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More sentenced, plead guilty in Coffee Co. drug ring

Several people have been sentenced or pled guilty in an ongoing investigation of a gang member...
Several people have been sentenced or pled guilty in an ongoing investigation of a gang member drug ring in Coffee County. (Source: Gray News)(Gray News)
Published: Jan. 27, 2022 at 12:31 PM EST
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WAYCROSS, Ga. (WALB) - Several people have been sentenced or pled guilty in an ongoing investigation of a gang member drug ring in Coffee County, according to the United States Department of Justice.

Of the 48 defendants indicted in an investigation called Operation Sandy Bottom in January 2021, just nine await trial, 14 have been sentenced to federal prison terms of up to 286 months, while 22 others have pled guilty to felony charges and await sentencing, according to the Justice Department. Charges against one defendant were dismissed.

“The continued delivery of justice in Operation Sandy Bottom demonstrates the commitment our office brings to the identification and disruption of criminal street gangs who sell misery and sow fear in our communities,” said David Estes, U.S. attorney for the Southern District of Georgia. “Our many local, state, and federal law enforcement partners exhibited exceptional performance in bringing this drug trafficking operation to a halt.”

Here’s who has been sentenced and pled guilty:

  • Jackie Kavaskia McMillan, aka “Bijay,” 41, an inmate serving a life sentence for a state conviction on a charge of murder at Dooly State Prison, awaits sentencing in federal court after pleading guilty to conspiracy to possess with intent to distribute and to distribute 5 grams or more of methamphetamine and a auantity of marijuana. As early as 2018, McMillan used contraband cell phones and compromised prison guards to coordinate the drug trafficking operation while incarcerated. His guilty plea subjects McMillan to a minimum statutory penalty of five years in federal prison, and up to 40 years.
  • Christina Veronda Alexander, 41, of Hazlehurst, was sentenced to 286 months in prison after pleading guilty to conspiracy to possess with intent to distribute and to distribute 5 grams or more of methamphetamine and a quantity of marijuana, and possession of a firearm by a convicted felon. Alexander was McMillan’s girlfriend and under McMillan’s direction, obtained methamphetamine from a supplier in Mexico for distribution to street dealers in the conspiracy, and delivered contraband to compromised prison guards to smuggle to state prison inmates.
  • Brad Nikita Vickers, 34, of Douglas, was sentenced to 240 months in prison after pleading guilty to conspiracy to possess with intent to distribute and to distribute 50 grams or more of methamphetamine, and an amount of cocaine, crack cocaine, oxycodone, hydrocodone, marijuana, eutylone (bath salts), and asprazolam (xanax). Vickers was a mid-level drug distributor and source of supply to many of the street-level dealers in the conspiracy, according to the Justice Department.
  • Phillip Lloyd Morgan, aka “Tree Top,” 38, of Douglas, was sentenced to 118 months in prison after pleading guilty to conspiracy to possess with intent to distribute and to distribute 5 grams or more of methamphetamine, and an amount of cocaine, crack cocaine, oxycodone, hydrocodone, marijuana, eutylone, and asprazolam. Morgan was a mid-level distributor in the conspiracy, the Justice Department said.
  • Leo Vonza Pender, aka “Metro,” 39, of Alma, was sentenced to 118 months in prison after pleading guilty to possession with intent to distribute methamphetamine. Pender was a street-level dealer in the conspiracy, the Justice Department said.
  • Richard Young, 55, of Hazlehurst, awaits sentencing after pleading guilty to conspiracy to possess with intent to distribute methamphetamine. The Justice Department said Young admitted to participating in methamphetamine distribution as part of the conspiracy.

The Justice Department said Operation Sandy Bottom was an Organized Crime Drug Enforcement Task Force investigation centered in the Sand Ridge neighborhood on the east side of Douglas in an area known as “the bottoms.”

The 57-count indictment alleges that the conspiracy, controlled by a subset of the Gangster Disciples street gang, used guns, violence and fear to control methamphetamine trafficking operations throughout the community and to enable contraband distribution inside Georgia prisons, according to the Justice Department.

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