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Press Release

Two Sentences Handed Down In Northeast Georgia Methamphetamine Crackdown

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

G.F. “Pete” Peterman, III, United States Attorney for the Middle District of Georgia, announces that two individuals were sentenced yesterday in Athens on drug and other charges by the Honorable C. Ashley Royal, Senior United States District Court Judge.

Travis Eugene Pearson, aged 40, of Spartanburg, South Carolina, was sentenced to serve 10 years (120 months) in Federal prison for conspiracy to possess with intent to distribute methamphetamine and possession of a firearm by an illegal drug user. Mr. Pearson pled guilty to the charges on October 26, 2016. According to the plea agreement, on June 10, 2015, a Franklin County Sheriff’s Deputy stopped Mr. Pearson’s vehicle on Interstate 85 in response to several traffic violations. Mr. Pearson had more than $13,000 in U.S. currency in his trousers pocket. During a subsequent search, the deputy found a loaded firearm in the driver-side panel, drugs in clear baggies and drug paraphernalia.

During an interview, Mr. Pearson admitted that he had collected the currency from at least ten individuals in South Carolina and planned to use it to pay for methamphetamine acquired in Atlanta. He further admitted that he had made trips to Atlanta three prior times for drug-related activities. Mr. Pearson also stated that the firearm found in the car was his and that he had been a daily user of methamphetamine for two years.

In a separate case, William Corey Hughes, aged 26, of Bowman, Georgia, was sentenced to serve 13.5 years (162 months) in Federal prison for possession with intent to distribute methamphetamine. Mr. Hughes entered his guilty plea on November 15, 2016.

In pleading guilty, Mr. Hughes admitted that on March 17, 2015, he was stopped by a Hart County Sheriff’s Deputy in Royston, Georgia while driving in the middle of the road. After Mr. Hughes refused to give consent for a search of the vehicle, a drug dog alerted on several spots on the car, including the front right headlight. Upon lifting the hood, the deputy found a metal box attached to the frame of the truck with magnets. Inside the box was a gallon-sized bag containing a crystalline substance later identified as methamphetamine, a substantial number of pills, and other drug paraphernalia.

The case against Mr. Pearson was investigated by the Franklin County Sheriff’s Office, Georgia Bureau of Investigation, and the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives. It was prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorney Peter Leary with the participation and cooperation of the District Attorney’s Office for the Northern Judicial Circuit of Georgia.

The Hart County Sheriff’s Office, Athens-Clarke County Police Department, Northeast Georgia Regional Drug Task Force and the Georgia Bureau of Investigation investigated the case against Mr. Hughes. This case was prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorney Danial Bennett, again with the participation and cooperation of the District Attorney’s Office for the Northern Judicial Circuit of Georgia.

United States Attorney Peterman stated that “These two cases are excellent examples of what can be accomplished when federal, state and local authorities work together. In each case a major drug dealer has been taken out of the local community for a decade or more as the result of this cooperation.”

“We are grateful to the dedicated and professional prosecutors working in the United States Attorney’s Office for partnering with us to incapacitate those who peddle poison in our community. Drug dealers breed crime by profiting off of the misery of individuals who might otherwise have a chance to be productive citizens. The actions taken here by the United States Attorney’s Office sends a strong message to would be outlaws regarding the consequences of their action.” said Northern Judicial Circuit District Attorney Parks White.

Inquiries regarding this case should be directed to Pam Lightsey, Public Information Officer, United States Attorney’s Office, at 478-752-3511.

Updated February 8, 2017

Drug Trafficking