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Justice News

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

Tuesday, January 21, 2014

Middle Georgia Methamphetamine Organization Dismantled

Michael J. Moore, United States Attorney for the Middle District of Georgia, announced that a major methamphetamine organization has been dismantled. On January 16, 2014, Shawn Foster Phillips, age 35, of Bibb County, Marty Bass, age 51, of Bibb County, and Jonathan McBride, age 39, of Houston County, appeared in federal court and entered guilty pleas to conspiracy to possess with the intent to distribute methamphetamine. Travis Walker McElhenny, age 40, of Houston County, entered a plea of guilty to possession with the intent to distribute more than 50 grams of methamphetamine. John Rylander, age 32, of Houston County, entered a plea of guilty to possession of methamphetamine.  Chad Minter, age 39, of Houston County, appeared in court on January 21, 2014 and entered a plea of guilty to conspiracy to possess with the intent to distribute methamphetamine. The guilty pleas were entered before U.S. District Court Judge Marc T. Treadwell in Macon, Georgia.

The conspiracy charge carries a maximum statutory penalty of up to twenty (20) years confinement. The charge of possession with the intent to distribute methamphetamine carries a maximum penalty of a mandatory minimum of ten (10) years, up to life in prison. The possession charge carries a penalty of up to twelve (12) months incarceration.  The Court has scheduled sentencing for April 9, 2014 in Macon, Georgia.

As a part of their guilty pleas, the respective defendants admitted that between January 1, 2011 and December 31, 2012, Mr. Phillips traveled from Warner Robins, Georgia, to Atlanta, Georgia, to obtain methamphetamine from a source of supply. The drugs were transported by Mr. Phillips from Atlanta to Warner Robins where they were sold to Mr. Rylander, Mr. Bass, Mr. McBride, Mr. McElhenny, and others in the Warner Robins area. These men in turn sold the methamphetamine to street level dealers. Conservative estimates suggest that during its operation, the organization distributed more than 50 kilograms of methamphetamine. Federal and state authorities seized 250 grams of methamphetamine and three firearms. The Government anticipates that additional indictments will be filed targeting other members of the organization.

The case was investigated by the Federal Bureau of Investigation, U.S. Marshals Service, and Houston County Sheriff’s Department.  Assistant U.S. Attorney Charles L. Calhoun is prosecuting the case.

US Attorney Michael Moore stated, “My office will continue to target and dismantle these types of drug trafficking organizations. Methamphetamine use and distribution poses a significant threat to the public and must be vigorously prosecuted.”

For additional information please contact Pamela Lightsey, Public Information Officer, United States Attorney’s Office at (478) 621-2603.

Updated February 19, 2015