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Press Release

Co-Defendants Plead Guilty to Conspiracy Charges Related to 10-Kilo Meth Bust in Lee County, Georgia

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

ALBANY, Ga. –  Three individuals involved in an illegal drug ring responsible for distributing approximately ten kilograms of methamphetamine in Southwest Georgia entered guilty pleas in federal court today.

Matthew Bridges, 29, of Albany, pleaded guilty to conspiracy to possess with intent to distribute controlled substances; Terrance Battle, 41, of Albany, pleaded guilty to conspiracy to possess with intent to distribute controlled substances; and Quannesha Gatling, of Albany, pleaded guilty to conspiracy to possess with intent to distribute controlled substances, possession of methamphetamine with intent to distribute and possession of marijuana with intent to distribute. If convicted, each faces a maximum of life imprisonment and a $10,000,000 fine. The pleas were entered today before U.S. District Judge Leslie Gardner. Sentencings have not yet been scheduled.

“Strong work by GBI and Lee County Sheriff’s Office investigators prevented a significant amount of methamphetamine from entering the Southwest Georgia community,” said U.S. Attorney Peter D. Leary. “The U.S. Attorney’s Office is using every prosecutorial tool at our disposal to reduce criminal activity across the District and make our neighborhoods safer.”

“Drug trafficking at any level will not be tolerated in the state of Georgia. It is paramount that violators of drug laws be held accountable. The Georgia Bureau of Investigation is fully committed to working with our local and federal partners in drug enforcement to address these types of crimes,” said GBI Director Vic Reynolds.

“This case demonstrates for the citizens of Lee County and Southwest Georgia that law enforcement is working together to fight drug networks that are pushing the most addictive illegal substances into our communities. We will not tolerate this activity and we will hold them accountable for their crimes,” said Lee County Sheriff Reggie Rachals.

According to court documents, GBI agents debriefed a confidential informant (CI) in Aug. 2021 who advised that Bridges was selling illegal drugs in the Albany area. Between Aug. and Oct. 2021, investigators conducted several controlled buys of methamphetamine and heroin from Bridges and co-defendant Battle. On Oct. 30, Lee County Sheriff’s Office deputies, working with GBI agents, initiated a traffic stop of three vehicles, driven by the co-defendants, who were returning from the Atlanta area. Law enforcement located approximately ten kilograms of methamphetamine and approximately three pounds of marijuana in the vehicle operated by Gatling.

The case was investigated by GBI with assistance from the Lee County Sheriff’s Office and DEA. 

The case was prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Leah McEwen.

Updated August 5, 2022

Drug Trafficking