Cairo meth ring convicted

15 co-defendants plead guilty resulting from OCDETF Investigation

ALBANY, GA – A Southwest Georgia man was found guilty on all counts by a federal jury Thursday afternoon following a four-day trial resulting from an Organized Crime Drug Enforcement Task Force (OCDETF) investigation into an extensive drug trafficking organization responsible for distributing more than 100 kilograms of methamphetamine in the region.

Kentrail Brown, 31, of Cairo, Georgia, was convicted of conspiracy to possess with intent to distribute methamphetamine, distribution of methamphetamine, possession with intent to distribute methamphetamine and possession of a firearm in furtherance of drug trafficking on March 17, following a trial that began on March 14, before U.S. District Judge Leslie Abrams Gardner. Brown faces a minimum of ten years up to a maximum life imprisonment. There is no parole in the federal system.

“Kentrail Brown’s conviction concludes an extensive Organized Crime Drug Enforcement Task Force investigation that ultimately shut down a methamphetamine trafficking network centered in a small Southwest Georgia community. Brown, along with 15 co-defendants convicted in this case, have been held accountable for the grave harm caused by their criminal activities,” said U.S. Attorney Peter D. Leary. “The U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Middle District of Georgia and our law enforcement partners are using every tool at our disposal to make our region safer and hold repeat and violent criminals accountable.”

“The conviction of these defendants is an example of DEA’s effort to confront, engage and eliminate drug distribution networks,” said Robert J. Murphy, the Special Agent in Charge of the DEA Atlanta Field Division. “Because of the collaborative effort between DEA and its law enforcement partners, these defendants will spend well-deserved time in federal prison.”

“As this exhaustive investigation ends, we can assure citizens of Southwest Georgia that they are much safer because Brown and his co-defendants are off their streets,” said Philip Wislar, Acting Special Agent in Charge of FBI Atlanta. “The FBI would like to thank our federal, state and local law enforcement partners for all of their hard work and commitment to ending the opioid epidemic here in Georgia.”

“This conviction demonstrates the great work of law enforcement at all levels to investigate and prosecute the illegal distribution of methamphetamine, a dangerous drug that continues to wreak havoc on Georgia communities. The GBI remains committed to working with our local and federal partners in drug enforcement to address these types of crimes,” said GBI Director Vic Reynolds.

According to court documents and evidence presented at trial, agents conducted a wiretap investigation into the drug distribution activities of Brown and numerous co-defendants beginning in March 2019. The investigation revealed that Brown and his co-defendants were engaged in the distribution of methamphetamine in southwest Georgia. In all, more than 100 kilograms of methamphetamine are attributable to this organization.

The following co-defendants entered guilty pleas in this case and have been sentenced:

Phil Grim, 45 of Cairo, pleaded guilty to conspiracy to possess with intent to distribute methamphetamine and was sentenced to serve 120 months imprisonment to be followed by five years of supervised release;

James Levy Sapp, 40, of Cairo, pleaded guilty to conspiracy to possess with intent to distribute methamphetamine and was sentenced to serve 87 months imprisonment to be followed by five years of supervised release;

Mitchell Tomberlin, 49 of Whigham, Georgia, pleaded guilty to conspiracy to possess with intent to distribute methamphetamine and was sentenced to serve 60 months imprisonment to be followed by three years of supervised release; and,

R. Kevin Barrineau, 48 of Cairo, pleaded guilty to conspiracy to possess with intent to distribute methamphetamine and was sentenced to serve 57 months imprisonment to be followed by three years of supervised release;

The following co-defendants have entered guilty pleas and sentencings are scheduled for June 15-17:

Tobias Sanders, 32, Cairo, pleaded guilty to conspiracy to possess with intent to distribute methamphetamine and faces a maximum sentence of life in prison and a $10,000,000 fine;

Xavier Jordan, 33, of Cairo, pleaded guilty to possession with intent to distribute methamphetamine and faces a maximum sentence of life in prison and a $10,000,000 fine;

Joseph Jones aka Bae, 31, of Cairo, pleaded guilty to conspiracy to possess with intent to distribute methamphetamine and faces a maximum sentence of life in prison and a $10,000,000 fine;

David Donald, 37, of Cairo, pleaded guilty to possession with intent to distribute methamphetamine    and faces a maximum sentence of life in prison and a $10,000,000 fine;

Orrie Bell, 35, of Cairo, pleaded guilty to possession with intent to distribute methamphetamine and  faces a maximum sentence of life in prison and a $10,000,000 fine;

Richard Bond, 47, of Cairo, pleaded guilty to conspiracy to possess with intent to distribute methamphetamine and faces a maximum sentence of life in prison and a $10,000,000 fine;

Mike Thomas, 47, of Cairo, pleaded guilty to conspiracy to possess with intent to distribute methamphetamine and faces a maximum sentence of life in prison and a $10,000,000 fine;

Demorris Adams, 32, of Whigham, Georgia, pleaded guilty to  distribution of methamphetamine and faces a maximum sentence of 40 years in prison and a $5,000,000 fine;

Dewayne Isom, 31, of Cairo, pleaded guilty to conspiracy to possess with intent to distribute methamphetamine and faces a maximum sentence of 20 years in prison and a $1,000,000 fine;

Nicholas Harden, 29, of Cairo, pleaded guilty to use of a communication facility in furtherance of a drug trafficking crime and faces up to four years in prison and a $250,000 fine; and

Shandrekia Mango, 34, of Cairo, pleaded guilty to misprision of a felony and faces up to three years in prison and a $250,000 fine.

This effort is part of an Organized Crime Drug Enforcement Task Force (OCDETF) operation. OCDETF identifies, disrupts, and dismantles the highest-level criminal organizations that threaten the United States using a prosecutor-led, intelligence-driven, multi-agency approach. Additional information about the OCDETF Program can be found at https://www.justice.gov/OCDETF.

The case was investigated by DEA, FBI, GBI, Grady County Sheriff’s Office and Thomas County Sheriff’s Office.

Assistant U.S. Attorney Leah McEwen prosecuted the case.