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Justice News

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

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Friday, June 15, 2018

Federal Grand Jury Returns Indictments Against 30 Individuals

MACON: Charles E. Peeler, United States Attorney for the Middle District of Georgia, announces that a Grand Jury, sitting in Macon Georgia, has returned indictments against 30 individuals. An indictment is only an allegation of criminal conduct. All of the defendants are presumed innocent until and unless proven guilty in a court of law beyond a reasonable doubt.  “I want to thank our Federal, State and local law enforcement partners for their hard work bringing these cases before the Federal Grand Jury,” said United States Attorney Peeler. 

Indictment #1: 

KENNETH JAMES, age 50, of Phenix City, Alabama, is charged with Possession of Cocaine with Intent to Distribute and faces a maximum sentence of Life in Prison, a $10 million fine, or both, if convicted.

The case was investigated by the Columbus Police Department and the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration and is being prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Melvin E. Hyde, Jr.

Indictment #2:

CRYSTAL AVERY, age 36, of Lithia Springs, Georgia, is charged with Possession with Intent to Distribute Methamphetamine (Count 1), Possession with Intent to Distribute MDMA (Count 2) and Possession with Intent to Distribute Marijuana (Count 3). If convicted, Ms. Avery faces a maximum sentence of life in prison, a $10 million fine, or both as to Count 1; a maximum sentence of twenty (20) years imprisonment, a $1 million fine, or both as to Count 2; and a maximum sentence of five (5) years imprisonment and a $250,000 fine as to Count 3. 

TIMOTHY BAILEY, age 30, of Lawrenceville, Georgia, was indicted for Possession with Intent to Distribute Methamphetamine (Count 1), Possession with Intent to Distribute MDMA (Count 2) and Possession with Intent to Distribute Marijuana (Count 3). If convicted, Mr. Bailey faces a maximum sentence of life in prison, a $10 million fine, or both as to Count 1; a maximum sentence of twenty (20) years imprisonment and a $1 million fine, or both as to Count 2; and a maximum sentence of five (5) years imprisonment and a $250,000 fine as to Count 3.

The case was investigated by the Calhoun County Sheriff’s Department, the Georgia Department of Corrections and the Drug Enforcement Administration and is being prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Leah E. McEwen.

Indictment #3: 

CINDY ANN BLEDSOE, age 30, of Daytona, Florida, is charged with one (1) count of Possession with Intent to Distribute Methamphetamine. If convicted, Ms. Bledsoe faces a maximum sentence of forty (40) years in prison, a $5,000,000.00 fine, or both. 

The case was investigated by the Lowndes County Sheriff’s Office and the Drug Enforcement Administration and is being prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Sonja B. Profit.

Indictment #4:

JACOB M. WALKER, age 31, of Jacksonville, Florida, ANDREW B. O’HAIRE, aged 37, of Quitman, Georgia, and GEORGE T. WALKER, aged 55, of Hahira, Georgia, are each  charged with Conspiracy to Possess with Intent to Distribute Marijuana and each faces a maximum sentence of five (5) years in prison, a $250,000 fine, or both, if convicted.

The case was investigated by the Drug Enforcement Administration in Amarillo, Texas and Valdosta, Georgia; the Lowndes County Sheriff Office, the Brooks County Sheriff Office and the Georgia State Patrol and is being prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Sonja B. Profit.

Indictment #5

PATRICK O’NEAL KENNEDY, age 42, of Athens, Georgia, is charged with two (2) counts of Distribution of Crack Cocaine.  If convicted, Mr. Kennedy faces a maximum sentence of twenty (20) years in prison, a $1,000,000.00 fine, or both, on each count. 

The case was investigated by the Federal Bureau of Investigation and the Athens-Clarke County Police Department and is being prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Peter D. Leary.

Indictment #6

LUIS A. MELLADO-SANCHEZ, age 19, of San Juan, Puerto Rico, is charged with one (1) count of Bank Robbery. If convicted, Mr. Mellado-Sanchez faces a maximum sentence of twenty  (20) years in prison, a $250,000 fine, or both, on each count. 

The case was investigated by the Albany Police Department, Camilla Police Department, Mitchell County Sheriff’s Office and Federal Bureau of Investigation and is being prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Leah E. McEwen.

