Southern District of Georgia U.S. Attorney’s Office named in award for prosecutions targeting major drug trafficking operations
SAVANNAH, GA: An 11th defendant pled guilty and three additional defendants received federal prison sentences today as the prosecution of a major drug trafficking and money laundering organization continues.
Sentences this week in Operation Snowplow, which represents the largest single seizure of cocaine to date by the Chatham-Savannah Counter Narcotics Team (CNT), brings to nine the number of defendants sentenced, with two awaiting sentencing and three more defendants still being sought.
“The agencies who slammed the door on these merchants of misery include dedicated law enforcement professionals and prosecutors who team up to make our community safer,” said Bobby L. Christine, U.S. Attorney for the Southern District of Georgia. “For once in their lives, these convicted felons will make our neighborhoods better by no longer being part of them.”
According to court documents and testimony, the drug-trafficking organization led by Omar Griffin and others acquired significant quantities of cocaine from Texas and Marijuana from California, along with other narcotics, from at least February 2014 through March 2018. The drugs were then packaged in children’s toys and DVD players, and concealed in cargo vans and truck trailers for shipment to Savannah, for distribution to mid-level dealers from several Savannah-area residences.
On March 5, 2018, law enforcement intercepted a shipment of 25 kilograms of cocaine that had been driven from Texas to a hotel in Richmond Hill, Ga., concealed inside a cargo trailer. Officers also seized more than $387,000 in cash that had been exchanged for the cocaine. After interdicting the drugs, law enforcement executed a number of search and arrest warrants. In total in this investigation, law enforcement seized more than 25 kilograms of cocaine, more than 30 pounds of marijuana, approximately $750,000 in cash, nearly two dozen firearms (including semi-automatic rifles), and other narcotics.
Defendants sentenced this week include:
Defendants awaiting sentencing include:
Defendants previously sentenced include:
Three defendants remain fugitives:
Individuals with information on the whereabouts of Griffin, Hickman, or Singleton can anonymously contact CNT at 912-652-3900, or Crime Stoppers at 912-234-2020. Criminal indictments contain only charges; defendants are presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty.
“This was an outstanding operation that not only positively impacted our local community but the nation as a whole,” said Everett Ragan, Director of CNT. “It was deemed successful because local, state, and federal enforcement agencies came together to plow this organization right into the ground.”
“Operation Snowplow emphasizes the importance of collaborative efforts between the U.S. Postal Inspection Service and our federal partners, reinforcing the Postal Inspection Service’s mission of protecting the public and preventing criminal misuse of our mail,” said Lesley C. Allison, Acting Inspector in Charge of the Miami Division of the U.S. Postal Inspection Service.
Operation Snowplow was investigated under the Organized Crime Drug Enforcement Task Forces (OCDETF), the premier U.S. Department of Justice program to dismantle multi-jurisdictional drug trafficking organizations, and conducted by the Drug Enforcement Administration, the U.S. Postal Inspection Service, the Chatham-Savannah Counter Narcotics Team, Savannah Police Department, Chatham County Police Department, and the Chatham County Sheriff’s Office K9 Unit and the Chatham County Aviation Unit, and prosecuted for the United States by the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Southern District of Georgia.
Barry L. Paschal, Public Affairs Officer: 912-652-4422