BRUNSWICK, Ga. -

A 47-year-old Waycross man was sentenced Monday to 27 years in prison for his role in a cocaine trafficking ring.

Rudolph Orange was the lead defendant in a nine-count indictment returned by a federal grand jury in June 2011.

"Whether in the metropolitan areas or the smaller towns within our district, the United States Attorney's Office will prosecute those who push poison in our communities to the fullest extent of the law," U.S. Attorney Edward Tarver said.

Evidence presented during a two-day sentencing hearing showed that in January undercover agents made numerous purchases of cocaine from Orange and his coconspirators. Later, multiple search warrants were executed, which resulted in the seizure of cocaine and firearms.

During his sentencing, Chief Judge Lisa Wood found that Orange was a leader of the cocaine trafficking ring. In addition, Orange was found to be a "career offender" and therefore subject to an increased sentence based upon his three previous felony drug convictions.

Wood previously sentenced four other Waycross residents for their roles in the drug trafficking conspiracy. Shawn Flanagan, 41, and Roshan Boyd, 27, were sentenced to more than five years in prison; Terrance Taylor, 49, was sentenced to two and a half years in prison; and Carol Plummer, 43, Orange's wife, was sentenced to nine months in prison and three years of supervised release.