In addition, to the above indictments, 10 individuals were indicted for firearms offenses. All of these cases were brought as part of Project Safe Neighborhoods (PSN), a program that has been historically successful in bringing together all levels of law enforcement to reduce violent crime and make our neighborhoods safer for everyone. Attorney General Jeff Sessions has made turning the tide of rising violent crime in America a top priority. In October, 2017, as part of a series of actions to address this crime trend, Attorney General Sessions announced the reinvigoration of PSN and directed all U.S. Attorney’s Offices to develop a district crime reduction strategy that incorporates the lessons learned since PSN launched in 2001.

Those charged for firearms offenses are:

 1. VICTOR OMAR BYRON, age 33, of Milledgeville, Georgia, is charged with Possession of Cocaine (Count 1), Possession of Marijuana with Intent to Distribute (Count 2), Felon in Possession of a Firearm (Count 3), and Possessing a Firearm in Furtherance of a Drug Trafficking Crime (Count 4) and faces a maximum sentence of one (1) year in prison, a $100,000 fine, or both, on Count 1; five (5) years in prison, a $250,000 fine, or both, on Count 2; ten (10) years in prison, a $250,000 fine, or both, on Count 3; and life imprisonment, a $250,000 fine, or both, on Count 4, if convicted.

The case was investigated by the Georgia State Patrol, the Baldwin County Sheriff’s Office, the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration and the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives and is being prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Kimberly S. Easterling.

 2. FRANKIE JACKSON, age 28, of Warner Robins, Georgia, is charged with Possession of Alprazolam (Count 1), Possession of Marijuana with Intent to Distribute (Count 2), Illegal Receipt of a Firearm by Someone Under Indictment (Count 3) and Possessing a Firearm in Furtherance of a Drug Trafficking Crime (Count 4). If convicted, Mr. Jackson faces a maximum sentence of one (1) year in prison, a $100,000 fine, or both, on Count 1; five (5) years in prison, a $250,000 fine, or both, on Count 2; five (5) years in prison, a $250,000 fine, or both, on Count 3; and life imprisonment, a $250,000 fine, or both, on Count 4. 

The case was investigated by the Warner Robins Police Department and the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives and is being prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Kimberly S. Easterling.

 3. MARCUS MARSHALL, age 34, of Columbus, Georgia, is charged with Possession of Cocaine with Intent to Distribute (Count 1) and Possession of a Firearm by a Convicted Felon (Count 2).  If convicted, Mr. Marshall faces a maximum sentence of Life in Prison, a $10 million fine, or both, on Count 1 and ten (10) years in prison, a $250,000 fine, or both, on Count 2.

The case was investigated by the Columbus Police Department and the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration and is being prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Melvin E. Hyde, Jr.

 4. CORNELIUS HIXSON, age 22, of Columbus, Georgia, is charged with one (1) count of Possession of a Firearm by a Convicted Felon. If convicted, Mr. Hixson faces a maximum sentence of ten (10) years in prison, a $250,000.00 fine, or both, on each count.  

The case was investigated by the Columbus Police Department and the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF) and is being prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Crawford Seals.

 5. TELSAVOY MADDOX, age 37, of Columbus, Georgia, is charged with one (1) count of Possession of a Firearm by a Convicted Felon. If convicted, Mr. Maddox faces a maximum sentence of ten (10) years in prison, a $250,000.00 fine, or both, on each count.  

The case was investigated by the Columbus Police Department and the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF) and is being prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Melvin E. Hyde, Jr.

 6. DENZELL OMAR DAVIS, age 25, of Athens, Georgia, is charged with one (1) count of Possession of a Firearm by a Convicted Felon. If convicted, Mr. Davis faces a maximum sentence of ten (10) years in prison, a $250,000.00 fine, or both.

The case was investigated by the Athens-Clarke County Police Department and is being prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Peter D. Leary.

 7. CHRISTOPHER G. SWINSON, age 33, of Valdosta, Georgia is charged with Conspiracy to Possess with Intent to Distribute Marijuana (Count 1) and Possession of a Firearm in Furtherance of a Drug Trafficking Crime (Count 2). If convicted, Mr. Swinson faces a maximum sentence of five (5) years in prison, a $250,000 fine, or both on Count 1; and a mandatory minimum sentence of five (5) years in prison, and a maximum sentence of 40 years, and a $250,000 fine, or both on Count 2.

