Tifton bartender pleads guilty to distributing meth, fentanyl
TIFTON, Ga. (WALB) - A Tifton man who was working as a bartender while brokering large amounts of methamphetamine and fentanyl pleaded guilty to distribution, according to the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Middle District of Georgia.
Edgar Fernando Neri, also known as “Colocho,” pleaded guilty to distribution of methamphetamine before U.S. Senior District Judge Hugh Lawson on June 21.
According to court documents, Georgia Bureau of Investigation (GBI) agents developed a confidential source in late August 2021 who had information regarding the distribution of meth in Tifton. The confidential source had been purchasing from a local bartender known as “Colocho” who was wanting the confidential source to purchase larger amounts of drugs that would come from a source in Los Angeles.
During the course of the investigation, Neri, 21, discussed moving pounds of meth, multiple kilos of cocaine, as well as the purchase of body armor, rifles, a rocket launcher and rockets with his supplier in California.
Multiple controlled purchases of meth were made from Neri and Neri arranged for shipments of more meth and fentanyl pills, also referred to as “percocet,” from the source.
Packages containing three pounds of meth and 1,990 blue fentanyl pills were sent from Neri’s source in L.A. to Tifton in October 202. He was taken into custody on Oct. 19, 2021.
“The defendant was attempting to move large amounts of methamphetamine and fentanyl into a small South Central Georgia community; discussions of trafficking firearms, a rocket launcher and body armor also occurred, further illustrating the violent criminal element surrounding the illegal distribution of drugs,” said U.S. Attorney Peter D. Leary. “We are working with law enforcement at every level to hold individuals accountable for those crimes which most affect the safety and security of our region.”
Neri is being held responsible for distributing 1,290.93 grams of actual meth based on the high level of purity of the meth involved and 1,990 pills containing fentanyl and weighing 205.92 grams, according to the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Middle District of Georgia.
“A large amount of illegal drugs was taken off the streets of South Central Georgia. We will continue to dedicate resources to investigating drug activity to make our communities safer. Thank you to our federal partners for being a force multiplier when it comes to successfully investigating and prosecuting these types of cases,” said GBI Director Vic Reynolds.
Neri faces a maximum of 20 years of imprisonment to be followed by at least three years of supervised release and a maximum $1,000,000 fine. Sentencing is scheduled for Sept. 21. There is no parole in the federal system.
“This defendant posed a clear and present danger to the Tifton community by dealing in dangerous drugs, including discussions of firearms trafficking,” said Robert J. Murphy, the Special Agent in Charge of the Atlanta Field Division. “Thanks to collaborative partnerships between the DEA and its law enforcement partners, this defendant no longer poses a threat to Tifton and elsewhere.”
The case was investigated by DEA, GBI and the Tift County Sheriff’s Office, with assistance from the U.S. Postal Inspection Service.
Copyright 2022 WALB. All rights reserved.