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A Dozen From Thomaston Sentenced For Meth

Updated: 3 days ago

The leader of an armed drug trafficking organization responsible for acquiring at least 250 kilograms of methamphetamine from a prisoner and then distributing the drugs into west central Georgia was sentenced to serve 40 years in federal prison.

 

Cornelius Leonard aka “Tae,” 29, of Grantville, Georgia, was sentenced to serve 480 months in prison to be followed by five years of supervised release on May 14. Leonard previously pleaded guilty to one count of conspiracy to possess with intent to distribute controlled substances; one count of distribution of methamphetamine; and one count of conspiracy to tamper with a witness. The defendant is not eligible for parole.

 

“Cornelius Leonard and those involved in pushing more than 250 kilograms of methamphetamine into Thomaston and Columbus have been held accountable for their part in this armed drug trafficking organization causing harm in these communities,” said U.S. Attorney Peter D. Leary. “Federal, state and local law enforcement collaborated throughout this lengthy and complex investigation to successfully stop a significant criminal organization.”

 

“This sentencing serves to put criminals on notice that if you bring illegal drugs into our communities, we will employ whatever means necessary to find you and bring you to justice no matter where you are,” said FBI Atlanta Supervisory Senior Resident Agent of the Macon Office Robert Gibbs. “This sentencing closes a significant pipeline for dangerous drugs running through the streets of Georgia. We are grateful to the many law enforcement agencies whose coordinated efforts achieved this sentence.”

 

“This successful investigation and prosecution is the result of many law enforcement agencies dedicated to securing our communities; we are grateful for the collaboration and hopeful it will make a difference,” said Upson County Sheriff Dan Kilgore.

 

The following co-defendants have been sentenced:

 

Pedro Barragan Valencia aka “Casper” aka “Bossman,” aka “Mexican Hitman Pete,” 47, of Calhoun, Georgia, was sentenced to serve 400 months in prison after he pleaded guilty to conspiracy to possess with intent to distribute controlled substances;

 

Ramone Zorn aka “Big Razor,” 54, of Thomaston, was sentenced to serve 300 months in prison after he pleaded guilty to distribution of methamphetamine;

 

Kedric Fuller aka “Blakk Ru,” 43, of Woodbury, Georgia, was sentenced to serve 180 months in prison after he pleaded guilty to conspiracy to possess with intent to distribute controlled substances;

 

Horatio Venable aka “Ray Ray,” 27, of Columbus, was sentenced to serve 144 months in prison after he pleaded guilty to conspiracy to possess with intent to distribute methamphetamine;

 

Markevious Snipes aka “Big Dawg,” 33, of Thomaston, was sentenced to serve 136 months in prison after he pleaded guilty to conspiracy to possess with intent to distribute methamphetamine; 

 

Mechile Hobbs, 50, of Thomaston, was sentenced to serve 120 months in prison after he pleaded guilty to possession with intent to distribute methamphetamine;

 

Darius Wellmaker, 41, of Thomaston, was sentenced to serve 90 months in prison after he pleaded guilty to conspiracy to possess with intent to distribute methamphetamine;

 

Joshua McAfee, 36, of Thomaston, was sentenced to serve 50 months in prison after he pleaded guilty to conspiracy to possess with intent to distribute controlled substances;

 

Rashard Moreland, 38, of Columbus, was sentenced to serve 40 months in prison after he pleaded guilty to use of a telecommunications facility in furtherance of a drug trafficking crime;

 

Antovious Hunter aka “Ant,” 41, of Columbus, was sentenced to serve 37 months in prison after he pleaded guilty to conspiracy to possess with intent to distribute methamphetamine;

 

Dustin Robbins, 34, of Columbus, was sentenced to serve 36 months in prison after he pleaded guilty to conspiracy to possess with intent to distribute methamphetamine;

 

Sabrina Smith, 34, of Thomaston, was sentenced to serve 24 months in prison after she pleaded guilty to distribution of methamphetamine;

 

Natashai Antley, 36, of Thomaston, was sentenced to serve 18 months in prison after she pleaded guilty to use of a communication facility;

 

Nehemiah Johnson, 30, of Thomaston, was sentenced to serve 18 months in prison after he pleaded guilty to conspiracy to possess with intent to distribute methamphetamine;

 

Jennifer Moss, 39, of Molena, Georgia, was sentenced to serve 18 months in prison after she pleaded guilty to conspiracy to possess with intent to distribute methamphetamine;

 

Dixie Bailey, 34, of Thomaston, was sentenced to time served after she pleaded guilty to conspiracy to possess with intent to distribute methamphetamine;

 

Mark Dean, 46, of Manchester, Georgia, was sentenced to time served after he pleaded guilty to conspiracy to possess with intent to distribute methamphetamine;

 

Ashley Ingram, 37, of Cataula, Georgia, was sentenced to time served after she pleaded guilty to conspiracy to possess with intent to distribute methamphetamine;

 

Krystal Juarez Norman, 34, of Thomaston, was sentenced to time served after she pleaded guilty to conspiracy to possess with intent to distribute heroin;

 

S. Carlton Power, 27, of Manchester, Georgia, was sentenced to time served after he pleaded guilty to conspiracy to possess with intent to distribute methamphetamine; and

 

D. Justin Whitten, 38, of Hogansville, Georgia, was sentenced to time served after he pleaded guilty to conspiracy to possess with intent to distribute methamphetamine.

 

According to court documents, FBI was investigating Leonard for leading an armed drug distribution organization supplying controlled substances in late 2021 and early 2022. Agents made four controlled purchases of methamphetamine from Leonard during that time period. The investigation led to multiple wiretaps on Leonard’s phones. Through these wiretaps, law enforcement agents learned that Leonard was conspiring with co-defendant Valencia—who was an inmate at Calhoun State Prison and a member of the Sureños criminal gang—to acquire large quantities of methamphetamine, heroin, fentanyl and other illegal drugs for distribution in Thomaston, Columbus and other Georgia cities. Valencia supplied Leonard with at least 250 kilograms of methamphetamine.

 

This effort is part of an Organized Crime Drug Enforcement Task Force (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. Additional information about the OCDETF Program can be found at https://www.justice.gov/OCDETF.

 

The case was investigated by FBI and the Upson County Sheriff’s Office with assistance from the Georgia Department of Corrections (GDOC).

 

Criminal Chief Leah McEwen prosecuted the case for the Government.

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