A newly unsealed federal indictment charges 13 people with participating in a drug trafficking conspiracy distributing large amounts of methamphetamine and heroin in the Laurens County area.
The indictment in USA v. Martin et. al, follows a nearly three-year investigation by the Laurens County Sheriff’s Office, with assistance from the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration, into drug trafficking in and around Laurens, Johnson, Treutlen, Emanuel, and Washington counties, and elsewhere, said David H. Estes, U.S. Attorney for the Southern District of Georgia. The 27-count indictment charges each of the defendants with Conspiracy to Possess with Intent to Distribute, and to Distribute, 100 Grams or More of Heroin, and 50 Grams or More of Methamphetamine, a charge that upon conviction carries a statutory penalty of up to life in prison. There is no parole in the federal system.
“Investigators from the Laurens County Sheriff’s Office and the DEA performed outstanding work in identifying and bringing to justice those alleged to be responsible for a significant amount of drug trafficking in the greater Dublin area,” U.S. Attorney Estes said. “These collaborations with our law enforcement partners continue to send the message that we will be relentless in protecting our communities from drug trafficking and the violent crime it spawns.”
The indictment was unsealed after initial court appearances for each of the defendants. One local was indicted as follows:
• Nicole Tinagero Gregory, 35, of Swainsboro, Ga., charged with Conspiracy to Possess with Intent to Distribute, and to Distribute, 100 Grams or More of Heroin, and 50 Grams or More of Methamphetamine; Distribution of Heroin; and Distribution of Methamphetamine; and,
The indictment includes a forfeiture notice regarding two firearms and $86,297 in cash seized during searches as part of the investigation. Nearly 100 dogs suspected to be involved in a dog-fighting operation also were seized during the investigation; that case is being prosecuted separately.
Criminal indictments contain only charges; defendants are presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty.
The case is being investigated by agencies including the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration and the Laurens County Sheriff’s Office, with assistance from the U.S. Postal Inspection Service, the Georgia Bureau of Investigation Southeastern Regional Drug Enforcement Office, the Emanuel County Sheriff’s Office, the Johnson County Sheriff’s Office, and the Ocmulgee Drug Task Force, and prosecuted for the United States by Assistant U.S. Attorneys Jennifer J. Kirkland and Jerimiah S. Johnson.
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