Columbus Man Sentenced to Over 11 Years for Injuring Federal Officer in Drug Trafficking Investigation

Columbus Man Sentenced to Over 11 Years for Injuring Federal Officer in Drug Trafficking Investigation
Christopher Upshaw

Christopher Upshaw, also known as “Trouble,” received a sentence of over 11 years in prison on April 8 for injuring a federal officer during an attempt to evade arrest in connection with armed drug trafficking in the community.

Upshaw, 24, was sentenced by U.S. District Judge Clay Land to serve 136 months in prison, followed by three years of supervised release, after pleading guilty to one count of forcible assault on a federal officer with a deadly weapon on Jan. 23. He will not be eligible for parole.

U.S. Attorney Peter D. Leary stated, “Chris Upshaw acted with utter disregard for the lives and safety of others when he injured law enforcement and endangered community members during his frantic flight. Ultimately, Upshaw couldn’t evade justice, thanks to the tireless efforts of the FBI and others to hold him accountable.”

FBI Atlanta’s Columbus Resident Agency Supervisory Senior Resident Agent Rich Bilson commented, “This case shows the risk law enforcement officers face on a daily basis. Upshaw violently assaulted both our Task Force Officer and a Special Agent. The FBI stands ready to investigate any crimes against officers. More than anything, we are thankful that the injuries were not more severe, and that this incident did not result in a loss of life.”

According to court documents and the plea agreement, authorities identified a suspicious package from Northern California addressed to Upshaw’s residence on Buxton Drive in Columbus, scheduled for delivery on Aug. 4, 2023. Upshaw was wanted on outstanding warrants at the time. Members of the FBI, DEA, Muscogee County Sheriff’s Office, and Coweta County Sheriff’s Office conducted surveillance at Buxton Drive on Aug. 4. The suspicious parcel was delivered at 3:30 p.m. and left on the front porch. Upshaw arrived approximately 30 minutes later, retrieved the package, placed it in his vehicle, and entered the driver’s side.

Upon law enforcement’s approach, Upshaw began forcibly operating his vehicle to evade arrest. FBI Special Agent M.M. attempted to open the passenger side door but was pulled into a nearby stationary vehicle as Upshaw accelerated. Upshaw also struck and damaged three occupied law enforcement vehicles, injuring other officers on the scene.

Upshaw fled at high speed through the residential area but was captured several days later. During his escape, he discarded the suspicious package containing approximately 17 pounds of marijuana divided into 14 bags. Upshaw has prior felony convictions for drug possession in Muscogee County, Georgia, Superior Court, and is facing charges of attempted murder in Phenix City, Alabama, and resisting arrest in Miami, Florida.

The investigation was conducted by the FBI, DEA, the U.S. Postal Inspection Service, the Muscogee County Sheriff’s Office, and the Coweta County Sheriff’s Office.