Monday, January 12, 2009

Cedartown Flooring Installer Now Going to Federal Prison for Running Drug Ring

DARRELL GENE PHILLIPS, 52, of Cedartown, Georgia, was sentenced to serve 47 years in federal prison today by United States District Judge Harold L. Murphy on charges of conspiracy to distribute and possess with the intent to distribute methamphetamine and cocaine and possession of a firearm, relating to a drug trafficking scheme.

United States Attorney David E. Nahmias said of the case, “This sentencing caps an investigation that successfully shut down a pipeline of methamphetamine from Mexico, through Atlanta, and into northwest Georgia. This defendant and others were responsible for bringing pounds of methamphetamine into northwest Georgia and distributing it through a network of dealers. If agents of the Georgia Bureau of Investigation and the Federal Bureau of Investigation, working with officers of the Haralson County - Paulding County Drug Task Force had not stepped in, this organization would have continued to flood the area with this insidious poison.”

PHILLIPS was sentenced to 47 years in prison, to be followed by five years of supervised release. PHILLIPS was convicted of these charges by a federal jury sitting in Rome, Georgia, on October 23, 2008.

According to United States Attorney Nahmias and the information presented in court: From May through October 2007, PHILLIPS arranged to bring into northwest Georgia nearly 20 pounds of methamphetamine that was purchased from Mexican sources in the metro-Atlanta area. PHILLIPS, who at the time also owned his own hardwood flooring business, distributed the methamphetamine from his home in a quiet Cedartown, Georgia, subdivision to sellers in the area who, in turn, sold the drugs to others.

The Georgia Bureau of Investigation (GBI) and the Haralson County - Paulding County Drug Task Force (HPDTF) received information about PHILLIPS’ illegal activities and introduced a cooperating informant, and later, an undercover GBI agent, into PHILLIPS’ conspiracy. In hours of audio and videotaped conversations, PHILLIPS schemed to obtain more methamphetamine and more money to, in turn, obtain even more of the drug to distribute in the area. On one occasion, when the informant went to PHILLIPS house wearing a hidden video camera and microphone, PHILLIPS answered the door carrying an UZI-style assault rifle; that he later bragged was fully automatic and had interchangeable barrels so that he could kill someone and then throw away the barrel, making it untraceable.

PHILLIPS was arrested on October 9, 2007, after he had met with an undercover GBI agent, who had been posing as a large-scale drug distributor, in the parking lot of the Home Depot store in Hiram, Georgia, in order to purchase several pounds of methamphetamine from the undercover agent.

This case was investigated by Task Force Agents of the Haralson County - Paulding County Drug Task Force (HPDTF), Special Agents of the Georgia Bureau of Investigation (GBI), and Special Agents of the Federal Bureau of Investigation.

Assistant United States Attorney Todd C. Alley prosecuted the case.

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