An 11th defendant pled guilty and three additional defendants received federal prison sentences this week as the prosecution of a major drug trafficking and money laundering organization continues.
Sentences this week in Operation Snowplow, which represents the largest single seizure of cocaine to date by the Chatham-Savannah Counter Narcotics Team (CNT), brings to nine the number of defendants sentenced, with two awaiting sentencing and three more defendants still being sought.
“The agencies who slammed the door on these merchants of misery include dedicated law enforcement professionals and prosecutors who team up to make our community safer,” said Bobby L. Christine, U.S. Attorney for the Southern District of Georgia. “For once in their lives, these convicted felons will make our neighborhoods better by no longer being part of them.”
According to court documents and testimony, the drug-trafficking organization led by Omar Griffin and others acquired significant quantities of cocaine from Texas and Marijuana from California, along with other narcotics, from at least February 2014 through March 2018. The drugs were then packaged in children’s toys and DVD players, and concealed in cargo vans and truck trailers for shipment to Savannah, for distribution to mid-level dealers from several Savannah-area residences.
On March 5, 2018, law enforcement intercepted a shipment of 25 kilograms of cocaine that had been driven from Texas to a hotel in Richmond Hill, concealed inside a cargo trailer. Officers also seized more than $387,000 in cash that had been exchanged for the cocaine. After interdicting the drugs, law enforcement executed a number of search and arrest warrants. In total in this investigation, law enforcement seized more than 25 kilograms of cocaine, more than 30 pounds of marijuana, approximately $750,000 in cash, nearly two dozen firearms (including semi-automatic rifles), and other narcotics.
Defendants sentenced this week include:
· Herman Williams, 44, of Savannah, convicted of Conspiracy to Possess with Intent to Distribute Cocaine, sentenced to 132 months in prison;
· Vincent Hooper, 55, of Savannah, convicted of Possession of a Firearm by a Convicted Felon, sentenced to 30 months in prison;
· Emmett Ramsey, 36, of Savannah, convicted of Unlawful Use of a Communication Facility, sentenced to 42 months in prison;
Defendants awaiting sentencing include:
· Allen Grady, 42, of Port Wentworth, Ga., convicted of Conspiracy to Commit Money Laundering; and,
· Barron Robertson, 53, of Savannah, convicted of Possession with Intent to Distribute 5 Kilograms or more of Cocaine.
Defendants previously sentenced include:
· Barrington Miller, 48, of Savannah, convicted of Distribution of Cocaine, Maintaining a Drug-Involved Premises, and Unlawful Use of a Communication Facility, sentenced to 120 months in prison;
· Justin Swinton, 38: of Port Wentworth, convicted of Conspiracy to Possess with Intent to Distribute 50 kilograms or more of marihuana, sentenced to 37 months in prison;
· Rodrigo Rodriguez, 48: of Houston, Texas, convicted of Conspiracy to Possess with Intent to Distribute 5 kilograms or more of cocaine and 50 kilograms or more of marihuana, sentenced to 84 months in prison;
· Desmond Jones, 48, of Houston, convicted of Conspiracy to Possess with Intent to Distribute 5 kilograms or more of Cocaine, sentenced to 56 month in prison;
· Edgar Guadalupe-Marroquin, 36: of Houston, convicted of Interstate Travel to Carry on Unlawful Activities, sentenced to 60 months in prison; and,
· Christian Ramirez-Leyton, 44, of Houston, convicted of Interstate Travel to Carry on Unlawful Activities, sentenced to 60 months in prison.
Three defendants remain fugitives:
· Kia Hickman, 48, of Savannah;
· Omar Griffin, 40, of Pooler, Ga.; and,
· Jamaal Singleton, 41, of Savannah.
Individuals with information on the whereabouts of Griffin, Hickman, or Singleton can anonymously contact CNT at 912-652-3900, or Crime Stoppers at 912-234-2020.
“This was an outstanding operation that not only positively impacted our local community but the nation as a whole,” said Everett Ragan, Director of CNT. “It was deemed successful because local, state, and federal enforcement agencies came together to plow this organization right into the ground.”