Drug Trafficking Kingpin Pleads Guilty to Federal Charges in Georgia

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The mastermind behind a major drug trafficking organization (DTO) has pleaded guilty to conspiracy charges related to importing approximately 2,000 kilograms of cocaine from Mexico into the United States. The Federal Bureau of Investigation’s Athens Resident Agency Middle Georgia Safe Streets Gang Task Force, in collaboration with other law enforcement agencies, successfully brought Albert Ross, also known as “Big,” to justice after an extensive investigation.

Albert Ross, 53, based in Atlanta, entered a guilty plea before U.S. District Judge Tilman “Tripp” Self III on January 22. The charges include one count of conspiracy to possess with intent to distribute cocaine and one count of conspiracy to possess with intent to distribute marijuana. The guilty plea exposes Ross to a mandatory minimum sentence of ten years to life in prison, followed by five years of supervised release. Additionally, Ross could face a maximum fine of $10,000,000 per count. The court will determine the sentencing date, and Ross is not eligible for parole.

U.S. Attorney Peter D. Leary remarked, “Albert Ross directed enormous amounts of deadly drugs into Georgia from Mexico for many years—harming our citizens and communities in exchange for a lavish lifestyle. Ross even admitted to ordering the murder of an associate tied to a drug shipment intercepted by law enforcement.”

Ross, identified as the leader of a large-scale DTO, was responsible for importing substantial quantities of cocaine into the U.S. from Mexico. The FBI-Athens Resident Agency initiated a prolonged investigation, employing various techniques such as wiretaps, physical surveillance, vehicle trackers, and confidential informants. These efforts identified a network of individuals associated with Ross’s DTO.

The investigation revealed that Ross directed individuals to transport large quantities of cocaine from Texas to be distributed to customers and associates in the Middle District of Georgia. Ross’s DTO received cocaine from a source in Mexico associated with the Cártel de Jalisco Nueva Generación (CJNG). Ross and co-conspirators flew to Mexico City in August 2019 to negotiate a deal, aiming to supply the DTO with an additional 200 kilograms of cocaine per month.

The guilty plea also disclosed that Ross received substantial amounts of cocaine and marijuana from different Mexican suppliers. Ross’s DTO was involved in various criminal activities, including orchestrating a murder following a drug load interception, transporting large shipments of marijuana from California, and overseeing drug proceeds.

Law enforcement agencies seized significant assets during the investigation, including $3,164,210 in cash, 73 firearms, and various quantities of controlled substances. Ross was arrested on September 23, 2021, at his Stone Mountain residence.

The case was part of an Organized Crime Drug Enforcement Task Force (OCDETF) operation, reflecting the commitment to dismantling high-level criminal organizations. The case was investigated by the FBI Atlanta – Athens Resident Agency Middle Georgia Safe Streets Gang Task Force, DEA, and multiple other law enforcement agencies.

Assistant U.S. Attorneys Mike Morrison and Tamara Jarrett are prosecuting the case for the Government.