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Justice News

Department of Justice
U.S. Attorney’s Office
Middle District of Georgia

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Thursday, January 30, 2020

Captured: Final Wanted "Operation Benchwarmers" Defendant Taken Into Custody In Texas

Macon, Ga. — The final defendant wanted in “Operation Benchwarmers” was taken into custody by FBI agents in Dallas, Texas on Wednesday afternoon, announced Charles “Charlie” Peeler, the U.S. Attorney for the Middle District of Georgia. Andrew Bravo Jimenez, aka “Droopy,” 25, of Athens and Texas, was captured by FBI-Dallas agents, with assistance from FBI-Atlanta. Jimenez is charged with one count conspiracy to possess with intent to distribute methamphetamine, heroin and crack cocaine, which carries a maximum life prison sentence, along with one count possession with intent to distribute heroin. Federal indictments were unsealed last week in “Operation Benchwarmers,” charging 17 defendants wanted on federal gun and drug charges. More than 300 law enforcement members from 24 agencies and task forces participated in “Operation Benchwarmers” on Tuesday, January 21, 2020 in the Athens-Clarke County region, arresting 16 charged defendants that day. According to the Athens-Clarke County Police Department (ACCPD), “Operation Benchwarmers” is the largest law enforcement operation in the department’s history, netting an estimated street value of $955,986 in illegal narcotics, including heroin and methamphetamine, along with 43 firearms and assault rifles, plus $84,013 in cash.

“I want to commend the dedication of the FBI in pursuing and capturing this wanted defendant, found hundreds of miles away attempting to evade arrest,” said U.S. Attorney Charlie Peeler. “All 17 defendants charged in ‘Operation Benchwarmers’ have now been taken into custody, thanks to the excellent work of two dozen law enforcement agencies and more than 300 people. This operation was a success because of their relentless commitment to keeping Georgia communities safe.”

“We would like to thank our FBI Dallas field office for their assistance in making this final arrest in ‘Operation Benchwarmers,’” said Chris Hacker, Special Agent in Charge of FBI Atlanta. “They are one of two dozen federal, state and local law enforcement agencies, integral in our effort to protect the law abiding citizens in the Athens area, making those citizens’ communities safer today.”

“The capture of the final defendant in this case brings closure, not only for the dedicated men and women of law enforcement who worked tirelessly to make this investigation a success, but also for the citizens of Athens, Georgia who deserve a safe community free from dangerous and deadly substances that wreak havoc on society,” said Robert J. Murphy, the Special Agent in Charge of the DEA Atlanta Field Division.

“ACCPD is pleased to learn that the final violent felon in this operation is off the streets and will be brought back to Georgia to face charges,” said ACCPD Chief Cleveland Spruill. “It further illustrates that local, state, and federal agencies can and will work together to bring violent criminals to justice.”

The investigation was conducted by the FBI Middle Georgia Safe Streets Gang Task Force, the Northeast Georgia Regional Drug Task Force, the Athens-Clarke County Police Department (ACCPD), the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) and the United States Attorney’s Office for the Middle District of Georgia, with the assistance of the following agencies:

  • Athens-Clarke Fire Department
  • Banks County Sheriff’s Office
  • Clarke County Sheriff’s Office
  • DeKalb County Police Department
  • FBI
  • FBI-Dallas
  • Georgia Bureau of Investigation
  • Georgia Department of Community Supervision
  • Georgia Department of Corrections
  • Georgia State Patrol
  • Greene County Sheriff’s Office
  • Gwinnett County Police Department
  • Homeland Security Investigations  
  • Madison County Sheriff’s Office
  • Oconee County Sheriff’s Office
  • City of Statham Police Department
  • United States Marshals Service
  • United States Probation Office
  • Walton County Sheriff’s Office

Federal indictments charging 17 individuals have been unsealed. An indictment is only an allegation of criminal conduct, and all of the defendants are presumed innocent until and unless proven guilty in a court of law beyond a reasonable doubt. The following individuals are charged and have been taken into custody, unless otherwise noted:

The following 16 subjects are charged with conspiracy to possess with intent to distribute methamphetamine, heroin and crack cocaine. The penalty is a mandatory minimum ten years in prison up to a maximum life term in prison, a $10 million dollar fine and five years supervised release:

Rickshun Willigham, aka “Teddy,” 32, of Athens

Jaquavious T. Turner, aka “Take One”

Jamian Huff, aka “Dunk,” 34, of Athens

Andrew Bravo Jimenez, aka “Droopy”

Manuel Gonzalez Romero, of Athens and Mexico

Steven Ricole Scott, aka “Black,” aka “Unc,” 43, of Athens

Antonio M. Mitchell, aka “Tonio,” 30, of Athens

Marques Ward, aka “YG,” 31, of Athens

Ttajia Forney, 19, of Athens

Christopher Sanders, aka “Chris,” 33, of Athens

Bernard Barnett, aka “Nard,” 22, of Athens

Maquila Jones, aka “Qui,” 20, of Athens

Nicholas Jackson, aka “Nick Bean,” 26, of Athens

Terrell Bush, aka “T-Rock,” 45, of Athens

Shaddrick Cox, aka “Shad,” 24, of Athens

Robert Bolton, Jr., aka “Rob,” 31, of Athens

The following ten subjects are charged with distribution of cocaine base/crack cocaine. The penalties range from a maximum 20 years in prison to a maximum 40 years in prison: 

Rickshun Willigham, aka “Teddy,” 32, of Athens (15 counts)

