Jackson Man Convicted of Possession with Intent to Distribute More Than 6,000 Prescription Pills
Jackson, TN – A federal jury has found a Jackson man guilty of unlawfully possessing with intent to distribute more than 6,000 prescription pills. Edward L. Stanton III, U.S. Attorney for the Western District of Tennessee, announced the guilty verdict today.
According to information presented in court, George Ward, 49, of Jackson, Tennessee, unlawfully possessed with intent to distribute large quantities of Morphine, Amphetamine, Zolpidem(Ambien), Hydrocodone, Methadone, Alprazolam(Xanax), and Hydromorphone.
In February 2013, the Jackson Police Department (JPD) Gang Enforcement Team and the Jackson-Madison County Narcotics Unit executed a search warrant at a house as part of an ongoing narcotics investigation involving the defendant. Ward was present at the location during the search warrant’s execution. Law enforcement agents determined that he was staying in the house’s guest bedroom. While searching the room, law enforcement discovered approximately 6,600 pills contained in several different bags. The seized pills included: 2,317 Morphine pills; 2,247 Amphetamine pills; 684 Zolpidem pills; 482 Hydrocodone pills; 456 Methadone pills; 260 Alprazolam pills; and 89 Hydromorphone pills.
The pills were packaged in numerous Ziploc bags, indicative of pills that are being distributed. There were also numerous pills in wholesale pharmacy bottles that individuals are prohibited from possessing, indicative of pills for resale. Drug ledgers were also seized in Ward’s room, which referenced certain strengths of the narcotics, pills with certain markings, as well as the number of pills and prices.
At the time of the search, Ward was on parole for a state conviction of possession of cocaine with intent to sell.
On Wednesday, August 17, a federal jury convicted Ward of seven counts of unlawful possession with intent to distribute prescription pills — individual counts for Morphine, Amphetamine, Zolpidem, Hydrocodone, Methadone, Alprazolam and Hydromorphone.
Five of the counts carry individual penalties of up to 30 years in federal prison and a fine of up to $2 million. Two of the counts carry individual penalties of up to 10 years in federal prison and a fine of up to $500,000.
This case is being investigated the Drug Enforcement Administration; the JPD Gang Enforcement Team; and the Jackson-Madison County Metro Narcotics Unit.
Assistant U.S. Attorney Beth Boswell is prosecuting this case on the government’s behalf.