STATESBORO — A federal indictment has been returned charging a Glennville man and a Fleming man, along with 12 other South Georgia residents, with conspiring to traffic methamphetamine, heroin, oxycodone and other drugs, according to a news release issued Monday.
If convicted of the drug trafficking conspiracy charge, the defendants face a maximum of 20 years in prison and a potential $1 million fine, according to the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Southern District of Georgia.
The majority of the defendants had their initial appearances last week in federal court in Statesboro.
The federal indictment, unsealed last week and returned by a federal grand jury sitting in Savannah in June, charged the following 14 defendants:
William Preston Gibbs, 22, of Glennville,
Jason Todd Smith, 43, of Fleming,
Jeramie Thomas Leslie, 31, of Guyton,
John Christopher Paulson, 40, of Rincon,
Jeremiah Jones Richardson, 29, of Statesboro,
Jeremy Nicholas Taylor, 27, of Ellabell,
Samori Jodan Smokes, 35, of Eden,
Scott Lamont Pointer, 35, of Ellabell,
Timothy Wayne Davis, 49, of Ellabell.
Christopher Gage Floyd, 21, of Pembroke,
Kenneth Jordan Lane, 24, of Pembroke,
Jeffery James Taylor, 28, of Ellabell,
Casandra Rae Hendrix, 24, of Ellabell, and
Kayla Estell Rericha, 21, of Rincon.
The charges resulted from a joint federal-state investigation by the Drug Enforcement Agency, Georgia Bureau of Investigation, Bryan County Sheriff’s Office, Effingham County Sheriff’s Office, Chatham-Savannah Counter Narcotics Team, Statesboro-Bulloch Crime Suppression Team, Richmond Hill Police Department and Pembroke Police Department. Assistance was also provided by the Rincon Police Department and the United States Marshals Service.
U.S. Attorney Edward Tarver emphasized that indictments are only accusations and are not evidence of guilt. The defendants are entitled to a fair trial, during which it will be the government’s burden to prove guilt beyond a reasonable doubt.
Assistant United States Attorney Charlie Bourne is prosecuting the case on behalf of the United States.