Twenty-one people have been arrested in connection with a 2-year-long drug conspiracy investigation and more arrests are expected, according to U.S. Attorney Louis Franklin, Sr. of the Middle District of Alabama.
The arrests are in connection to suspected trafficking of methamphetamine and heroin in an operation that spans three states including Alabama, Georgia, and Florida. Officials say some of the suspects are from the Enterprise and Dothan area.
During a press conference Friday, officials say they couldn’t give specifics on quantities seized – but say a large amount of methamphetamine and at least one kilogram of heroin was obtained during the investigation.
“A kilogram quantity isn’t something we normally see. That’s large. I can say speaking for the U.S. Attorney’s office - in the last 25 years I’ve been with the office I’ve only been able to think of two occasions where we’ve sized a kilogram of heroin,” said Franklin.
He confirms the drugs were confiscated during some seizures and some undercover purchases. The arrests came after two federal grand jury indictments charging five defendants with various narcotics trafficking crimes, including conspiracy, distribution, and possession of methamphetamine and heroin, Franklin said.
The other sixteen suspects were arrested on related state charges.
Those arrested on federal charges include:
1. Antonio Tyrell Pouncey, 38, of Enterprise
2. Kimberly Christina Pouncy, 28, of Enterprise
3. Ervin Gene Bradham, 53, of Enterprise
4. Lynn Renfroe Donaldson, 51, of Enterprise
5. Rudyver Garcia, 30, of Sandy Springs, GA.
These five face between 10 years to life in prison if convicted.
Those from the Coffee County area face state charges of criminal conspiracy to commit a controlled substance crime include Alesia Cain, Authur Davis, Jimmy Farthing, Betty Grantham, Vincent Gray, James Johnson, Lashonda Jones, Taurence Marshall, Darnell Martin, Pierre Martin, Penny Martinez, Charee Perkins, Gerald Deondra Pouncy, David Reeves, Jason Scott, and Stevie Speigner.
Officials say the people arrested are part of a larger drug operation web and the arrests are of the drug distributors.
“Most people think about drug trafficking and how it occurs when people change hands," Franklin said. "There is a distributor and a buyer and they’re buying a quantity they can use. We’re not talking about those quantities. We’re talking above street level. We’re taking off people who distribute these drugs. We’re not taking off low-level traffickers.”
Where the drugs are coming from wasn’t released during the press conference, but Atlanta was mentioned as a new drug source city for Alabama. Officials say they don’t think they’ve stopped the flow of drugs into the Wiregrass but are making progress.
“We’ve disrupted it, we’ve not completely dismantled it," Franklin admitted. "We’ll continue to work towards dismantling it. It’ll take some effort from the community and more effort from law enforcement.”
Officials hope this round-up is a warning message.
“All of those people who are out there and think they can get away from the big city and come to a smaller area to operate and have their drug organizations going - it doesn’t matter where you are, we’re going to work together, root you out, take you to court, prosecute you, and continue to make the community safe,” said Special Agent In Charge, Bret Kirby.
Enterprise’s mayor, Bill Cooper, echoed Kirby. “Even though this is a small town Alabama, our law enforcement are up-to-date on what they need to do.
A long list of federal, state and local agencies participated in these arrests and the search. They include:
The FBI, Homeland Security Investigations, the Drug Enforcement Administration, the Dothan Police Department, the Enterprise Police Department, the Ozark Police Department, the Coffee County Sheriff’s Office, the Houston County Sheriff’s Office, the Alabama Law Enforcement Agency (ALEA), the Georgia State Police, the Clayton County, Georgia Sheriff’s Office, the Poarch Creek Tribal Indian Police Department and the Washington County, Florida Sheriff’s Office.
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