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Press Release

Drug trafficking indictment charges 18 defendants with meth and heroin distribution conspiracy

For Immediate Release
U.S. Attorney's Office, Southern District of Georgia
Investigation focused on network in Laurens, Toombs County area

STATESBORO, GA:  Eighteen defendants from the Laurens and Toombs County, Ga., area are in custody awaiting further legal proceedings after their initial court appearances from a 55-count drug trafficking indictment in U.S. District Court.

Each of the 18 defendants is charged with Conspiracy to Possess with Intent to Distribute and to Distribute Methamphetamine and Heroin, with others additionally charged with possession and distribution of drugs and illegal firearms use and possession, along with multiple charges related to the use of cell phones inside and outside Georgia prison facilities to advance the conspiracy, said Jill E. Steinberg, U.S. Attorney for the Southern District of Georgia.

“This case once again demonstrates that small communities are not immune from the disastrous consequences of drug trafficking,” said U.S. Attorney Steinberg. “The continued vigilance of our law enforcement partners helps ensure illegal drug distribution operations are identified and disrupted.”

The case, investigated under the Organized Crime Drug Enforcement Task Forces, began in response to significant drug trafficking activity in Toombs and Laurens counties. The Georgia Bureau of Investigation, along with local law enforcement agencies, coordinated with the Drug Enforcement Administration to infiltrate the network and obtain evidence to prosecute the defendants named in the indictment.

Those named in the indictment include:

  • Brett Youmans, 45, of Dublin, Ga. Youmans currently is an inmate at the Coffee County Correctional Facility serving the remainder of a state sentence for illegal gun possession.
  • Woodrow Scott, 52, an inmate at Macon State Prison where he is serving a life sentence for murder.
  • Constance Marie Scott, 51, of Brookhaven, Ga., sister of Woodrow Scott.
  • Patrick Portwood, 42, of Dublin, Ga. Portwood currently is an inmate at the Burress Correctional Training Center serving the remainder of a state sentence for methamphetamine distribution.
  • Jermaine Maurice Brown, 46, of Vidalia, Ga.
  • John Taylor Jackson, 35, of Vidalia, Ga.
  • Brittany Nicole Cook, 33, of Lyons, Ga.
  • Joshua Brown, 22, of Vidalia, Ga.
  • Stacy NeeSmith, 40, Dublin, Ga.
  • Cordell Stallings,55, of Lyons, Ga.
  • Joshua James Carlo, 47, of Uvalda, Ga.
  • Willie Brown, 52, of Vidalia, Ga.
  • Jody Ivey, 42, of Ivey, Ga.
  • Antone Victoria, 43, of Vidalia, Ga.
  • Tiffany Marie Turbyfill, 33, of Twin City, Ga.
  • Laquanta King, 35, of Atlanta.
  • Wesley McRae, 40, of Hawkinsville, Ga.
  • Jaquan Collier, 24, of Vidalia, Ga. Prior to his arrest, Collier worked as a jailer at Toombs County Detention Center.

In addition to drug charges, several of the defendants are charged with illegal gun possession. The indictment includes notice of forfeiture of 16 firearms seized during the investigation.

Indictments contain only charges. Defendants are presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty.

The case was investigated under the Organized Crime Drug Enforcement Task Forces (OCDETF). OCDETF identifies, disrupts, and dismantles the highest-level criminal organizations that threaten the United States using a prosecutor-led, intelligence-driven, multi-agency approach.

The case is being investigated by the Drug Enforcement Administration, the FBI, the Georgia Bureau of Investigation, the Laurens County Sheriff’s Office, the Toombs County Sheriff’s Office, and the Vidalia Police Department, and prosecuted for the United States by Assistant U.S. Attorney John P. Harper III.


Barry L. Paschal, Public Affairs Officer: 912-652-4422

Updated January 3, 2024

Drug Trafficking
Firearms Offenses
Violent Crime
Press Release Number: 01-24