Undercover drug bust is successful - WALB.com, South Georgia News, Weather, Sports

Undercover drug bust is successful

January 25, 2005

Americus-- Sumter County drug agents say they have more problems with crack cocaine than any other county in the area. Today, two teams of officers swept the county busting five suspected dealers and three men believed to have operated one of the largest pharmecuetical drug rings in the Southeast.

It's been nearly two years since drug agents began their investigation and undercover work. Eight men are now behind bars facing serious federal drug charges that could put them in jail for the rest of their lives.

The day began with a briefing about the game plan. A plan would end in the arrest of a group of big time drug pushers. "These dealers that we arrested today with past federal indictments are mid to upper level crack cocaine dealers. They deal in larger quantities of cocaine in bulk shipments," said Lt. Ralph Stuart of the Drug Task Force.

 Sumter County Multi-Agency drug task force officers, DEA agents, and U.S. Marshals-- all heavily armed and ready to take down dealers. Bryant Keith Floyd was already in jail, but about an hour later, his brother Charlie Floyd, Chris Miles, Fred Stewart, and Adam Angrish were all brought in. Vanessa Barthell was also arrested and charged with obsturction during the arrest of Angrish.

Federal indictments for distribution of crack cocaine have been handed down for all five men. "The defendants that were picked up today all have the possibility of being charged with life imprisonment without the possibility of parole," Stuart says.

Along with the crack dealers, officers picked up Michael Marshall, Brad Satterfield and Robby Jones. Agents say Marshall, a former technician at Clinic Drug Store in Americus stole narcotics from work.

Satterfield was a deliveryman for the company and a supplier for dealers like Jones. "That is one of the largest in the Southeast United States that has been tied directly with a pharmecuetical store. Street value was somewhere in the neighborhood of three quarters of a million dollars," said Stuart.

Agents say the arrests are a great confidence booster and a way to show Sumter Countians that with the cooperation of several law enforcement agencies, they can take down the big fish.

Drug agents say their investigation is far from over. Including the eight arrested today they've already gotten 16 federal drug indictments, and plan to bring that number up to thirty by the end of the year.

Bond hearings for seven of the eight will be held in federal court in Albany Wednesday. Bond has already been denied for Bryant Keith Floyd.

posted at 5:05PM by dave.miller@walb.com

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