Feds target Barfield property - WALB.com, South Georgia News, Weather, Sports

Feds target Barfield property

February 1, 2008

Albany  --  An Albany businessman's property and assets are being seized by federal prosecutors.

Well-known Albany businessman Andy Barfield was arrested a week ago, caught buying five kilos of cocaine from undercover drug agents in Columbus.

Federal prosecutors are going after everything they believe Barfield bought with drug money, from a boat in Florida to real estate in Georgia.

A week after his arrest Andy Barfield remains in the Muscogee County Jail in Columbus. Both federal and state agents continue to investigate the drug transaction and now WALB News 10 sources tell us that Barfield's property and assets are being seized.

"If somebody has made a bunch of money selling drugs or doing another sort of illegal activity we want to take that money back from them," says Dougherty District Attorney Ken Hodges.

While D. A. Hodges isn't involved in Barfield's case, he explains what federal agents likely seized when they presented public notice of the seizures this week.

"We will seize everything and then we will begin looking at the sources of income used to purchase that and they will take depositions because it is a civil matter," Hodges said.

Everything includes, bank accounts, properties owned by Barfield both here in Georgia and in Bay County, Florida, and personal items like a car or a boat.

"It's assets that were procured by using drug money. If the money is co-mingled though with other assets, other moneys to purchase things such as a home or vehicle or an airplane and he's used some of both we can still forfeit it," Hodges said.

It will be up to Andy Barfield to prove the items weren't bought with drug money.  "The burden really shifts back to him to prove that the money was legitimate money."

Items Barfield can't prove are legitimate could be sold by the government and the money invested in drug agents' battle to keep drugs off Georgia's streets.

Barfield is being held in Muscogee County without bond. Investigators working the case have said Barfield's arrest in Columbus does have a connection to Albany, but haven't yet explained that connection.

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