Leader of Drug Trafficking Organization Sentenced to 40 Years in Federal Prison

Leader of Drug Trafficking Organization Sentenced to 40 Years in Federal Prison

Cornelius Leonard, also known as “Tae,” 29, from Grantville, Georgia, has been sentenced to serve 40 years in federal prison for his role as the leader of an armed drug trafficking organization. Leonard’s operation was responsible for acquiring and distributing at least 250 kilograms of methamphetamine in west central Georgia. The sentencing took place on May 14, with Leonard being ordered to serve 480 months in prison, followed by five years of supervised release. He pleaded guilty to several charges, including conspiracy to possess with intent to distribute controlled substances and conspiracy to tamper with a witness. Notably, Leonard is not eligible for parole.

The U.S. Attorney for the region, Peter D. Leary, stated, “Cornelius Leonard and those involved in pushing more than 250 kilograms of methamphetamine into Thomaston and Columbus have been held accountable for their part in this armed drug trafficking organization causing harm in these communities.”

The FBI, alongside state and local law enforcement, conducted a lengthy and complex investigation that led to Leonard’s arrest and conviction. Robert Gibbs, the FBI Atlanta Supervisory Senior Resident Agent of the Macon Office, emphasized, “This sentencing serves to put criminals on notice that if you bring illegal drugs into our communities, we will employ whatever means necessary to find you and bring you to justice no matter where you are.”

Several co-defendants in the case have also received sentences ranging from months to years in prison for their involvement in the drug trafficking ring. These sentences are seen as a significant victory in the fight against drug-related crime in Georgia.

The investigation revealed that Leonard was collaborating with Pedro Barragan Valencia, an inmate at Calhoun State Prison, to acquire large quantities of methamphetamine, heroin, fentanyl, and other illegal drugs for distribution across various cities in Georgia. Valencia, also known as “Casper” and “Mexican Hitman Pete,” has been sentenced to serve 400 months in prison after pleading guilty to conspiracy to possess with intent to distribute controlled substances.

Leonard’s operation was dismantled through multiple controlled purchases of methamphetamine and wiretaps on Leonard’s phones, which uncovered his connections and activities within the drug trafficking network. The sentencing of Leonard and his associates marks a significant milestone in the ongoing efforts to combat drug trafficking and keep communities safe from the harmful effects of illegal drugs.

The following co-defendants have been sentenced:

  1. Pedro Barragan Valencia aka “Casper” aka “Bossman,” aka “Mexican Hitman Pete” from Calhoun, Georgia, sentenced to serve 400 months in prison.
  2. Ramone Zorn aka “Big Razor” from Thomaston, sentenced to serve 300 months in prison.
  3. Kedric Fuller aka “Blakk Ru” from Woodbury, Georgia, sentenced to serve 180 months in prison.
  4. Horatio Venable aka “Ray Ray” from Columbus, sentenced to serve 144 months in prison.
  5. Markevious Snipes aka “Big Dawg” from Thomaston, sentenced to serve 136 months in prison.
  6. Mechile Hobbs from Thomaston, sentenced to serve 120 months in prison.
  7. Darius Wellmaker from Thomaston, sentenced to serve 90 months in prison.
  8. Joshua McAfee from Thomaston, sentenced to serve 50 months in prison.
  9. Rashard Moreland from Columbus, sentenced to serve 40 months in prison.
  10. Antovious Hunter aka “Ant” from Columbus, sentenced to serve 37 months in prison.
  11. Dustin Robbins from Columbus, sentenced to serve 36 months in prison.
  12. Sabrina Smith from Thomaston, sentenced to serve 24 months in prison.
  13. Natashai Antley from Thomaston, sentenced to serve 18 months in prison.
  14. Nehemiah Johnson from Thomaston, sentenced to serve 18 months in prison.
  15. Jennifer Moss from Molena, Georgia, sentenced to serve 18 months in prison.
  16. Dixie Bailey from Thomaston, sentenced to time served.
  17. Mark Dean from Manchester, Georgia, sentenced to time served.
  18. Ashley Ingram from Cataula, Georgia, sentenced to time served.
  19. Krystal Juarez Norman from Thomaston, sentenced to time served.
  20. S. Carlton Power from Manchester, Georgia, sentenced to time served.
  21. D. Justin Whitten from Hogansville, Georgia, sentenced to time served.

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