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Press Release

Gainesville fentanyl dealer sentenced to nearly 20 years in federal prison

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

GAINESVILLE, Ga. – Lyedrekus Bailey, a multi-convicted felon who trafficked cocaine, methamphetamine, heroin, and fentanyl in the Gainesville, Georgia area for approximately two decades, has been sentenced to federal prison for nearly 20 years.

“Drug dealers like Bailey act in callous disregard of the grave threat to life that results from their actions,” said U.S. Attorney Ryan K. Buchanan. “Fentanyl and heroin trafficking is causing untimely deaths in and devastation to our communities. Bailey’s significant sentence should serve as a warning to others that our office is determined to expand our efforts, working together with federal, state, and local law enforcement partners, to prosecute purveyors of illicit drugs like Bailey.”

“This case serves as a strong reminder of our commitment to working with local, state, and federal partners to remove deadly poisons, like fentanyl, off our streets,” said Chris Hosey, Director, Georgia Bureau of Investigation.  “The GBI will continue our work to make an impact on the current drug distribution crimes in Hall County and all of Georgia to promote a safer place for productive citizens.”

“Those who distribute fentanyl and other deadly drugs create serious risks to our communities. DEA will use any resource necessary to remove these dangerous drug traffickers from our streets,” said Robert J. Murphy, Special Agent in Charge of the DEA Atlanta Division.

“Often, people view drug crimes as victimless; however, this is never the case, as illegal drugs, such as heroin and fentanyl, destroy our youth and disrupt lives,” said Hall County Sheriff Gerald Couch.  “While our agency has made numerous state felony drug cases against the offender; he always seemed to receive probation, time served or a minimal sentence. It has taken a partnership with federal authorities for this criminal to finally face a true sentence where he will be removed from the community he has preyed upon and profited from for years.”

According to U.S. Attorney Buchanan, the charges and other information presented in court: Lyedrekus Bailey sold fentanyl-laced heroin to an undercover GBI agent on five occasions between October 2020 and February 2021. All of the transactions were audio and video recorded. On one occasion, when he could not deliver the drugs himself, Bailey directed the undercover agent to a house in Gainesville that he operated as a distribution hub. Later, during a March 2021 traffic stop of a car Bailey was driving, a Hall County, Georgia deputy sheriff recovered approximately four ounces of heroin Bailey had hidden in clothing worn by his passenger.

Bailey was convicted of multiple drug trafficking crimes dating back to 2005. While on probation and parole for these offenses, he continued to commit crimes, such as drug trafficking, evidence tampering, and obstruction of law enforcement.

On January 12, 2024, Lyedrekus Onetaye Bailey, also known as “Lala,” was sentenced by U.S. District Judge Steve C. Jones to 19 years, seven months in prison to be followed by seven years of supervised release.  Bailey was convicted of conspiring to distribute controlled substances, namely fentanyl and heroin, after he pleaded guilty on October 6, 2023.

The case was investigated by the Georgia Bureau of Investigation Appalachian Regional Drug Enforcement Office, Atlanta-Carolinas High Intensity Drug Trafficking Areas Program, and the Hall County Sheriff’s Office, with valuable assistance from the Drug Enforcement Administration, Federal Bureau of Investigation, Gainesville Police Department, and Georgia Department of Corrections.

Assistant U.S. Attorneys Theodore S. Hertzberg and Noah R. Schechtman prosecuted the case.

This effort is part of an Organized Crime Drug Enforcement Task Forces (OCDETF) operation. OCDETF identifies, disrupts, and dismantles the highest-level criminal organizations that threaten the United States using a prosecutor-led, intelligence-driven, multi-agency approach. Additional information about the OCDETF Program can be found at

For further information please contact the U.S. Attorney’s Public Affairs Office at or (404) 581-6016.  The Internet address for the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Northern District of Georgia is

Updated January 18, 2024

Drug Trafficking