BRUNSWICK, Ga. – A 25-count federal indictment, returned by a federal grand jury earlier this month and unsealed Wednesday, charged 16 defendants with drug trafficking and firearm-related offenses, according to the Department of Justice.
The indictment follows a two-year Organized Crime Drug Enforcement Task Force investigation into drug trafficking activities in Glynn County, Wayne County and Ware County within the Southern District of Georgia, and elsewhere, including the Middle District of Georgia, the Northern District of Georgia, the Northern District of Florida, the Eastern District of Tennessee and the Western District of Virginia.
Agents of the ATF, the United States Marshals Service, the DEA, the Georgia Bureau of Investigation (GBI) and multiple local law enforcement agencies participated in the joint investigation.
The indictment explained that the members of the conspiracy allegedly used drones to bring cellphones to conspirators who were locked up.They then used the phones to coordinate and plan drug deals and used PayPal and Facebook accounts to help coordinate the deals, the indictment said.
According to the Department of Justice, those involved in the conspiracy possessed firearms and associated with gangs including the Bloods, the Gangster Disciples, the Ghost Face Gangsters and the Sinaloa Cartel, to aid in the receipt and distribution of controlled substances, for protection, and to promote a climate of fear.
Agents said they seized over 10 kilograms of crystal meth, more than 20 guns, thousands of rounds of ammunition, over $600,000 and multiple vehicles that were used to promote the criminal activity.