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Press Release

Jury convicts North Carolina man of methamphetamine trafficking

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

ATLANTA. – Rodney Dwayne Brendle has been convicted by a jury on two methamphetamine trafficking charges.  Just after his initial trial date was set in 2021, Brendle removed his geolocation ankle monitor and became a fugitive from justice.  He was later arrested in Oregon. 

“Brendle and his co-defendants traveled several hours from North Carolina to Lilburn, Georgia, to purchase a large amount of methamphetamine,” said U.S. Attorney Ryan K. Buchanan.  “His conviction following a jury trial serves as a reminder to those residing inside and outside of our district that prosecutions of narcotics traffickers remain a priority for this office and for our federal, state, and local law enforcement partners.”

“The cocktail of deadly chemicals used to manufacture methamphetamine is a recipe for disaster,” said Robert J. Murphy Special Agent in Charge of the DEA Atlanta Field Division. “‘Meth’ not only is volatile and toxic, but it destroys families, communities, and lives. Because of the collective effort between DEA and its law enforcement counterparts, the prosecution of this case and the subsequent guilty verdict were made possible.”

According to U.S. Attorney Buchanan, the charges and other information presented at trial:  On June 14, 2019, Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) agents and other law enforcement officers conducted surveillance of an apartment complex associated with Alexis Figueroa, a narcotics trafficker in Doraville, Georgia. The investigators saw Figueroa complete multiple narcotics transactions that day. 

The investigators continued to surveil Figueroa as he drove from the apartment complex to a store in Lilburn. The investigators watched as Figueroa arrived in the store’s parking lot and picked up Rodney Dwayne Brendle’s co-defendant, James Cantley.  Cantley entered Figueroa’s vehicle and obtained approximately two kilograms of methamphetamine from Figueroa for $10,000.  Brendle and a second co-defendant, Adam Henderson, watched from the front of the store as the transaction occurred.  The evidence presented at trial revealed that Brendle, Cantley, and Henderson drove from North Carolina to Georgia to purchase the drugs. Georgia State Patrol officers, working in conjunction with DEA, arrested Brendle, Cantley, and Henderson after the three men departed the parking lot of the store in Brendle’s vehicle. 

Brendle was indicted by a federal grand jury on August 27, 2019, on one count of conspiracy to possess with intent to distribute a controlled substance and one count of possession of a controlled substance with intent to distribute.  He was already on probation at that time as result of a state court felony guilty plea for possession of methamphetamine in North Carolina. 

In addition, while on pretrial supervision awaiting the start of his trial, Brendle removed a geolocation ankle monitor and became a fugitive from justice.  He was later arrested in Oregon and returned to the Northern District of Georgia to stand trial. Following a five-day trial, but after deliberating under only two hours, a jury returned guilty verdicts on both counts of the indictment on October 12, 2022.  Brendle’s sentencing hearing is scheduled before U.S. District Judge Amy Totenberg in January 2023.

The charges against the co-defendants have also been resolved as follows:  

  • James Kristoffer Cantley, 40, of Newton, North Carolina, pleaded guilty to conspiracy to possess with intent to distribute a controlled substance, and was sentenced to 10 years, one month in prison to be followed by five years of supervised release;
  • Adam Shane Henderson, 47, of Hickory, North Carolina, pleaded guilty to conspiracy to possess with intent to distribute a controlled substance, and is awaiting sentencing; and 
  • Alexis Figueroa-Lozano, 23, of Doraville, Georgia, pleaded guilty to trafficking in illegal drugs, and was sentenced to 15 years of confinement in Georgia state court. 

This case was investigated by the Drug Enforcement Administration with assistance from the Georgia State Patrol.

Assistant U.S. Attorneys Miguel R. Acosta and Sandy Strippoli are prosecuting the case.

For further information please contact the U.S. Attorney’s Public Affairs Office at USAGAN.PressEmails@usdoj.gov or (404) 581-6016.  The Internet address for the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Northern District of Georgia is http://www.justice.gov/usao-ndga.

Updated October 17, 2022

Topic
Drug Trafficking