Middle District of Georgia |  Tifton, Georgia resident pleads guilty to distributing fentanyl

ALBANY, Georgia — A south-central Georgia resident faces up to 20 years in prison over a local investigation into the distribution of fentanyl and heroin in a motel room in Tifton, Georgia.

Alphonso White, 43, of Tifton, Georgia, pleaded guilty to a count of possession with intent to distribute fentanyl on July 19 before US District Judge W. Louis Sands. White faces a maximum sentence of twenty years in prison, followed by at least three years of supervised release and a $1,000,000 fine. Sentencing is scheduled for October 19. There is no probation in the federal system.

“The defendant was in possession of approximately 4,200 lethal doses of fentanyl. I applaud investigators from the Tift County Sheriff’s Office for preventing a highly dangerous drug from making its way onto the streets of Tifton,” said US Attorney Peter D. Leary. “This case clearly demonstrates that fentanyl is readily available in communities of all sizes in our district. Our office will continue to provide any assistance necessary to law enforcement to stop the distribution of fentanyl and hold distributors accountable.”

“The Tift County Sheriff’s Office is always ready to work with local, state and federal agencies to help eliminate the scourge that fentanyl has become in this county,” said Tift County Sheriff Gene Scarbrough.

According to court documents, the Tift County Sheriff’s Office was investigating the distribution of fentanyl, heroin and other illegal drugs in the community. As a result, on January 18, 2022, investigators issued a search warrant at Howard Johnson’s Tifton motel room where White was staying. Officials confronted White after he left his motel room; White was carrying 32 sachets of a brown substance and blue pills marked “M 30”. The substances later tested positive for 8.544 grams of fentanyl. According to the Drug Enforcement Administration, as little as two milligrams of fentanyl — an amount equivalent to 10-15 grains of table salt — is considered a lethal dose. White was in possession of approximately 4,272 fatal doses. Without lab testing, there is no way of knowing how much fentanyl is concentrated in a pill or powder, making it extremely dangerous. To learn more about fentanyl, please visit https://www.dea.gov/factsheets/fentanyl.

The case was investigated by the Tift County Sheriff’s Department with assistance from the Georgia Bureau of Investigations (GBI). Assistant US Attorney Hannah Couch is representing the government on the case.