 8. KENTAVIOUS DEVOM BURGESS, age 23, of Athens, Georgia, is charged with two (2) counts of Distribution of Cocaine Base and one (1) count of Carrying a Firearm During and in Relation to a Drug Trafficking Offense.  If convicted of Distribution of Crack Cocaine, Mr. Burgess faces a maximum sentence of twenty (20) years in prison, a $1,000,000.00 fine, or both, on each count. If convicted of Carrying a Firearm During and in Relation to a Drug Trafficking Offense, Mr. Burgess faces a maximum sentence of life in prison, a $250,000.00 fine, or both, on each count.

The case was investigated by the Federal Bureau of Investigation and the Athens-Clarke County Police Department and is being prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Peter D. Leary.

 9. TYLER COWAN, age 28, of Athens, Georgia, is charged with one (1) count of Possession of  Firearm by a Convicted Felon.  If convicted Mr. Cowan faces a maximum sentence of ten (10) years in prison, a $250,00.00 fine, or both.

The case was investigated by the Federal Bureau of Investigation and the Athens-Clarke County Police Department and is being prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Peter D. Leary.

 10. JAMARCUS HUFF, age 29, of Athens, Georgia, is charged with one (1) count of Possession with Intent to Distribute Crack Cocaine, one (1) count of Possession of a Firearm by a Convicted Felon, one (1) count of Possession of a Firearm in Furtherance of Drug Trafficking, and one (1) count of Possession of Marijuana.  If convicted of Possession with Intent to Distribute Crack Cocaine, Mr. Huff faces a maximum sentence of twenty (20) years in prison, a $1,000,000.00 fine, or both.  If convicted of Possession of a Firearm by a Convicted Felon, Mr. Huff faces a maximum sentence of ten (10) years in prison, a $250,000.00 fine, or both.  If convicted of Possession of a Firearm in Furtherance of Drug Trafficking, Mr. Huff faces a maximum sentence of life in prison, a $250,000.00 fine, or both, to be served consecutively to any other term of imprisonment imposed in this case.  If convicted of Possession of Marijuana, Mr. Huff faces a maximum sentence of one (1) year in prison, a $100,000.00 fine, or both. 

The case was investigated by the Northeast Georgia Regional Drug Task Force and the Athens-Clarke County Police Department and is being prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Peter D. Leary.

            Finally, eleven individuals were indicted for Illegal Reentry and are subject to deportation proceedings following their sentences, if convicted. Those indicted were:

 1. RICARDO TELLO-MARTINEZ, age 39, a citizen of Mexico, was indicted for Illegal Re-entry for re-entering the United States, after deportation on November 11, 2011, without obtaining prior authorization from the Attorney General of the United States or the Secretary for Homeland Security to return.  Mr. Tello-Martinez was found in Athens-Clarke County, GA on April 15, 2018.  If convicted, Mr. Tello-Martinez faces a maximum sentence of two (2) years in prison, a $ 250,000.00 fine, or both. 

The case was investigated by the Department of Homeland Security, Immigration and Customs Enforcement and is being prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Tamara Jarrett.

 2. LUIS FELIPE CERVANTES-MONDRAGO, age 24, a citizen of Mexico, was indicted for Illegal Re-entry for re-entering the United States, after deportation on December 13, 2011 and December 4, 2014, without obtaining prior authorization from the Attorney General of the United States or the Secretary for Homeland Security to return. Mr. Cervantes-Mondragon was found in Morgan County, GA on March 28, 2018. If convicted, Mr.  Cervantes-Mondrago faces a maximum sentence of two (2) years in prison, a $250,000.00 fine, or both, on each count. 

The case was investigated by the Department of Homeland Security, Immigration and Customs Enforcement and is being prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Kimberly S. Easterling.

 3. JUAN FABILA-GARIBAY, age 46, a citizen of Mexico was indicted for Illegal Re-entry for re-entering the United States, after deportation on April 10, 1998 and October 26, 2017, without obtaining prior authorization from the Attorney General of the United States or the Secretary for Homeland Security to return. Mr. Fabila-Garibay was found in Irwin County, GA on April 11, 2018. If convicted, Mr.Fabila-Garibay faces a maximum sentence of ten (10) years in prison, a $250,000.00 fine, or both, on each count. 

