Leader, final defendant in Augusta-area drug trafficking conspiracy sentenced to nearly 13 years in federal prison
BRUNSWICK, GA: A Liberty County man has been sentenced to nearly 40 years in prison after a jury found him guilty at trial on drug trafficking and firearms charges.
Charles Hyde, 64, of Hinesville, Ga., was sentenced to 444 months in prison after being found guilty at trial in June 2021 in U.S. District Court in Brunswick on charges of Conspiracy to Possess with Intent to Distribute and to Distribute 50 grams or more of Methamphetamine; Possession with Intent to Distribute 50 Grams or More of Methamphetamine and a Quantity of Marijuana; Possession of a Firearm and Ammunition by a Convicted Felon; Possession of a Firearm with an Obliterated Serial Number; and Possession and Brandishing of a Firearm in Furtherance of a Drug Trafficking Crime, said David H. Estes, U.S. Attorney for the Southern District of Georgia. U.S. District Court Judge Lisa Godbey Wood also ordered Hyde to serve five years of supervised release after completion of his prison sentence.
There is no parole in the federal system.
“After attempting to shoot at police officers, Charles Hyde is lucky to be alive,” said U.S. Attorney Estes. “Now his luck has run out, and the community is safer with him behind bars.”
As described in court documents and testimony, starting as early as July 2016 through December 2018, Hyde and a key co-defendant, Stacey White, 34, of Hinesville, made multiple trips each month to the Atlanta area to obtain kilograms of methamphetamine from a supplier, and recruited others to assist in selling the drugs.
After a controlled purchase of drugs from Hyde in May 2018, investigators from the Liberty County Sheriff’s Office and Georgia Bureau of Investigation attempted to conduct a search of Hyde’s residence. Hyde aimed at investigators and pulled the trigger but his handgun malfunctioned, and a Liberty County deputy shot Hyde in the hand. He was taken into custody, and investigators subsequently found large amounts of methamphetamine and marijuana in Hyde’s residence. Firearms experts who examined Hyde’s Taurus semiautomatic pistol determined that the firing pin had struck a .40-caliber cartridge in the chamber, but that it had failed to fire.
Hyde and White, along with four other defendants, were indicted on federal conspiracy charges in February 2019. White, a certified member of the violent Bloods criminal street gang, pled guilty and was sentenced in August 2020 to 246 months in prison; three codefendants also pled guilty and are serving prison terms. The sixth codefendant, Hyde’s brother, Terry Hyde, 59, of Hinesville, pled guilty and was sentenced in December to 84 months in prison.
“Hyde’s willingness to commit a violent assault against law enforcement officers is a not only a threat to law enforcement, but is a threat to the very fabric of our society.” said Robert J. Murphy, Special Agent in Charge of the Drug Enforcement Administration’s (DEA) Atlanta Field Division. “Law enforcement officers put their lives on the line every day to protect our country from the perils of drug abuse and the violence that all too often accompanies drug trafficking. This sentencing should serve as a reminder to other criminals who seek to cause bodily harm to an officer…if you are brazen enough to commit such a criminal act, a long prison term awaits you.”
“Illegal drugs have no place in Georgia,” said Vic Reynolds, Director of the Georgia Bureau of Investigation. “They are dangerous and threaten the safety of our communities. The fact that this defendant attempted to shoot at investigators when being taken into custody shows his utter disregard for law enforcement. We will continue to work diligently along with our local and federal partners to investigate and dismantle drug trafficking organizations.”
This drug-trafficking conspiracy was investigated by the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration, the Georgia Bureau of Investigation, and the Liberty County Sheriff’s Office, and prosecuted for the United States by Assistant U.S. Attorney Jennifer G. Solari and Special Assistant U.S. Attorney Darron J. Hubbard.
Barry L. Paschal, Public Affairs Officer: 912-652-4422