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Press Release

Ten indicted on federal charges in Augusta-area meth-trafficking operation

For Immediate Release
U.S. Attorney's Office, Southern District of Georgia
Indictment charges 24 counts of drug, firearms felonies

AUGUSTA, GA:  Ten defendants in the Augusta area have been indicted on federal charges for participating in a major methamphetamine trafficking operation.

The defendants in USA v. Walters et al. all are charged with Conspiracy to Possess with Intent to Distribute and to Distribute Methamphetamine, along with multiple individual charges related to meth possession and distribution and illegal gun possession, said Jill E. Steinberg, U.S. Attorney for the Southern District of Georgia. Conviction on the conspiracy charge carries a statutory penalty of up to 20 years in prison, along with substantial fines and a period of supervised release upon completion of any prison term. There is no parole in the federal system.

“The charges in this indictment succinctly spell out the danger that trafficking in illegal drugs presents to the safety of our communities – particularly when those engaged in drug trafficking also illegally possess weapons,” said U.S. Attorney Steinberg. “We commend the challenging work of our law enforcement partners in identifying and disrupting these operations.”

The recently unsealed indictment charges:

  • Edward Jake Walters, a/k/a “State Farm,” a/k/a “Jake from State Farm,” 29, of Grovetown, Ga.;
  • Phillip Smith, 49, of Augusta;
  • Dustin Bayles, 35, of Thomson, Ga.;
  • Glen Taylor, 42, of Beech Island, S.C.;
  • Linda Campbell, 52, of Augusta;
  • Joshua Wasden, 35, of Thomson, Ga.;
  • Brian Hilliard, 40, of Augusta;
  • Gary Holcomb, 59, of Martinez, Ga.;
  • Donnie Skillman, 46, of Augusta; and,
  • Destiny Poole, 23, of Grovetown, Ga.

Each defendant has appeared in U.S. Magistrate Court for initial hearings and await further proceedings. Indictments contain only charges; defendants are considered 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 was investigated by the Drug Enforcement Administration; the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives; the Georgia Bureau of Investigation; the Aiken County Sheriff’s Office; the Columbia County Sheriff’s Office; the Richmond County Sheriff’s Office; and the McDuffie County Sheriff’s Office; and prosecuted for the United States by Assistant U.S. Attorney Bradley R. Thompson.


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

Updated December 7, 2023

Drug Trafficking
Firearms Offenses
Violent Crime
Press Release Number: 104-23