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Press Release

South Georgia Resident Convicted in Lanier County Meth Distribution Case

For Immediate Release
U.S. Attorney's Office, Middle District of Georgia

VALDOSTA, Ga. –A Clinch County, Georgia, resident was convicted by a federal jury late yesterday of possessing with intent to distribute nearly one kilogram of methamphetamine, resulting from an investigation initiated by the Lanier County, Georgia, Sheriff’s Office.

Dennis Thompson, 40, of Homerville, Georgia, was convicted on July 18 of one count of possession with intent to distribute methamphetamine following a two-day trial that began on July 17 before U.S. District Judge Hugh Lawson. Thompson faces a minimum mandatory sentence of ten years up to a maximum sentence of life imprisonment to be followed by five years of supervised release and a $10,000,000 fine. Sentencing is scheduled for Nov. 15.

“Law enforcement successfully prevented a large quantity of methamphetamine from entering Lanier County,” said U.S. Attorney Peter D. Leary. “Thompson, and others who choose to push large amounts of the most deadly and addictive illegal drugs, will be held accountable for these crimes that degrade communities and so often feed other criminal activities.”

“Thompson endangered himself, law enforcement and other motorists during his irresponsible attempt to evade justice for methamphetamine distribution,” said Rich Bilson, Supervisory Senior Resident Agent of FBI Atlanta’s Valdosta office. “Hopefully this conviction sends a clear message that drug dealing in our communities will not be tolerated by the FBI and our partners.”

“We are appreciative of the cooperative efforts from all our partners to help bring this case to a close,” said Lanier County Sheriff Charles “Nick” Norton. “It is this kind of cooperation that makes our streets a safer place.”

According to court documents and evidence presented at trial, Thompson was under surveillance for distributing methamphetamine by Lanier County Sheriff’s Office investigators in Aug. 2020. A confidential informant told investigators that Thompson would be carrying a large amount of illegal drugs into Lanier County on Aug. 30, 2020, and he would be driving on Highway 221. Deputies attempted to pull Thompson over on Highway 221, but Thompson fled, leading deputies on a high-speed chase in excess of 100 miles per hour for several miles. The pursuit continued into Atkinson County, Georgia, where the vehicle finally came to a stop. A drug dog alerted to the odor of drugs inside Thompson’s car. Officers found 976 grams of methamphetamine inside a bag in the car. Thompson acquired the methamphetamine in Atlanta to distribute in the Lanier County community.

The case was investigated by FBI and the Lanier County Sheriff’s Office.

Assistant U.S. Attorney Sonja Profit and Criminal Chief Leah McEwen are prosecuting the case for the Government.

Updated July 20, 2023

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