Albany gang members sentenced on drug charges

Nov. 5—ALBANY — A documented member of a criminal street gang organization who led a drug distribution network responsible for trafficking more than 150 kilograms of methamphetamine, fentanyl, heroin and other illegal drugs into southwest Georgia has been sentenced to federal prison for his crimes.

Jamie Lorell Keith, aka JGottiDaBoss, aka Cocho, 41, of Albany, has been sentenced to serve 420 months in prison to be followed by five years of supervised release after he was convicted on June 27 of conspiracy to possess with intent to distribute controlled substances and possession with intent to distribute methamphetamine following a weeklong jury trial before U.S. District Judge Leslie Abrams Gardner. There is no parole in the federal system.

A co-defendant, Artarious Davis, aka Showboat, aka Boat, 41, of Albany, was convicted of possession with intent to distribute methamphetamine and possession with intent to distribute fentanyl during the same trial and faces a maximum of life imprisonment. His sentencing is scheduled for Dec. 15.

"This case is a significant victory for the overall safety of our region," U.S. Attorney Peter D. Leary said in a news release. "Thanks to the efforts of the Organized Crime Drug Enforcement Task Force and our federal prosecution team, a dangerous criminal network pushing large volumes of the deadliest controlled substances into southwest Georgia has been stopped."

"This case demonstrates the commitment of law enforcement agencies at every level to end an epidemic in our society that is killing our citizens," Keri Farley, the special agent in charge of FBI Atlanta, said. "The FBI will continue to work diligently along with our partners in the Organized Crime Drug Enforcement Task Force to investigate and dismantle drug trafficking organizations."

"The Albany Police Department will continue working with our local, state and federal law enforcement partners to combat drug trafficking and its associated crimes in Albany, Dougherty County and southwest Georgia," Albany Police Department Chief Michael Persley said. "This sentencing warns those seeking fortune from this illicit trade that ill-gotten gains lead to harsh consequences."

"The Lee County Sheriff's Office is working with all of our law enforcement partners at every level to combat criminal activity in our community and ultimately put a dent in crime," Lee County Sheriff Reggie Rachals said.

"The Worth County Sheriff's Office has and will continue to work diligently with local, state and federal law enforcement and community partners across the area to find, investigate and prosecute criminals trafficking drugs in Worth County and the southwest Georgia area," Worth County Sheriff Don Whitaker said.

According to court documents and evidence presented at trial, Keith and Davis were criminally involved in a large drug trafficking network responsible for distributing more than 150 kilograms of methamphetamine, more than 2,000 fentanyl tablets pressed to resemble Percocet, more than one kilogram of heroin, more than five kilograms of cocaine and other drugs in the metro Albany area in 2019.

Trial testimony revealed that now-deceased co-defendant Demarcus Cook, of Sylvester was a documented member of the Piru set of the Bloods criminal street gang organization. Keith, a member of a rival organization and the leader of this drug trafficking organization, bonded Cook — who was ill — out of jail in exchange for access to Cook's drug sources of supply and customers. Using Cook's sources and Keith's cash and distribution network, the two began delivering large quantities of drugs to Albany and Sylvester to be sold at locations including 122 Moultrie Road and 610 Johnson Road in Albany and 214 Albany Avenue in Sylvester. Cook has since died of cancer.

Twenty-nine other defendants federally prosecuted as part of this investigation have pleaded guilty for their crimes.

The case was investigated by FBI, DEA, GBI, the Albany Police Department, Lee County Sheriff's Office and Worth County Sheriff's Office. Assistant U.S. Attorney Leah McEwen prosecuted the case.