Drug trafficker responsible for young woman’s death sentenced to 15 years

US attorney says 32-year-old's body was found by her 5-year-old daughter

File photo. (2016 Getty Images)

BRUNSWICK, Ga. – The second of two men charged in a drug trafficking conspiracy implicated in a woman’s overdose death has been sentenced to more than 15 years in federal prison.

Makeda Atkinson, 46, of Brunswick, pleading guilted to conspiracy to possess with intent to distribute a controlled substance and was sentenced to 186 months in prison by U.S. District Court Judge Lisa Godbey Wood, according to the U.S. Attorney for the Southern District of Georgia. Judge Wood had already sentenced Donald Adams, 63, of Brunswick, to 126 months in prison on the same charge.

According to court documents and testimony, the Glynn County police and the FBI determined that Atkinson and Adams were selling heroin laced with fentanyl throughout the Brunswick area. During the investigation, a 32-year-old woman who purchased drugs from the men on Dec. 28, 2017, and was found dead the next day in her parent’s home. An autopsy determined the woman died from acute fentanyl toxicity.

“Makeda Atkinson and Donald Adams were small-time drug dealers until their poison fueled the overdose death of a young mother whose body was found by her 5-year-old daughter,” U.S. Attorney Bobby Christine said. “Her death should serve as a wakeup call for other drug users to seek help – and as a warning to drug traffickers that we will find and prosecute them.”

Each man also must serve three years of supervised release after completion of their prison terms. There is no parole in the federal system.

Glynn County Criminal Investigator Stephen Lowery took the lead in investigating the woman’s death and, working with the FBI, linked it to fentanyl-tainted heroin sold by Atkinson and Adams.

“Atkinson and his co-defendant played a significant role in the death of a young mother poisoned by the drugs they were pushing,” said Chris Hacker, Special Agent in Charge of FBI Atlanta. “No sentence is harsh enough to bring solace to the woman’s family, but thanks to the assistance from the Glynn County Police Department we were able to make sure these defendants were held accountable under the law.”