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Press Release

Southwest Georgia Resident Faces Life in Prison for Armed Fentanyl Trafficking

For Immediate Release
U.S. Attorney's Office, Middle District of Georgia
Defendant Admitted to Possessing 4+ Kilos of Fentanyl for Distribution in the Community

ALBANY, Ga. – A Southwest Georgia resident with a lengthy criminal history pleaded guilty to armed drug distribution charges today and faces life in prison for admitting to distributing large quantities of fentanyl.

Larry Roger Sparks, Jr., 46, of Albany, pleaded guilty to one count of distribution of a heroin and fentanyl mixture; one count of distribution of methamphetamine; three counts of distribution of methamphetamine at a place where a person under age 18 resides; one count of possession of methamphetamine with intent to distribute at a premises at which a person under 18 resides; one count of possession of fentanyl with intent to distribute; and one count of possession of a firearm in furtherance of a drug trafficking crime (a Sig Sauer Model P365 SAS 9mm pistol). The defendant is facing a maximum of life in prison. U.S. District Judge Leslie A. Gardner is presiding over the case. A sentencing date will be scheduled by the Court.

“Fentanyl is one of the deadliest drugs on the streets today, and our office will go to every length to halt its distribution and hold fentanyl traffickers accountable,” said U.S. Attorney Peter D. Leary. “This case is an example of strong and effective partnerships between law enforcement, who are dedicated to ridding our communities of armed fentanyl dealers and working with our office to prosecute the most dangerous individuals.”

“Locking away criminal drug dealers who choose to push poison on our streets will literally save lives as fentanyl is the number one killer among Americans aged 18-45,” said Robert J. Murphy, Special Agent in Charge of the DEA Atlanta Division.

“Drug traffickers are poisoning our communities with drugs like fentanyl,” said GBI Director Chris Hosey. “This case serves as an example of our continued efforts to stop the drug traffickers who ruthlessly target Georgia communities. The GBI, along with our law enforcement partners, will continue working toward ridding our state of these deadly drugs.”

According to court documents, a 2023 undercover GBI investigation into armed fentanyl trafficking in Southwest Georgia led agents to Sparks, who was distributing large quantities of fentanyl, heroin and methamphetamine from his Albany residence, where three minor children resided. Agents, working with a confidential source under surveillance and electronic recording, purchased controlled substances from Sparks five times, beginning on March 9, 2023, and ending with a final undercover purchase on May 3, 2023, when Sparks sold 478.2 grams of 98% pure methamphetamine.

Agents executed a federal search warrant on May 16, 2023, at Sparks’ residence located at 1501 Pinecrest Drive in Albany. As agents made their approach, three suspected drug customers in the yard fled; one of the individuals discarded a small quantity of suspected heroin and fentanyl mixture. Inside the home, agents found 1.2 kilograms of fentanyl, approximately three kilograms of methamphetamine, needles, scales, Narcan, cash and other items associated with drug use and distribution. Agents found six firearms, including the Sig Sauer 9mm pistol. Lab results for the drugs seized at the residence are: 1,205.7 grams of fentanyl, 1,775.5 grams of 95% pure methamphetamine and 963.1 grams of 98% pure methamphetamine.

The defendant was taken into custody during a traffic stop on May 16, and was in possession of a loaded Glock 10 mm semiautomatic handgun, a loaded 50-round drum magazine, a 9mm semiautomatic handgun and more than $5,000 in cash. Sparks admitted to receiving a four-kilogram shipment of fentanyl before the search, and said that he had sold all of it, less the 1.2 kilos recovered by agents in his home.

Sparks has a lengthy criminal history and has been previously convicted for armed robbery and delivery of a controlled substance in Saginaw, Michigan, as well as for possession of cocaine with intent to distribute in the Superior Court of Crisp County, Georgia.

The case was investigated by the Worth County Sheriff’s Office, the Lee County Sheriff’s Office, the GBI Southwestern Regional Drug Enforcement Office (SWRDEO) and the DEA.

Criminal Chief Leah McEwen is prosecuting the case for the Government.

Updated April 12, 2024

Drug Trafficking