14 charged in drug trafficking operation coordinated from inside a Georgia prison

BRUNSWICK, Ga. — A newly unsealed federal indictment charges 14 defendants in a south Georgia drug trafficking operation alleged to have been directed from inside a Georgia state prison.


Operation Pope’s G.O.A.L., an Organized Crime Drug Trafficking Task Force investigation, alleges the drug operation distributed methamphetamine, heroin, and fentanyl as early as 2018.

It is also believed that the drugs were sold in at least seven counties, said David H. Estes, U.S. attorney for the Southern District of Georgia.

All 14 defendants are charged with conspiracy to possess with intent to distribute and to distribute 50 grams or more of methamphetamine, and a quantity of heroin and fentanyl. These charges carry a minimum penalty of 10 years in prison, up to life, along with substantial fines and at least five years of supervised release.

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“The use of contraband cell phones and other devices inside prisons for coordination of criminal activity outside prison walls is an increasing danger to our communities,” said Estes. “Our law enforcement partners, including the Georgia Department of Corrections, did outstanding work in identifying and infiltrating this network to bring an end to this illegal conspiracy.”

The seven counties where the drug operation was conducting its activity included: Glynn, Brantley, Bacon, Pierce, Coffee, Camden, and Ware.

Criminal indictments contain only charges. Defendants are presumed innocent unless proven guilty.