Tifton drug dealer sentenced after heroin death

Tifton drug dealer sentenced after heroin death

ALBANY, GA (WALB) - A Tifton man is going to federal prison for 12 years after a woman was found dead in his room, in 2015.

Bobby Earl Grantham, Jr., 49, of Tifton, had already pled guilty in the case, according to Charles E. Peeler, United States Attorney for the Middle District of Georgia.

In Albany, on February 22, 2018, United States District Court Judge Leslie J. Abrams sentenced Grantham to 150 months imprisonment for the offense of conspiracy to possess with intent to distribute controlled substances.

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Grantham's conspiracy lasted from October 2014 to August, 2015, and involved a total of twenty-one participants, all of whom have been convicted.

Twice in 2015, a confidential source purchased heroin at the residence of Jimmy Barrentine, once from Grantham himself.

In 2016, EMS was called to Barrentine's Tifton home, where they found Sonya Tolar dead inside Bobby Grantham's bedroom. The medical examiner lists the cause of death as heroin toxicity.

Agents located Tolar's cell phone, which showed that Grantham texted a photo of the heroin to Tolar to entice her to visit him.  Tolar traveled to meet Grantham at Barrentine's residence, where she died.

After Grantham discovered that Tolar had overdosed, he waited over 30 minutes before calling for help, and then removed evidence so that it would not be discovered by the authorities.

"Opioid distribution has been declared a national epidemic," said United States Attorney Peeler. "Federal law carries stiff penalties for those who distribute drugs where death or serious bodily injury occurs. I hope that this sentence makes it clear that we do not tolerate the harm that this behavior causes in this district and that we are committed to doing all within our power to address and combat this epidemic. Mr. Grantham's obstructive actions cannot be condoned. Ms. Tolar's life might have been saved if he had valued her life more than his freedom. This lengthy sentence is richly deserved."

This case was investigated by the Drug Enforcement Administration Macon Division, GBI Sylvester, Ben Hill County Sheriff's Office, Tift County Sheriff's Office, and Mid South Narcotics Task Force. Assistant United States Attorney Leah E. McEwen prosecuted the case for the United States.

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