Drug bust leads to largest-ever indictment in Southern District of Georgia history : Operation Ghost Busted
BRUNSWICK, Ga. - A total of 76 people have been named as defendants in the case of USA v. Alvarez et al, a federal indictment tied to the "Ghost Face Gangsters" white supremacy criminal street gang, along with other known prison and street gangs. Officials say an investigation not only exposed a massive drug trafficking ring, but also allegedly revealed multiple deaths from illegal drug overdoses.
On Jan. 11, Attorney David H. Estes said the 76 defendants were charged with involvement in a drug trafficking conspiracy that dealt large amounts of methamphetamine, fentanyl, heroin and alprazolam throughout southern Georgia.
FOX 5 learned the primary conspiracy charge carries a mandatory minimum sentence of 10 years in prison, as well as substantial financial penalties and a period of supervised release in the cast that a defendant doesn't receive a life sentence.
"Operation Ghost Busted demonstrates the focused commitment of law enforcement agencies at all levels in identifying, infiltrating and disrupting drug trafficking networks in our communities," said U.S. Attorney Estes. "We are proud to serve with these professionals in the continuing work to make our neighborhoods safe from illegal gang activity and the violent crime it spawns."
Multiple federal, state and local law enforcement agencies said they have been investigating the drug trafficking network for over two years.
Glynn County was just one area used by the network. The other affected Georgia counties included: Pierce, Wayne, Treutlen, McIntosh, Toombs, Telfair, Dodge, and Ware counties.
Officials said at least one compromised corrections officer was involved, working with a leader of the conspiracy who is currently serving life behind bars for murder. Others participants include members of the Ghost Face Gangsters and Aryan brotherhood--two known white supremacist gangs--and the Bloods and Gangster Disciples--two known mostly Black gangs.
Two of the 76 named defendants were also charged with distribution of illegal drugs that led to the overdose deaths of three individuals.
One vehicle, 43 firearms and more than $53,000 in cash were forfeited to the court. More than three dozen additional defendants face prosecution for state charges in the investigation.
In an 118-count, 133-page indictment the court revealed this may be the largest one ever seen in the Southern District of Georgia.
These are the named defendants, according to the court:
- David E. Alvarez, 24, of Townsend, Ga.
- Garrison A. Bell, 35, of Brunswick, Ga.
- Desiree M. Briley, 26, of McRae-Helena, Ga.
- Rachael P. Byrd, a/k/a "Byrd is the Word," a/k/a "Rachael NeSmith," 25, of Brunswick, Ga.
- Terry L. Cason II, 36, of Brunswick, Ga.
- Tonya C. Cox, a/k/a "Shuge White," 43, of Brunswick, Ga.
- Abraham Crews, a/k/a "Abe," 41, of Waverly, Ga.
- Hannah G. Croft, 23, of Brunswick, Ga.
- Michael S. Daniels, 39, of Waynesville, Ga.
- Marissa D. Davis, 31, of Brunswick, Ga.
- Willie H. Day, 52, of Brunswick, Ga.
- Ashley Deen, 29, of Brunswick, Ga.
- Cody M. Demers, a/k/a "Bravo Seven," 24, of Blackshear, Ga.
- Skyler T. Drawdy, 24, of Darien, Ga.
- Taylor D. Drew, 32, of Brunswick, Ga.
- Joshua A. Drury, 41, of Darien, Ga.
- Jonathan R. Elrod, a/k/a "Brazy Jay," a/k/a "Jay," a/k/a "John Boy," 33, of Blairsville, Ga.
- Joshua E. Enke, 33, of Brunswick, Ga.
- Juan C. Everette, a/k/a "Don Juan," 36, of Brunswick, Ga.
- Andrew R. Flanagan, a/k/a "Drew," 35, of Brunswick, Ga.
- Verdalee D. Flanagan, a/k/a " Verlee," 37, of Nahunta, Ga.
- Alexa B. Foster, a/k/a "Lexa," 29, of Brunswick, Ga.
- Theodore Gee, a/k/a "Keno," 44, of Brunswick, Ga.
- Chad L. Googe, 40, of Brunswick, Ga.
- Shawn S. Green, a/k/a "Polo Green," 42, of Brunswick, Ga.
- Laura R. Harden, 49, of Brunswick, Ga.
