Fitzgerald’s “meth-rug” suspect pleads guilty

Chad Williamson, 42, of Fitzgerald, Georgia, pleaded guilty to possession of methamphetamine with intent to distribute
Thumbnail Chad Williamson

ALBANY, GA – A Southwest Georgia man arrested after federal agents discovered nearly two kilograms of methamphetamine soaked in a rug and crystal meth in packages at the Atlanta airport addressed to him from Mexico pleaded guilty for drug distribution recently.

Chad Williamson, 42, of Fitzgerald, Georgia, pleaded guilty to possession of methamphetamine with intent to distribute before U.S. District Judge Leslie Abrams Gardner on Sept. 8. Williamson faces a minimum mandatory sentence of ten years of imprisonment up to a maximum sentence of life in prison and a $10,000,000 fine. Williamson’s sentencing is expected to occur within 90 days.

“The defendant was part of a larger international network using any means necessary to smuggle methamphetamine into Southwest Georgia; thankfully, federal agents intercepted this deadly drug before it could hit the streets,” said U.S. Attorney Peter D. Leary. “Law enforcement at every level is working to hold high-volume drug smugglers accountable for their activities, which gravely harm our communities by feeding addiction.”

“DEA and its law enforcement partners will continue to use every available resource to dismantle, disrupt and destroy drug distribution networks,” said the Special Agent in Charge of the DEA Atlanta Field Division Robert J. Murphy. “This case was successful because of the collaborative efforts between DEA and its committed law enforcement partners.”

According to court documents, two packages containing methamphetamine and addressed to Williamson were intercepted by Homeland Security Investigations (HSI) at the Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport Parcel Center in March 2021. The packages were shipped from Naucalpan de Juarez, Mexico, and marked as religious image and/or Bible gift; one of the boxes contained a methamphetamine-soaked rug, which can be chemically extracted for use. There was also more than 200 grams of crystal methamphetamine in the packages.

DEA agents went to Williamson’s residence on March 11, 2021. Williamson had removed the SIM card from his phone in an attempt to hide its contents. Williamson’s probation officer administered a drug test, which Williamson failed. Williamson was placed under arrest and subsequently admitted to agents that an associate used Williamson’s address for drug deliveries. The SIM card was located, and a download of Williamson’s phone showed a number of messages he had exchanged with the source of supply, saved in his phone as “Costa Chris.” The messages revealed an on-going relationship between the two regarding illicit controlled substance deliveries requiring tracking and other drug deals. In all, a total of 1926.2 grams of methamphetamine was present in the packages, 459.2 grams of which was determined to be 98% pure.

The case was investigated DEA with assistance from HSI.

Assistant U.S. Attorney Leah McEwen is prosecuting the case.