Southern District of Georgia U.S. Attorney’s Office named in award for prosecutions targeting major drug trafficking operations
MACON, GA: Twelve defendants have been charged in a newly unsealed federal indictment alleging a middle Georgia drug trafficking conspiracy.
Eight men and four women are charged as part of Operation Breaking the Bond, an Organized Crime Drug Enforcement Task Force investigation centered in the Bibb County area, said David H. Estes, Acting U.S. Attorney for the Southern District of Georgia. The U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Middle District of Georgia is recused from the case, which is being prosecuted by the Southern District.
As described in the recently unsealed indictment, each of the 12 defendants is charged with Conspiracy to Possess with Intent to Distribute and to Distribute Controlled Substances, including 5 kilograms or more of cocaine; 28 grams or more of “crack” cocaine; and a quantity of marijuana. The charge carries upon conviction a penalty of up to life in prison. There is no parole in the federal system.
“This operation demonstrates the hard work and dedication of federal, state, and local law enforcement professionals in interdicting and disrupting the channels of illegal drug distribution in our communities,” said Acting U.S. Attorney Estes. “The number of illegally possessed firearms seized in this case also provides a glimpse into the dangerous underworld of narcotics trafficking.”
The operation, which started in mid-2019, targeted sources of illegal drugs brought into and distributed in the Macon area, and led to a series of searches in which large amounts of cocaine, crack cocaine, oxycodone, and marijuana were seized, along with nearly $97,000 in cash, a machine for pressing kilo-sized “bricks” of cocaine, money counters, scales, and drug packaging materials. Investigators also seized 39 illegally possessed firearms, ranging from pistols and shotguns to assault-style rifles. Two homes alleged to have been involved as locations for drug storage or distribution also are subject to forfeiture proceedings in the indictment.
The defendants charged in the 24-count indictment, most of whom have made initial court appearances, include:
A total of 60 felony counts are alleged in the indictment. Criminal indictments contain only charges; defendants are presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty.
Bibb County Sheriff David J. Davis said, “This case illustrates the continued commitment of Bibb Investigators and our local and federal partners to rid our streets of dangerous drugs and illegal firearms. We can be grateful that countless individuals have been saved from a drug overdose or a gunshot wound by the work of the law enforcement professionals in this operation.”
“This case is a direct result of what can be achieved when DEA and its law enforcement partners confront, engage and eliminate drug trafficking,” said the Special Agent in Charge of the DEA Atlanta Field Division Robert J. Murphy. “The distribution of dangerous substances like, cocaine, crack, and marijuana continue to plague many communities. The Macon area is much safer because of this operation.”
“Operation Breaking the Bond is another example of the FBI’s willingness to work with our federal, state and local partners to dismantle organizations that endanger our communities,” said Chris Hacker, Special Agent in Charge of FBI Atlanta. “With the removal of drugs, weapons and money and 12 defendants from the streets, the citizens of Bibb County will be immediately safer.”
“Illegal drugs and illegally possessed firearms 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. We will continue to work diligently along with our local and federal partners to investigate and dismantle drug trafficking organizations.”
Operation Breaking the Bond is part of an Organized Crime Drug Enforcement Task Forces (OCDETF) operation. 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 operation is being investigated by the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration, the FBI, the Georgia Bureau of Investigation, the Bibb County Sheriff’s Office Narcotics Unit, the Peach County Sheriff’s Office, the Braselton Police Department and the Union City Police Department, with assistance from the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives and the U.S. Marshals Service, and prosecuted for the United States by Southern District of Georgia Assistant U.S. Attorneys Noah J. Abrams and OCDETF Coordinator Marcela C. Mateo.
Barry L. Paschal, Public Affairs Officer: 912-652-4422