- John E. Harrison, a/k/a "Johnny," 25, of Brunswick, Ga.
- Priscilla Hemingway, a/k/a "Priscilla Carr," 43, of Brunswick, Ga.
- Wyndel L. Herndon, 40, of Brunswick, Ga.
- Britnee V. Houston, 28, of Waynesville, Ga.
- Timothy W. Hutchinson, a/k/a "Tim," 58, of Brunswick, Ga.
- Kenneth W. Lane, a/k/a "Skinny," 43, of Hortense, Ga.
- Timothy W. Loper, 35, of Brunswick, Ga.
- Kenneth Mainor, a/k/a "Busta Bill," 66, of White Oak, Ga.
- Kenyetta D. Mainor, a/k/a "Yatta," 46, of Brunswick, Ga.
- Wendell McClain, 34, of Brunswick, Ga.
- Cameren A. McDonald, 26, of Brunswick, Ga.
- Justin W. McGhee, 36, of Darien, Ga.
- Charlie A. Moody, 42, of Brunswick, Ga.
- Antonio Morales, a/k/a "Silence," a/k/a "Silent Ololade," 29, of Vidalia, Ga.
- Aubrey NeSmith, 21, of Metter, Ga.
- James D. NeSmith, a/k/a "DG," 25, an inmate at Telfair State Prison
- Mary NeSmith, 58, of Metter, Ga.
- Eric S. Ogden, a/k/a "Scotty," 35, of Woodbine, Ga.
- Auston J. Proctor, 32, of Woodbine, Ga.
- Michael A. Provenzano, 34, of Brunswick, Ga.
- Jimmy A. Reynolds, a/k/a "Jim," 54, of Brunswick, Ga.
- James C. Richardson, 35, of Brunswick, Ga.
- William W. Ringle, a/k/a "Will," 42, of Brunswick, Ga.
- Anthony D. Ruffner, 32, of Brunswick, Ga.
- Samantha S. Russell, 34, of Brunswick, Ga.
- Jamey E. Sapp, 50, of St. Simons Island, Ga.
- Blake K. Screen, 34, of Brunswick, Ga.
- John D. Screen, 31, of Brunswick, Ga.
- Adam H. Smith, 43, of Brunswick, Ga.
- Brian T. Spell, 32, of Waynesville, Ga.
- Gregory W. Stabile, a/k/a "G," a/k/a "Lts Be DAreason," 37, of Brunswick, Ga.
- James L. Stephens, a/k/a "Rabbit," 39, of Brunswick, Ga.
- Debra L. Stokes, a/k/a "Debbie," 59, of Brunswick, Ga.
- Stephanie L. Stover, 44, of Brunswick, Ga.
- Jason A. Sweat, 35, of St. Marys, Ga.
- Clinton Taylor, 34, of Brunswick, Ga.
- Cori L. Taylor, 26, of Eastman, Ga.
- Larry B. Taylor, a/k/a "Lee Lee," 57, of Jacksonville, Fla.
- Christopher J. Thompson, 35, of Brunswick, Ga.
- Ronald E. Thompson, a/k/a "E," a/k/a "3D," 39, of Brunswick, Ga.
- Jesse J. Trujillo, 30, of Swainsboro, Ga.
- Charles W. Walrath, a/k/a "Boomer," 51, of Brunswick, Ga.
- Dayton P. Whatley, 35, of St. Simons Island, Ga.
- David Nicholas Wheeler, 52, of Waverly, Ga.
- Dakota L. White, 21, of Vidalia, Ga.
- James D. Wiggins, a/k/a "Brad Jones," 30, of Brunswick, Ga.
- Jeremy D. Wix, 42, of Townsend, Ga.
- Heaven L. Wolfe, 32, of Blackshear, Ga.
- Joshua T. Wolfe, a/k/a "White Boy," a/k/a "Tom Walier," 29, of Blackshear, Ga.; and
- David D. Young, a/k/a "Khaos," 42, of Hortense, Ga.
The defendants are scheduled to make their first appearance hearings in U.S. District Court in Brunswick later this week.
The FBI said they are still looking for two suspects, David Young and Michael Provenzano. The two were charged with conspiracy to possess with intent to distribute a controlled substance and were said to have warrants issued in Savannah.