Federal Jury Convicts Leader of Large Meth, Fentanyl Trafficking Network
Network Pushed 150+ Kilograms of Meth, Thousands of Doses of Fentanyl 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 and an associate were found guilty Monday evening on multiple drug charges by a federal jury following a week-long trial.
Jamie Keith aka JGottiDaBoss aka Cocho, 40, of Albany, was convicted of conspiracy to possess with intent to distribute controlled substances and possession with intent to distribute methamphetamine. 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. The verdict was reached following a trial that began on Tuesday, June 20 and ended on Monday, June 27 before U.S. District Judge Leslie Gardner. Keith and Davis each face a maximum term of life imprisonment. Sentencing has not been scheduled.
“The U.S. Attorney’s Office is committed to holding individuals caught trafficking large quantities of the deadliest narcotics accountable for crimes that damage the safety of our communities,” said U.S. Attorney Peter D. Leary. “The success in putting an end to this significant methamphetamine and fentanyl network that was pushing some of the most addictive illegal drugs into Southwest Georgia was achieved with the cooperation of federal, state and local law enforcement in a significant Organized Crime and Drug Enforcement Task Force operation.”
“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 Vic Reynolds.
“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 verdict 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 multi-billion-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, Albany; 214 Albany Avenue, Sylvester, and 610 Johnson Road, Albany. Cook has since died of cancer. Keith was the manager of the drug network; Davis’ primary roles were protecting the drug loads on behalf of the organization and serving 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.