosecute criminals like Mr. Howard.”

This case was investigated by the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA), the Georgia Bureau of Investigation (GBI) and the Thomas County-Thomasville Narcotics Unit. Assistant U.S. Attorney Leah McEwen is prosecuting the case for the Government. Questions can be directed to Pamela Lightsey, Public Information Officer, United States Attorney’s Office, at (478) 621-2603 or Melissa Hodges, Public Affairs Director (Contractor), United States Attorney’s Office, at (478) 765-2362.

Updated July 2, 2020

Drug Trafficking