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Justice News

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

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Tuesday, August 4, 2015

Sandersville Drug Dealer Sentenced To 30 Years

Antonio Donyal Tarver, age 39, from Sandersville, Georgia, was sentenced to 30 years imprisonment August 3, 2015 by the Honorable Leslie J. Abrams in Macon, Georgia. Mr. Tarver was found guilty by a jury on April 8, 2015 of one count of possession with intent to distribute more than 28 grams of cocaine base (“crack”) and one count possession with intent to distribute cocaine.

The Government’s evidence at trial proved that on July 3, 2013, a Georgia State Patrol Trooper attempted to stop Mr. Tarver on Highway 24 in Eatonton, Georgia for speeding.  Instead of pulling over, Mr. Tarver led the Trooper on a chase.  Mr. Tarver eventually ran a red light and gained some distance on the Trooper.  Mr. Tarver then made an abrupt turn into the industrial area of Horton Components where he turned behind a van trailer and abandoned his vehicle.  When the Trooper turned the corner by the van trailer, he saw Mr. Tarver’s abandoned vehicle continue forward and crash into a pole.  The Trooper was able to locate Mr. Tarver following a foot chase.

A few hours later, an employee at Horton Components contacted the Putnam County Sheriff’s Office about a shopping bag he observed on the roof of the van trailer where Mr. Tarver had abandoned his vehicle.  The Putnam County Sheriff’s Office arrived and retrieved the bag, finding what was later confirmed to be 143.33 grams of cocaine base (“crack”) and 292.98 grams of cocaine.  The bags that the cocaine was packaged in were processed by the GBI for latent prints and a GBI latent print examiner confirmed that Mr. Tarver’s left ring finger and right thumb print were present on two of the bags.

At the time of this offense, Mr. Tarver was on supervised release following his 2006 plea to Distribution of Cocaine Base in the Middle District of Georgia. Mr. Tarver’s supervised release was revoked as a result of this conviction.

“With the sentencing of Mr. Tarver to federal prison, for the next 30 years there will be one less drug distributor on the streets of Middle Georgia. Whether we get them as a group, or one by one, my office will work to make sure that we use the necessary resources to make sure that drug dealers are in prison, not in our neighborhoods. I want to especially thank the Georgia Bureau of Investigation for the outstanding work on the fingerprint analysis in this case. The successful prosecution of Mr. Tarver’s case was the result of great collaborative work by the Georgia State Patrol, the Georgia Bureau of Investigation, the Putnam County Sheriff’s Office, and the Eatonton Police Department,” said U.S. Attorney Michael Moore.

This case was investigated by the Georgia State Patrol, the Georgia Bureau of Investigations, the Putnam County Sheriff’s Office, and the Eatonton Police Department. The case was prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorneys Beth Howard and Charles Calhoun.

            Inquiries regarding the case should be directed to Pamela Lightsey, United States Attorney’s Office at 478-621-2603.

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Updated August 4, 2015