Skip to main content
Press Release

Two men indicted on drug charges for transporting more than 150 kilograms of cocaine to Georgia

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

NEWNAN, Ga. - Abubakar Sakapala and Alick Banda have been charged by a federal grand jury with drug conspiracy and possession charges for transporting cocaine from Texas to Georgia in a tractor-trailer.  Their scheme was uncovered during a general motor carrier compliance inspection on Interstate 20 in Haralson County, Georgia.

“Sakapala and Banda allegedly transported cocaine to Georgia with a street value of approximately $5.8 million,” said U.S. Attorney Byung J. “BJay” Pak.  “However, thanks to the efforts of our law enforcement partners, these defendants were stopped before they had a chance to deliver this poison to our streets.”

“This cocaine posed a clear and present danger to the citizens of this country, however, because of great police work these drugs will never reach the intended consumer,” said Robert J. Murphy, the Special Agent in Charge of the DEA Atlanta Field Division. “The successful prosecution of this case illustrates that fruitful results can be achieved through the cooperative efforts of federal, state and local law enforcement.”

According to U.S. Attorney Pak, the indictment, and other information presented in court: On March 13, 2018, Georgia State Patrol (“GSP”) stopped a tractor-trailer traveling along Interstate 20 in Haralson County, Georgia for a general motor carrier compliance inspection.  Sakapala was driving the tractor-trailer at the time.  GSP found Banda allegedly attempting to hide in the sleeper compartment of the tractor by laying under some covers.

GSP questioned Sakapala, who gave them inconsistent statements about how he had acquired the tractor-trailer.  GSP examined Sakapala’s driver’s log and noticed he falsely reported that he was off duty at the time of the stop.  GSP also questioned Banda, who told them he had driven the tractor-trailer during parts of the trip.

Upon obtaining consent to search the tractor and trailer, GSP opened the trailer and immediately observed that the back wall of the trailer was made out of plywood. GSP removed the plywood and found a concealed compartment, or “trap,” with a sheet metal door.  From the trap, GSP removed seven bags, which contained approximately 152 individually wrapped kilogram-sized bundles of cocaine. The approximate street value of this cocaine is $5.8 million.  DEA agents were called to the scene to seize the drugs, taking Sakapala and Banda into custody.

Abubakar Sakapala, 40, of Calverton, Maryland, and Alick Banda, 27, of Richardson, Texas have been charged by a federal grand jury with drug conspiracy and drug possession charges for transporting cocaine from Texas to Georgia in a tractor-trailer.   Members of the public are reminded that the indictment only contains charges.  The defendants are presumed innocent of the charges and it will be the government’s burden to prove the defendants’ guilt beyond a reasonable doubt at trial.

This case is being investigated by the Drug Enforcement Administration.

Assistant U.S. Attorney DeLana Jones is prosecuting the case.

The U.S. Attorney’s Office in Atlanta recommends parents and children learn about the dangers of drugs at the following web site:

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 April 3, 2018

Drug Trafficking