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Justice News

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

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Friday, November 4, 2022

Convicted Leader of Meth, Fentanyl Trafficking Network Sentenced to Prison

Network Pushed 150+ Kilos of Meth, 1,000’s of Fentanyl Doses and Other Drugs into SWGA

ALBANY, Ga. – A documented member of a criminal street gang organization who led a drug distribution network responsible for trafficking more than 150 kilograms of methamphetamine, fentanyl, heroin and other illegal drugs into Southwest Georgia was sentenced to federal prison today for his crimes.

Jamie Lorell Keith aka JGottiDaBoss aka Cocho, 41, of Albany, was sentenced to serve 420 months in prison to be followed by five years of supervised release after he was convicted on June 27 of conspiracy to possess with intent to distribute controlled substances and possession with intent to distribute methamphetamine following a week-long jury trial before U.S. District Judge Leslie Abrams Gardner. There is no parole in the federal system.

A co-defendant, Artarious Davis aka Showboat aka Boat, 41, of Albany, was convicted of possession with intent to distribute methamphetamine and possession with intent to distribute fentanyl during the same trial and faces a maximum of life imprisonment. His sentencing is scheduled for Dec. 15.

“This case is a significant victory for the overall safety of our region,” said U.S. Attorney Peter D. Leary. “Thanks to the efforts of the Organized Crime Drug Enforcement Task Force and our federal prosecution team, a dangerous criminal network pushing large volumes of the deadliest controlled substances into Southwest Georgia has been stopped.”

“These criminals once profited by spreading this insidious poison throughout a number of communities in Southwest Georgia, but the DEA and our law enforcement partners are in the business of protecting lives and serving those communities,” said Robert J. Murphy, the Special Agent in Charge of the DEA Atlanta Field Division. “Justice was served thanks to strong and strategic partnerships between the DEA and its local law enforcement counterparts.”

“This case demonstrates the commitment of law enforcement agencies at every level to end an epidemic in our society that is killing our citizens,” said Keri Farley, Special Agent in Charge of FBI Atlanta. “The FBI will continue to work diligently along our partners in the Organized Crime Drug Enforcement Task Force to investigate and dismantle drug trafficking organizations.”

“These convictions illustrate that drug trafficking will not be tolerated in Georgia. The GBI is committed to investigating and dismantling large scale drug trafficking organizations such as this one operating in Southwest Georgia, in coordination with our local and federal partners,” said GBI Director Michael Register.

“The Albany Police Department will continue working with our local, state and federal law enforcement partners to combat drug trafficking and its associated crimes in Albany, Dougherty County and Southwest Georgia. This sentencing warns those seeking fortune from this illicit trade that ill-gotten gains lead to harsh consequences,” said Albany Police Department Chief Michael Persley.

“The Lee County Sheriff’s Office is working with all of our law enforcement partners at every level to combat criminal activity in our community and ultimately put a dent in crime,” said Lee County Sheriff Reggie Rachals.

“The Worth County Sheriff’s Office has and will continue to work diligently with local, state and federal law enforcement and community partners across the area to find, investigate and prosecute criminals trafficking drugs in Worth County and the Southwest Georgia area,” said Worth County Sheriff Don Whitaker. “Drugs are a multibillion-dollar criminal enterprise that targets our vulnerable populations, our neighbors and even our family members. Because of this, we can’t slow down, we must aggressively pursue this criminal element. We have found that by taking down these drug distributors, it also helps in the reduction of other crimes. With this in mind, we welcome a partnership with all agencies to fight this problem and make our communities safer.”

According to court documents and evidence presented at trial, Keith and Davis were criminally involved in a large drug trafficking network responsible for distributing more than 150 kilograms of methamphetamine, more than 2000 fentanyl tablets pressed to resemble Percocet, more than one kilogram of heroin, more than five kilograms of cocaine and other drugs in the metro Albany area in 2019. Trial testimony revealed that now-deceased co-defendant Demarcus Cook, of Sylvester, Georgia, was a documented member of the Piru set of the Bloods criminal street gang organization. Keith, a member of a rival organization and the leader of this drug trafficking organization, bonded Cook—who was ill—out of jail in exchange for access to Cook’s drug sources of supply and customers. Using Cook’s sources and Keith’s cash and distribution network, the two began delivering large quantities of drugs to Albany and Sylvester to be sold at locations including 122 Moultrie Road and 610 Johnson Road in Albany and 214 Albany Avenue in Sylvester. Cook has since died of cancer. Keith was the manager of the drug network. Davis protected the drug loads on behalf of the organization and served a subsidiary customer base of drug users and redistributors in the Albany area.

The other 29 defendants federally prosecuted as part of this investigation have pleaded guilty for their crimes.

This effort is part of an Organized Crime Drug Enforcement Task Force (OCDETF) operation. OCDETF identifies, disrupts and dismantles the highest-level criminal organizations that threaten the United States using a prosecutor-led, intelligence-driven multi-agency approach. Additional information about the OCDETF Program can be found at https://www.justice.gov/OCDETF. The case was investigated by FBI, DEA, GBI, the Albany Police Department, Lee County Sheriff’s Office and Worth County Sheriff’s Office. Assistant U.S. Attorney Leah McEwen prosecuted the case.

Updated November 4, 2022