SAVANNAH, Ga. (WSAV) – An 11th defendant pled guilty and three additional defendants got federal prison sentences Wednesday as a major drug trafficking and money laundering case continues.
The total number of defendants sentenced reached nine Wednesday in Operation Snowplow, the largest single seizure of cocaine to date by the Chatham-Savannah Counter Narcotics Team (CNT). There are still two people awaiting sentencing and three more people still being sought.
According to court documents and testimony, the drug-trafficking organization led by Omar Griffin and others got large amounts of cocaine from Texas, marijuana from California, and other narcotics from February 2014 through March 2018. The drugs were then packaged in children’s toys and DVD players and shipped to Savannah for distribution to Savannah-area residents.
On March 5, 2018, law enforcement intercepted a shipment of 25 kilograms of cocaine that had been driven from Texas to Richmond Hill. Officers also seized over $387,000 in cash.
In total throughout the entire investigation, officials seized more than 25 kilograms of cocaine, over 30 pounds of marijuana, about $750,000 in cash, nearly two dozen firearms and other narcotics.
“The agencies who slammed the door on these merchants of misery include dedicated law enforcement professionals and prosecutors who team up to make our community safer,” Bobby L. Christine, U.S. Attorney for the Southern District of Georgia, said. “For once in their lives, these convicted felons will make our neighborhoods better by no longer being part of them.”
Defendants sentenced this week include:
- Herman Williams, 44, of Savannah: Convicted of conspiracy to possess with intent to distribute cocaine, sentenced to 132 months in prison
- Vincent Hooper, 55, of Savannah: Convicted of possession of a firearm by a convicted felon, sentenced to 30 months in prison
- Emmett Ramsey, 36, of Savannah: Convicted of unlawful use of a communication facility, sentenced to 42 months in prison
Defendants awaiting sentencing include:
- Allen Grady, 42, of Port Wentworth: Convicted of conspiracy to commit money laundering
- Barron Robertson, 53, of Savannah: Convicted of possession with intent to distribute 5 kilograms or more of cocaine
Defendants previously sentenced include:
- Barrington Miller, 48, of Savannah: Convicted of distribution of cocaine, maintaining a drug-involved premises, and unlawful use of a communication facility, sentenced to 120 months in prison
- Justin Swinton, 38, of Port Wentworth: Convicted of conspiracy to possess with intent to distribute 50 kilograms or more of marijuana, sentenced to 37 months in prison
- Rodrigo Rodriguez, 48, of Houston, Texas: Convicted of conspiracy to possess with intent to distribute 5 kilograms or more of cocaine and 50 kilograms or more of marijuana, sentenced to 84 months in prison
- Desmond Jones, 48, of Houston: Convicted of conspiracy to possess with intent to distribute 5 kilograms or more of cocaine, sentenced to 56 months in prison
- Edgar Guadalupe-Marroquin, 36, of Houston: Convicted of interstate travel to carry on unlawful activities, sentenced to 60 months in prison
- Christian Ramirez-Leyton, 44, of Houston: Convicted of interstate travel to carry on unlawful activities, sentenced to 60 months in prison
The following defendants remain fugitives:
- Kia Hickman, 48, of Savannah
- Omar Griffin, 40, of Pooler
- Jamaal Singleton, 41, of Savannah
Anyone with information on the whereabouts of Hickman, Griffin or Singleton is asked to contact CrimeStoppers at 912-234-2020 or CNT at 912-652-3900. Callers can remain anonymous.
“This was an outstanding operation that not only positively impacted our local community but the nation as a whole,” Everett Ragan, Director of CNT, said. “It was deemed successful because local, state, and federal enforcement agencies came together to plow this organization right into the ground.”