13-Count Indictment Unsealed Charging 9 Defendants in Alleged Armed Fentanyl, Meth Trafficking Ring in Middle Georgia
MACON, Ga. – The U.S. Attorney’s Office in the Middle District of Georgia has brought federal charges against six individuals taken into custody during Operation United Front, an ongoing ATF-led investigation into illegal gun possession and drug distribution centered in the Macon, Georgia, community using data gathered from the National Integrated Ballistic Information Network (NIBIN) to plot shooting incidents and determine the areas with the highest number of shootings.
A federal grand jury returned the indictments charging the following six individuals on June 10, 2021:
Jasper Blackshear, 56, of Macon, is charged with conspiracy to distribute cocaine. If convicted, Blackshear faces up to twenty years’ imprisonment;
Devon Futrell, 27, of Macon, is charged with two counts of possession of a firearm by a convicted felon. If convicted, Futrell faces up to ten years’ imprisonment on each count;
Deonta Lowe, 32, of Macon, is charged with distribution of methamphetamine. If convicted, Lowe faces up to twenty years’ imprisonment;
Logan Nettles, 23, of Macon, is charged with possession of a firearm by a convicted felon. If convicted, Nettles faces up to ten years’ imprisonment;
Chadrick Purnell, 42, of Macon, is charged with possession of a firearm by a convicted felon. If convicted, Purnell faces up ten years’ imprisonment; and,
Jermaine White, 32, of Warner Robins, Georgia, is charged with conspiracy to distribute cocaine. If convicted, White faces up to twenty years’ imprisonment.
These cases were made possible by investigative leads generated from the ATF’s National Integrated Ballistic Information Network (NIBIN). NIBIN is the only national network that allows for the capture and comparison of ballistic evidence to aid in solving and preventing violent crimes involving firearms. NIBIN is a proven investigative and intelligence tool that can link firearms from multiple crime scenes, allowing law enforcement to quickly disrupt shooting cycles. For more information on NIBIN, visit https://www.atf.gov/firearms/national-integrated-ballistic-information-network-nibin.
In Operation United Front, agents used NIBIN data to plot shooting incidents in the Macon area on a map. When areas of high density relating to these shootings were identified, confidential informants and undercover agents were directed to these areas of criminal activity.
These cases are 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 Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, and Firearms (ATF), the Bibb County Sheriff’s Office, the Georgia Department of Community Supervision and the Bibb County District Attorney’s Office are investigating the cases.
Assistant U.S. Attorneys William Keyes and Joy Odom are prosecuting the cases.
An indictment is merely an allegation and all defendants are presumed innocent until proven guilty beyond a reasonable doubt in a court of law.