Thursday, June 18, 2009

Ten Indicted on Federal Drug Charges

Edmund A. Booth, Jr., United States Attorney for the Southern District of Georgia, announced that a federal grand jury returned a 32-count indictment against ten individuals charging them with Conspiracy to Distribute Cocaine and Cocaine Base over a fourteen-month period.

Booth stated that the indictment stems from a lengthy investigation of the drug organization operating in what is commonly referred to as the Smallworld or Southside area of Augusta, located in and around the Dogwood Terrace Government Housing Complex.. Booth noted that the defendants have been charged with conspiracy as well as drug distribution and firearms charges.

Those charged in the indictment are Reginald Darrell Beale, age 28 and Latria Grenise Smith, age 26, both of Hephzibah; Thomas Polonco Beale, age 36, Brian Christopher Harris, age 27, Mark Jones, age 52, Sylvester Ruben Lewis, age 33, Jaimere Prosser, age 26, and Marsignor C. White, age 26, all from Augusta; Sequoyah Elam, age 28 from Lincolnton; and Derrick D. King, age 31 from Milledgeville.

Booth stated that, if convicted of the drug conspiracy charge, the defendants face a maximum statutory penalty of 10 years to life imprisonment and a $4 million fine.

Booth stressed that an indictment is only an accusation and is not evidence of guilt. Each defendant is entitled to a fair trial, during which it will be the Government’s burden to prove guilt beyond a reasonable doubt.

The investigation, which led to the indictment, was conducted by the Federal Bureau of Investigation’s CSRA Safe Streets Task Force which consists of officers and agents from the Federal Bureau of Investigation, the Richmond County Sheriff’s Office, the Columbia County Sheriff’s Office, the Georgia Bureau of Investigation, and the Georgia State Board of Pardons and Paroles. The Drug Enforcement Administration and the United States Marshal’s Service also participated in the investigation. The United States is being represented in this case by Assistant United States Attorneys Nancy Greenwood and Charlie Bourne.

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