The case was investigated by the Department of Homeland Security, Immigration and Customs Enforcement and is being prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Sonja B. Profit.

 4. MANUAL HERNANDEZ-OLEA, age 44, a citizen of Mexico, was indicted for Illegal Re-entry for re-entering the United States, after deportation on January 5, 2012, without obtaining prior authorization from the Attorney General of the United States or the Secretary for Homeland Security to return. Mr. Hernandez-Olea was found in Oconee County, GA on May 4, 2016. If convicted, Mr. Hernandez-Olea faces a maximum sentence of two (2) years in prison, a $250,000.00 fine, or both, on each count.  

The case was investigated by the Department of Homeland Security, Immigration and Customs Enforcement and is being prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Kimberly S. Easterling.

 5. JONATHAN HANSEL MELENDEZ-SANTOS, age 37, a citizen of Guatemala was indicted for Illegal Re-entry for re-entering the United States, after deportation on March 31, 2011 and December 4, 2014 without obtaining prior authorization from the Attorney General of the United States or the Secretary for Homeland Security to return.  Mr. Melendez-Santos was found in Thomas County, GA on April 29, 2018.  If convicted, Mr. Melendez-Santos faces a maximum sentence of two (2) years in prison, a $250,000.00 fine, or both, on each count.  

The case was investigated by the Department of Homeland Security, Immigration and Customs Enforcement and is being prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Julia Bowen.

 6. RAFAEL SANCHEZ-HERNANDEZ, age 26, a citizen of Mexico, was indicted for Illegal Re-entry for re-entering the United States, after deportation on January 5, 2012, without obtaining prior authorization from the Attorney General of the United States or the Secretary for Homeland Security to return. Mr. Sanchez-Hernandez was found in Grady County, GA on March 28, 2018. If convicted, Mr. Sanchez-Hernandez faces a maximum sentence of two (2) years in prison, a $250,000.00 fine, or both, on each count. 

The case was investigated by the Department of Homeland Security, Immigration and Customs Enforcement and is being prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Jim Crane.

 7. JOSE SERRANO-HERNANDEZ, age 35, a citizen of Mexico, was indicted for Illegal Re-entry for re-entering the United States, after deportation on January 22, 2009 and March 31, 2015, without obtaining prior authorization from the Attorney General of the United States or the Secretary for Homeland Security to return. Mr. Serrano-Hernandez was found in Athens-Clarke, County, GA on May 3, 2018. If convicted, Mr. Serrano-Hernandez faces a maximum sentence of two (2) years in prison, a $250,000.00 fine, or both, on each count.  

The case was investigated by the Department of Homeland Security, Immigration and Customs Enforcement and is being prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Kimberly Easterling.

 8. EDY EDWIN SOLIS-LOPEZ, age 37, a citizen of Guatemala, entered a plea of guilty on June 13, 2018. He is due to be sentenced on July 11, 2018.  The investigating agency was the Department of Homeland Security, Immigration and Customs Enforcement.  Assistant U.S. Attorney Peter D. Leary prosecuted the case for the United States.

 9. FRANCISCO BUESO, age 49, a citizen of Honduras, entered a plea of guilty on June 13, 2018. He is due to be sentenced on July 11, 2018.  The investigating agency was the Department of Homeland Security, Immigration and Customs Enforcement.  Assistant U.S. Attorney Peter D. Leary prosecuted the case for the United States.

 10. JUAN CHIVALAN, age 19, a citizen of Guatemala, entered a plea of guilty and was sentenced on June 13, 2018. The investigating agency was the Department of Homeland Security, Immigration and Customs Enforcement.  Assistant U.S. Attorney Peter D. Leary prosecuted the case for the United States.

 11. SABINO OSORIO, age 27, a citizen of Guatemala, entered a plea of guilty and was sentenced on June 13, 2018. The investigating agency was the Department of Homeland Security, Immigration and Customs Enforcement.  Assistant U.S. Attorney Peter D. Leary prosecuted the case for the United States.          

Questions concerning this release should be directed to Pamela Lightsey, Public Information Officer, United States Attorney’s Office, at (478) 621-2603.

                                                                       

Topic(s): 
Drug Trafficking
Firearms Offenses
Immigration
Violent Crime
Component(s): 
Updated June 15, 2018