Two people from Jacksonville and one from Gainesville were among nearly three dozen indicted for their involvement in a drug trafficking conspiracy centered in south Georgia and reaching into the Caribbean, the Department of Justice announced Tuesday.
The investigation, dubbed “Operation Carpet Ride,” identified drug trafficking operations in Bulloch, Burke, Candler, Effingham, Evans, Liberty, Richmond, and Tattnall counties, and elsewhere, from as early as January 2016. As described in the 49-count indictment, the conspiracy is alleged to have imported large quantities of cocaine, methamphetamine and other drugs for distribution in the Southern District.
The primary conspiracy charge in USA v. Morales-Jimenez et. al carries a statutory minimum penalty of 10 years in prison, up to life, said David H. Estes, U.S. Attorney for the Southern District of Georgia. Conviction on the charge also carries a minimum of five years of supervised release following any prison term, and there is no parole in the federal system.
“The painstaking investigation in Operation Carpet Ride spans nearly six years and thousands of miles as it tracked illegal drugs flowing into the United States to the Southern District of Georgia and beyond,” Estes said. “Our law enforcement partners have done outstanding work in identifying, investigating and disrupting this drug trafficking organization.”
Each defendant in USA v. Morales-Jiminez et. al is charged with Conspiracy to Possess with Intent to Distribute, and to Distribute, 5 Kilograms or More of Cocaine; 50 Grams or More of Methamphetamine; 28 Grams or More of Crack Cocaine; Hydrocodone; Oxycodone; and Marijuana. Other individual charges in the indictment include drug possession and distribution, maintenance of a drug-involved premises, and illegal firearms possession and use.
Those named in the indictment include:
- Daniel Morales-Jimenez, a/k/a “Danny Hill,” 45, of Puerto Rico
- Pedro Castro-Vasquez, a/k/a “Chipo,” 50, of Puerto Rico
- Sonic Torres-Garcia, 24, of Kissimmee, Fla.
- Kristine Albright-Ramos, 35, of Puerto Rico
- Alexys Rivera-Cuevas, 28, of Gainesville, Fla.
- Luis Diaz-Albright, 20, of Puerto Rico
- Paola Morales Rosario, 24, of Kissimmee, Fla.
- Clarence Bess, a/k/a “Cash,” 41, of Jacksonville, Fla.
- Laverne Pullins Jr., 70, of Jacksonville, Fla.
- Demarr Clayton Lee, 52, of Miami, Fla.
- Tony Deshawn Slater, 51, of Claxton, Ga.
- Domanek Laquan Mincey, 44, of Glennville, Ga.
- Anthony Craig Johnson, a/k/a “Pookie,” 56, of Claxton, Ga.
- Andre Delerrain Anderson, 48, of Claxton, Ga.
- Phillip Dwayne Walden, 45, of Statesboro, Ga.
- Corey Ontavious Hendrix, 44, of Claxton, Ga.
- Enrique Humbra Denson Sr., 49, of Statesboro, Ga.
- Enrique Humbra Denson Jr., 29, of Reidsville, Ga.
- Kevin Derrell Ponder, 45, of Claxton, Ga.
- Terran Harvel Tigner, 35, of Glennville, Ga.
- Troy Sinclair Tigner, 35, of Glennville, Ga.
- Nicholas Rashon Fillmore, 42, of Hinesville, Ga.
- Marquese Shavel Palmer, 30, of Claxton, Ga.
- Michael Lynn Jinks, 47, of Glennville, Ga.
- Tony Anthony Warren, 38, of Claxton, Ga.
- Lance Boyette Ford, 39, of Glennville, Ga.
- Heather Elaine Barbee, 43, of Sylvania, Ga.
- Sean Christopher Brown, 43, of Savannah
- Jarvis Charles Hagan, 31, of Claxton, Ga.
- Kenneth Bacon Hall, 51, of Glennville, Ga.
- Caleb Earl Riggs, 37, of Claxton, Ga.
- Gerald Walter Dasher, 52, of Glennville, Ga.
Criminal indictments contain only charges; defendants are presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty.
The case is investigated under the Organized Crime Drug Enforcement Task Forces (OCDETF). OCDETF identifies, disrupts, and dismantles the highest-level criminal organizations that threaten the United States using a prosecutor-led, intelligence-driven, multi-agency approach.
The case is being investigated by the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration; the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives; the U.S. Postal Inspection Service; Homeland Security Investigations; the Georgia Bureau of Investigation; the Puerto Rico State Police; the Georgia State Board of Pardons and Paroles; the Georgia Department of Community Supervision; the Tattnall County Sheriff’s Office; the Bulloch County Sheriff’s Office; the Evans County Sheriff’s Office; the Barceloneta Police Department; the Claxton Police Department; and the Glennville Police Department; and prosecuted for the United States by Assistant U.S. Attorneys Frank M. Pennington II and OCDETF Coordinator Marcela C. Mateo.