5 Savannah-area residents indicted for federal drug charges

Crime & Safety
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SAVANNAH, Ga. (WSAV) – Five Savannah-area residents face the possibility of life in prison for allegedly producing thousands of methamphetamine pills.

A U.S. District Court grand jury recently handed down a seven-count federal indictment against the individuals in a virtual session, held in accordance with COVID-19 health guidelines.

A joint investigation by the Chatham-Savannah Counter Narcotics Team (CNT) and Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) lead to the arrests and indictments of the four men and one woman.

Thousands of methamphetamine-laced pills and their raw materials were seized along with substantial amounts of cash and a firearm. Authorities also recovered industrial pill presses and “stamps with logos including cartoon characters and the Facebook logo,” according to U.S. Attorney Bobby Christine for the Southern District of Georgia.

“The dangerous mix of contraband narcotics and illegally possessed weapons continues to be a primary target of law enforcement operations in the Southern District,” said Christine. “Our efforts to infiltrate, disrupt and dismantle these activities will continue relentlessly as we seek to bring safety and security to our communities.”

Those charged in the indictment are:

  • Kyrell Benton, 33, of Savannah, charged with Conspiracy to Manufacture, Possess with Intent to Distribute, and to Distribute Methamphetamine and Eutylone; Possession with Intent to Distribute Methamphetamine and Eutylone; and two counts of Use of a Drug-Involved Premises;
  • Jamall Brown, 34, of Richmond Hill, Ga., charged with Conspiracy to Manufacture, Possess with Intent to Distribute, and to Distribute Methamphetamine and Eutylone; Possession with Intent to Distribute Methamphetamine and Eutylone; Possession of a Firearm in Furtherance of a Drug Trafficking Crime; Possession of a Firearm by a Convicted Felon; and Use of a Drug-Involved Premises;
  • Antwan Benton, 29, of Savannah, charged with Conspiracy to Manufacture, Possess with Intent to Distribute, and to Distribute Methamphetamine and Eutylone; and Possession with Intent to Distribute Methamphetamine and Marijuana;
  • Stacy Benton, 45, of Savannah, charged with Conspiracy to Manufacture, Possess with Intent to Distribute, and to Distribute Methamphetamine and Eutylone; and,
  • Tina Lipsey, 42, of Savannah, charged with Conspiracy to Manufacture, Possess with Intent to Distribute, and to Distribute Methamphetamine and Eutylone; Possession with Intent to Distribute Methamphetamine and Eutylone; and Use of a Drug-Involved Premises.

Authorities are still investigating the operation.

“CNT will continue to focus its resources on individuals who manufacture illegal drugs and work to stop the distribution of these toxic substances into our community,” said CNT Director Everett Ragan.

His agency, along with the DEA and the Savannah Police Department Special Weapons and Tactics Team, were involved in the drug bust. The case is being prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorneys Frank Pennington and John Harper.

Christine reminds the public that “criminal indictments contain only charges; defendants are presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty.”

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