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Georgia man who organized methamphetamine transactions inside federal jail sentenced to 300 further months | USAO-NDFL

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Georgia man who arranged methamphetamine transactions inside federal prison sentenced to 300 additional months |  USAO-NDFL

TALLAHASSEE, FLORIDA — Brian Stanton, 38, of Athens, Georgia, was sentenced to 300 months in federal prison after being convicted in court of conspiracy to distribute and possess with intent to distribute 500 grams or more of a methamphetamine-containing compound . Jason R. Coody, Attorney for the Northern District of Florida, announced the verdict.

“Cooperative and concerted efforts like Operation Arrowhead enable our local, state and federal law enforcement partners to identify and investigate those who are distributing addictive and deadly controlled substances in both our urban and rural communities,” said US Attorney Coody. “We remain vigilant to assist in their investigative efforts and will aggressively pursue those involved in drug trafficking throughout North Florida.”

Stanton was already serving federal sentences for possession of a firearm and conspiracy to distribute methamphetamine when he was arrested on the new charges. Between June 2019 and November 2020, while incarcerated in a federal penitentiary in Atlanta, Stanton used a contraband cellphone to arrange for the distribution of at least 24 pounds of methamphetamine through various off-prison sources. His new sentence will be consecutive, meaning Stanton will only serve the 300-month sentence after his current sentence is up. After his release, Stanton will be released under supervision for ten years.

“This sentence demonstrates the DEA’s commitment to working with our local, state and federal partners to ensure those who continue to engage in criminal activity and bring this poison into our Florida communities are held accountable for their actions.” said Miami Field Division Special Agent in Charge Deanne L. Reuter. “I commend the men and women who have worked tirelessly on this investigation to dismantle this criminal drug network to keep their communities safe and healthy.”

“It’s an ongoing struggle to keep drug dealers off the streets and to protect our families from their toxic grip,” said Taylor County Sheriff Wayne Padgett. “To achieve this, federal, state and local agencies must work together as one team. Credit goes to all law enforcement officials who came together to make Operation Arrowhead a success. However, our mission would have been unsuccessful without the support of public citizens, who take the initiative to speak up when they see something.”

“When it comes to those who seek to commit serious crimes, jurisdictional boundaries are neither relevant nor important,” said Perry Police Chief Cruse. “The only way to disrupt the capabilities and markets of those dedicated to distributing illicit substances in our rural communities is through strong collaborative enforcement efforts. The investigation and prosecution of all those convicted of Operation Arrowhead was made possible through a concerted effort. Having partners at the federal, state and federal levels deploy competent professionals to this investigation is a positive example of an effective alliance with substantive results. The Perry Police Department and the City of Perry owe a debt of gratitude to everyone who participated in this investigation.”

In addition to Stanton, the operation resulted in the conviction of 23 other people, including:

  • Erica Keeler, 22, of Perry, Fla.; Sentenced to served time
  • Kristin Walker, 32, from Perry, Fla.; Sentenced to served time
  • Audrey Newmeyer, 56, of Perry, Fla.; Sentenced to 18 months in federal prison
  • Jeffrey Thomley, Jr., 32, of Perry, Fla.; Sentenced to 18 months in federal prison
  • Russell Walker, Jr., 34, of Perry, Fla.; Sentenced to 24 months in federal prison
  • Carlton Hull, 50, of Perry, Fla.; Sentenced to 30 months in federal prison
  • Kamra Witt, 53, of Silver Springs, Fla.; Sentenced to 36 months in federal prison
  • Heather Vann, 40, of Perry, Fla.; Sentenced to 48 months in federal prison
  • Connie Sullivan, 52, from Trenton, Florida; Sentenced to 48 months in federal prison
  • Roger Slaughter, 36, of Perry, Fla.; Sentenced to 60 months in federal prison
  • Kathryn Comolli, 41, of Edgewater, Fla.; Sentenced to 72 months in federal prison
  • Mark Johns, 50, from Lake City, Fla.; Sentenced to 72 months in federal prison
  • James Watkins, 37, of Fort White, Fla.; Sentenced to 108 months in federal prison
  • Abel Guerra, 60, from Perry, Fla.; Sentenced to 114 months in federal prison
  • Cedrick Gaddy, 44, of Perry, Fla., sentenced to 120 months in federal prison
  • Paul Pridgeon, 73, of Mayo, Fla.; Sentenced to 144 months in federal prison
  • Robert Murphy, 53 from Tallahassee, Fla.; Sentencing is scheduled for June 15, 2022
  • Kevin Lambert, 48, from Brooksville, Fla.; Sentencing is scheduled for June 16, 2022
  • Brian Morgan, 43 from Brooksville, Fla.; Sentencing is scheduled for July 13, 2022
  • Fawn Hurley, 37, of Mayo, Fla.; Sentencing is scheduled for July 14, 2022
  • Beyah Besha, 44, of Perry, Fla.; Sentencing is scheduled for July 27, 2022
  • Robert Segrest, 40, of Perry, Fla.; Sentencing is scheduled for August 4, 2022
  • Stephen Gamble, 49, of Perry, Fla. Sentencing scheduled for August 22, 2022

This conviction was the result of a joint investigation by the Drug Enforcement Administration, the Taylor County Sheriff’s Office, the Perry Police Department, the Jefferson County Sheriff’s Office, the Madison County Sheriff’s Office, the Lafayette County Sheriff’s Office, the Florida Highway Patrol, and the Bureau of Alcohol. Tobacco, firearms and explosives. Operation Arrowhead was a joint investigation targeting methamphetamine dealers in several rural North Florida counties.

Operation Arrowhead was prosecuted by United States Assistant Attorneys Gary Milligan, Eric Mountin, James A. McCain, Kaitlin Weiss and Christopher Elsey.

The operation was conducted by an interagency task force of the Organized Crime Drug Enforcement Task Force (OCDETF), a partnership between federal, state and local law enforcement agencies. The primary mission of the OCDETF program is to identify, disrupt and dismantle the most serious drug trafficking, arms trafficking and money laundering organizations, as well as those primarily responsible for the country’s illicit drug supply. More information about the OCDETF program is available here: https://www.justice.gov/ocdetf/about-ocdetf.

The United States Attorney’s Office for the Northern District of Florida is one of 94 offices that, under the direction of the Attorney General, serve as the nation’s principal trial attorneys. To access public court documents online, please visit the United States District Court for the Northern District of Florida website. For more information about the United States Attorney’s Office, Northern District of Florida, see http://www.justice.gov/usao/fln/index.html.