Jaquavious T. Turner, aka “Take One” (9 counts)

Jamian Huff, aka “Dunk,” 34, of Athens

Bernard Barnett, aka “Nard,” 22, of Athens (2 counts)

Shaddrick Cox, aka “Shad,” 24, of Athens

Steven Ricole Scott, aka “Black,” aka “Unc,” 43, of Athens (3 counts)

Christopher Sanders, aka “Chris,” 33, of Athens

Robert Bolton, Jr., aka “Rob,” 31, of Athens

Antonio M. Mitchell, aka “Tonio,” 30, of Athens

Maquila Jones, aka “Qui,” 20, of Athens

The following eight subjects are charged with possession of a firearm in furtherance of a drug trafficking crime. The penalty is a mandatory minimum five years in prison up to a maximum life term in prison: 

Rickshun Willigham, aka “Teddy,” 32, of Athens (12 counts)

Jaquavious T. Turner, aka “Take One” (7 counts)

Bernard Barnett, aka “Nard,” 22, of Athens (3 counts)

Christopher Sanders, aka “Chris,” 33, of Athens

Antonio M. Mitchell, aka “Tonio,” 30, of Athens

Marques Ward, aka “YG,” 31, of Athens

Ttajia Forney, 19, of Athens

Shaddrick Cox, aka “Shad,” 24, of Athens 

The following three subjects are charged with distribution of heroin. The penalty is a maximum 20 years in prison: 

Rickshun Willigham, aka “Teddy,” 32, of Athens (5 counts)

Jaquavious T. Turner, aka “Take One” (3 counts)

Bernard Barnett, aka “Nard,” 22, of Athens (2 counts)

The following six subjects are charged with possession with intent to distribute heroin. The penalties range from a maximum 20 years in prison to a maximum 40 years in prison:

Marques Ward, aka “YG,” 31, of Athens

Ttajia Forney, 19, of Athens

Terrell Bush, aka “T-Rock,” 45, of Athens

Nicholas Jackson, aka “Nick Bean,” 26, of Athens 

Manuel Gonzalez Romero, of Athens and Mexico 

Andrew Bravo Jimenez, aka “Droopy”

The following two subjects are charged with distribution of methamphetamine. The penalty is a maximum 20 years in prison: 

Rickshun Willigham, aka “Teddy,” 32, of Athens

Bernard Barnett, aka “Nard,” 22, of Athens

The following two subjects are charged with possession with intent to distribute methamphetamine. The penalty is a maximum 20 years in prison: 

Marques Ward, aka “YG,” 31, of Athens

Ttajia Forney, 19, of Athens 

The following subject is charged with possession of a firearm by a convicted felon. The penalty is a maximum ten years in prison:

Armand Payne, 39, of Athens

The following subjects were taken into custody during “Operation Benchwarmers” on state charges:

Luis Besave-Lagunas (Charged in Madison County with Trafficking Heroin, Trafficking Methamphetamine and Possession of a Firearm during the Commission of a Felony)

Zenon Carrera-Ferrer (Charged in Athens-Clarke County with Trafficking Methamphetamine, Trafficking Heroin and Possession of Cocaine)

Dwight Moreland (Probation Violation)

Andreas Lane (Charged in Madison County with Possession with Intent to Distribute Heroin, Possession of a Firearm by a Convicted Felon and Probation Violation)

Adian Mapp (Charged in Madison County with Possession with Intent to Distribute Heroin and Possession of a Firearm by a Convicted Felon)

Leonard Jackson (Charged in Athens-Clarke County with Possession of a Firearm by a Convicted Felon)

The following firearms, cash and illegal drugs were seized: 

  • 43 firearms seized (including 8 assault rifles)
  • $84,013 U.S. Currency seized
  • 8.34 kilograms of heroin (Street Value: $667,200)
  • 4.3 pounds of crystal methamphetamine (Street Value: $195,400)
  • 26.1 ounces of crack cocaine (Street Value: $78,200)
  • 2.4 pounds of marijuana (Street Value: $4,376)
  • 3.31 ounces of power cocaine (Street Value: $9,400)
  • 94 controlled pharmaceuticals (Street Value: $940)
  • 40 grams of oxycodone (Street Value: $470)
     

The investigation was conducted as part of Project Safe Neighborhoods (PSN), the centerpiece of the Department of Justice’s violent crime reduction efforts. PSN is an evidence-based program proven to be effective at reducing violent crime. Through PSN, a broad spectrum of stakeholders work together to identify the most pressing violent crime problems in the community and develop comprehensive solutions to address them. As part of this strategy, PSN focuses enforcement efforts on the most violent offenders and partners with locally based prevention and reentry programs for lasting reductions in crime.

This case is also part of Project Guardian, the Department of Justice’s signature initiative to reduce gun violence and enforce federal firearms laws. Initiated by the Attorney General in the fall of 2019, Project Guardian draws upon the Department’s past successful programs to reduce gun violence; enhances coordination of federal, state, local, and tribal authorities in investigating and prosecuting gun crimes; improves information-sharing by the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives when a prohibited individual attempts to purchase a firearm and is denied by the National Instant Criminal Background Check System (NICS), to include taking appropriate actions when a prospective purchaser is denied by the NICS for mental health reasons; and ensures that federal resources are directed at the criminals posing the greatest threat to our communities. For more information about Project Guardian, please see https://www.justice.gov/projectguardian.

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.

Topic(s): 
Project Guardian
Project Safe Neighborhoods
Component(s): 
Updated January 30, 2020