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Justice News

Department of Justice
U.S. Attorney’s Office
Southern District of Georgia

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Tuesday, August 25, 2020

Drug trafficker implicated in overdose death sentenced to federal prison

With co-defendant, sold drug mixture responsible for young mom's death

BRUNSWICK, GA: The second of two men charged in a drug trafficking conspiracy implicated in a woman’s overdose death has been sentenced to more than 15 years in federal prison.

Makeda Atkinson, 46, of Brunswick, was sentenced in U.S. District Court to 186 months in prison by Judge Lisa Godbey Wood after pleading guilty to Conspiracy to Possess with Intent to Distribute a Controlled Substance, said Bobby L. Christine, U.S. Attorney for the Southern District of Georgia. Previously, Judge Wood sentenced Donald Adams, 63, of Brunswick, to 126 months in prison on the same charge. Each man also must serve three years of supervised release after completion of their prison terms. There is no parole in the federal system.

“Makeda Atkinson and Donald Adams were small-time drug dealers until their poison fueled the overdose death of a young mother whose body was found by her 5-year-old daughter,” said U.S. Attorney Christine. “Her death should serve as a wakeup call for other drug users to seek help – and as a warning to drug traffickers that we will find and prosecute them.”

According to court documents and testimony, investigators with the Glynn County Police Department and the FBI determined that Atkinson and Adams were selling heroin laced with Fentanyl throughout the Brunswick, Ga., area. During the investigation, a 32-year-old woman who purchased drugs from the men on Dec. 28, 2017, was found dead the next day in her parent’s home, and an autopsy determined the woman died from acute Fentanyl toxicity. Glynn County Criminal Investigator Stephen Lowery took the lead in investigating the woman’s death and, working with the FBI, linked it to Fentanyl-tainted heroin sold by Atkinson and Adams.

“Atkinson and his co-defendant played a significant role in the death of a young mother poisoned by the drugs they were pushing,” said Chris Hacker, Special Agent in Charge of FBI Atlanta. “No sentence is harsh enough to bring solace to the woman's family, but thanks to the assistance from the Glynn County Police Department we were able to make sure these defendants were held accountable under the law.”

The case was investigated by the FBI and the Glynn County Police Department, and prosecuted for the United States by Assistant U.S. Attorneys E. Greg Gilluly and Jennifer Kirkland.

Topic(s): 
Drug Trafficking
Contact: 
Barry L. Paschal, Public Affairs Officer: 912-652-4422
Press Release Number: 
112-20
Updated August 25, 2020