The U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Middle District of Georgia announced on July 26 that two men have pleaded guilty to possessing cocaine with the intent to distribute the drug. The 41-year-old Valdosta man and 45-year-old Edinburg man face a custodial sentence of up to 20 years in federal prison and a fine of as much as $1 million.
Narcotics agents receive tip
The investigation that ultimately led to the guilty pleas was launched in December 2018 after the Lowndes County Sheriff’s Office was informed that the Valdosta man was trafficking cocaine supplied to him by the Edinburg man. In February 2019, agents assigned to the LCSO’s Special Operations Division allegedly observed the men entering an apartment on Greenlee Street in Valdosta. Agents then took the Valdosta man into custody and executed a legal search of the apartment. The search is said to have resulted in the seizure of a large piece of crack cocaine along with 11 plastic bags containing powder cocaine. Agents also allegedly found several items that are commonly used to weigh, package and distribute illegal drugs.
More drugs found during vehicle search
A further 3 kilograms of cocaine was allegedly discovered two days after the apartment seizure when a car being used by the Edinburg man was searched during a traffic stop. The man reportedly admitted to agents that he distributed drugs and supplied the Valdosta man with cocaine. Investigators believe that he was the source of all of the drugs discovered during the operation.
Making admissions to police officers may not be wise
Law enforcement officers often encourage suspects to make incriminating statements by telling them that cooperation will lead to more lenient treatment. However, they often lack the authority to make good on these promises. This is why criminal defense lawyers may encourage individuals charged with drug offenses to remain silent when questioned by police. Admissions could then be used by attorneys to obtain concessions during plea discussions.