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76 People Charged in GA 'Massive' Drug Trafficking Conspiracy

In what federal officials called a "massive drug trafficking investigation" seventy-six people have been charged for crimes related to the distribution of methamphetamine, fentanyl, and other illegal drugs in the greater Glynn County, Ga., area, reports USA Today. According to the newly unsealed federal indictment, the investigation is the "largest ever" in southern Georgia. Two defendants were charged with distributing illegal drugs – fentanyl and methamphetamine – that resulted in the overdose deaths of three people. The indictment comes days after President Biden met with Mexican officials to discuss how to stop illicit drugs from coming through the southern border amid a new wave of the deadly fentanyl crisis. The charges are the culmination of more than two years of work from multiple federal, state, and local law enforcement agencies that tracked the "sprawling drug trafficking network" operating in south Georgia counties. According to the indictment, the conspiracy "operated inside and outside state prison facilities with assistance from at least one compromised corrections officer, who worked with a leader of the conspiracy who is serving a life sentence for murder." The defendants include members of multiple gangs, including a "white supremacist criminal street gang" and a neo-Nazi prison gang. Authorities also seized 43 firearms, one vehicle, and more than $53,000 in cash. More than three dozen others also face prosecution on state charges.

On Wednesday the Justice Department announced several other indictments in gun and drug trafficking operations. "The actions taken today represent the work that is being done by this Department every single day to disrupt violent crime, combat gun violence, and get deadly fentanyl out of our communities," Attorney General Merrick Garland said. Thirty-four people from Maryland, Virginia, and West Virginia were indicted on charges related to the sale of fentanyl, heroin, and other drugs tied to a spike in overdoses in the region, the U.S. Attorney's Office for the Northern District of West Virginia said. Two Baltimore-based drug trafficking organizations supplied fentanyl to West Virginia and caused at least two deaths. "Fentanyl continues to be the number one threat to public safety in the region and much of it flows here from Baltimore," said U.S. Attorney William Ihlenfeld. The U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Eastern District of New York unsealed a seven-count indictment charging four gun traffickers with selling more than 50 firearms in Brooklyn, including one also charged with trafficking fentanyl. The Justice Department said the New York indictment is "the first in the state and among the first in the country" to charge violations of the gun trafficking provisions of the federal gun law passed this summer.


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