February 25, 2015
Contact: Chuvalo Truesdell
Phone Number: (404) 893-7124
35 Defendants Charged With Drug Trafficking And Money Laundering Offenses Following Undercover Investigation
ATLANTA - United States Attorney for the Middle District of Georgia, Michael J. Moore, announced today that an indictment was returned by a grand jury sitting in the United States District Court in Macon, Georgia on February 11, 2015, which charged 35 defendants with drug trafficking and money laundering offenses. During “Operation Southern Postal Powder,” federal agents, assisted by state and local law enforcement officers, investigated a large scale drug organization based in Macon, Georgia. Over the course of the investigation, federal agents seized large amounts of cocaine and marijuana.
Penalties for the charges range from ten years up to life in prison without parole. Fines range from $500,000 to $10 million.
Daniel R. Salter, the Special Agent in Charge of the DEA Atlanta Field Division stated, “Today is a victory, not only for the multitude of law enforcement agencies who dismantled this organization, but for the citizens of the Macon, Griffin and Atlanta, Georgia. Now that these criminals have been removed from the streets, the poisonous drugs that they would have sold will never reach the consumer. This effort would not have been successful without the mission-oriented cooperation between our federal, state and local law enforcement counterparts.”
United States Attorney Michael Moore stated: “This operation is the essence of law enforcement collaboration and teamwork to remove illegal drugs and to punish those who violate federal narcotics laws.”
“The Postal Inspection Service is committed to preventing the US Mail from being used as a conduit for narcotic trafficking. We could not be successful without the collaborative efforts of our local, State, and Federal partners,” stated Assistant Inspector in Charge Barney D. Morris.
“We would like this operation to serve as a strong message to individuals throughout the region that we will not stand for the destruction that drugs and related criminal activity bring to our communities, stated Veronica F. Hyman-Pillot, Special Agent in Charge, IRS Criminal Investigation. “We will do everything within our power to assist our law enforcement partners with financially disrupting and dismantling drug trafficking organizations and stopping the violence and corruption they inflict upon society."
The indictment is only an allegation of criminal conduct. Each person is presumed innocent until and unless proven guilty in a court of law.
The case was investigated by the U.S. Postal Inspection (USPIS), the Drug Enforcement (DEA), the Internal Revenue (IRS), the Bibb County Sheriff’s Office, and the Peach County Sheriff’s Office. Assistant U.S. Attorneys Charles Calhoun and Sonja Profit are prosecuting the case for the government.
The DEA encourages parents, along with their children, to educate themselves about the dangers of legal and illegal drugs by visiting DEA’s interactive websites at www.justthinktwice.com, www.GetSmartAboutDrugs.com and www.dea.gov.