Five-Time Convicted Felon Sentenced to 25 Years in Prison for Armed Meth Trafficking
For Immediate Release
U.S. Attorney's Office, Middle District of Georgia
COLUMBUS, Ga. – A Columbus resident with a violent criminal history was sentenced to serve 25 years in prison after a federal jury convicted him on charges related to armed methamphetamine trafficking.
Karzarta Piett, 42, was sentenced to serve 300 months in prison to be followed by five years of supervised release by U.S. District Judge Clay Land on Sept. 5. Piett was convicted on Feb. 14 of possession of more than five grams of methamphetamine with intent to distribute and illegal possession of a firearm by a convicted felon following a two-day trial. Piett is not eligible for parole.
“Karzarta Piett is an armed repeat offender with a violent criminal past whose willful violation of the law has resulted in a significant federal prison sentence,” said U.S. Attorney Peter D. Leary. “Federal, state and local law enforcement are on the ground in Columbus and across the Middle District of Georgia working to remove the most dangerous individuals from the streets and help us hold them accountable for their crimes.”
“This meth dealer brazenly continued his drug trafficking activities despite being a five-time convicted felon,” said Robert J. Murphy, Special Agent in Charge of the DEA Atlanta Field Division. “His conviction removes yet another dangerous criminal from our streets and sends a clear message to others who may choose to follow the same perilous path that DEA and its law enforcement partners are relentless in their pursuit.”
“This case exemplifies our commitment to prevent drugs and criminal activity from poisoning our communities,” stated ATF Special Agent in Charge Beau Kolodka. “It also sends a clear message that we will relentlessly pursue and prosecute members of these drug enterprises.”
"This sentencing sends a clear message that we will not tolerate violent criminals and drug traffickers in our community,” said Columbus Police Chief Stoney Mathis. “The collaboration between federal, state and local law enforcement agencies, as exemplified in this case, demonstrates our commitment to reducing violent crime and keeping our neighborhoods safe. We thank the dedicated officers and agents who worked tirelessly to bring this individual to justice.”
According to court documents and evidence presented at trial, Piett was pulled over by Columbus Police Department (CPD) officers for multiple traffic violations on Jan. 7, 2021. Piett was driving with a suspended license. Officers requested a K-9 unit after they noticed drug residue in the car, and a drug detection canine alerted to the presence of narcotics. A search of the defendant’s vehicle based on probable cause recovered two ounces of methamphetamine, a loaded pistol, a digital scale, plastic bags and approximately $1500 cash in the center console, plus more than $2,000 cash in Piett’s pocket. A check of the defendant’s criminal background revealed a lengthy criminal history spanning 20 years, with five prior felony convictions including two separate convictions for aggravated assault and convictions for kidnapping, false imprisonment, robbery, terroristic threats and multiple drug distribution charges.
Following Piett’s sentencing, he will be transferred to the Middle District of Alabama, where he is currently under indictment for conspiracy to distribute more than 50 grams of methamphetamine. An indictment is merely an allegation of criminal conduct and all defendants are presumed innocent until proven guilty beyond a reasonable doubt in a court of law.
This case is being prosecuted as part of the joint federal, state and local Project Safe Neighborhoods (PSN) Program, 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.
The case was investigated by DEA, ATF and the Columbus Police Department.
Assistant U.S. Attorney Crawford Seals prosecuted this case for the Government.
Updated September 8, 2023
Project Safe Neighborhoods