Georgia Man Sentenced to Two Decades in Federal Prison for Cocaine Distribution in Major Drug Trafficking Network

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An Evans County, Ga., man, Tony Deshawn Slater, 52, of Claxton, has been sentenced to 240 months in federal prison for distributing cocaine as part of a major drug trafficking network. U.S. Attorney Jill E. Steinberg announced the sentence, indicating that Slater pleaded guilty to Distribution of Cocaine. U.S. District Court Chief Judge J. Randal Hall fined Slater $2,500 and ordered three years of supervised release post-prison term, with no parole in the federal system.

The sentencing is part of the larger case, USA v. Morales-Jimenez et al., involving 32 defendants named in the November 2022 indictment under Operation Carpet Ride. The investigation identified drug trafficking operations spanning several Georgia counties, including Bulloch, Burke, Candler, Effingham, Evans, Liberty, Richmond, and Tattnall, dating back to January 2016. The conspiracy allegedly imported significant quantities of cocaine, methamphetamine, and other drugs from Mexico and the Caribbean for distribution in the Southern District.

Slater, with multiple prior convictions for distributing and possessing cocaine and other drugs, pleaded guilty in May to Distribution of Cocaine. The investigation also uncovered that Slater possessed firearms and maintained premises for distributing controlled substances. About half of the Operation Carpet Ride defendants have been sentenced after pleading guilty, while the remaining defendants await further legal action.

The case was investigated under the Organized Crime Drug Enforcement Task Forces (OCDETF), employing a prosecutor-led, intelligence-driven, multi-agency approach to identify, disrupt, and dismantle high-level criminal organizations. Multiple law enforcement agencies, including the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration, Federal Bureau of Investigation, Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives, and others from a large geographic area, collaborated in the successful operation.

U.S. Attorney Steinberg expressed gratitude for the coordinated efforts and emphasized the commitment to holding accountable those who endanger communities by distributing illegal drugs.

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