A multi-jurisdictional team of drug enforcement officers “dismantled” a local drug trafficking organization Wednesday when they seized approximately $400,000 in cocaine, about $30,000 in cash and other contraband from a Columbus residence and storage facility.
The operation, headed by the Metro Narcotics Task Force, was conducted with the assistance of the Columbus office of the federal Drug Enforcement Administration, Columbus and Phenix City police departments, and sheriff’s offices from Muscogee, Harris, Taylor, Talbot and Russell counties,
Rick Stinson, Metro Narcotics Task Force special agent in charge, said during a 10:30 a.m. news conference Thursday that eight or nine agents executed search warrants at 976 Patricia Drive and 1125 Floyd Road.
“This was in connection to a long-term drug investigation that was being conducted,” Stinson said. “The group that was involved with this were pretty widely known by all the agencies.
“This drug investigation has shown that this drug trafficking organization was distributing drugs in all five of those counties … All these agencies have been working well together and we’ve been able to share information, which is what led to the arrests,” Stinson said.
A total of four people were arrested at the Patricia Drive residence:
Ÿ Christopher Raines, also known as “Binky,” 38, of 3090 Allenville Drive, Atlanta. Raines was charged with two counts of trafficking in cocaine, possession of marijuana, possession of a firearm by a convicted felon and theft by receiving stolen property (a firearm) in another state.
Ÿ Donterrious Mays, 27, of 976 Patricia Drive, Columbus. Mays was charged with two counts of trafficking in cocaine, possession of marijuana, and theft by receiving stolen property (firearm) in another state.
Ÿ Jackie Wilson, 24, of Talbotton, Ga. Wilson was charged with trafficking in cocaine, possession of marijuana, possession of a firearm by a convicted felon and theft by receiving stolen property (firearm) in another state.
Ÿ Gwendolyn Bradley, 51, of 615 Parkchester Drive, Columbus. Bradley was charged with trafficking in cocaine, possession of marijuana, violation of the Georgia controlled substance act, schedule two cocaine, and theft by receiving stolen property (firearm) in another state.
Agents first focused their investigation on the Patricia Drive address, Stinson said, which was a suspected “stash house” for the drug trafficking organization.
Mays was outside when agents arrived at the residence. He tried to get inside the house as agents pulled up but was unsuccessful.
Inside, authorities discovered two loaded guns. A 12-gauge Mossberg shot gun was spotted under the couch within reach of one of the suspects, Stinson said. The other weapon, a .30-caliber mini Ruger that had been reported stolen from Lee County, was recovered from a bedroom.
In addition to the guns, agents seized a large stash of cash, 18 grams of marijuana, plastic bags each containing about 9 ounces of cocaine, paperwork indicating the suspects kept a rented storage facility on Floyd Road, and a collection of scales, bottles and other equipment believed to be used to cook powder cocaine down into crack cocaine
“In the storage unit is where the bulk of the drugs were found,” Stinson said. “Once we executed the search warrant on the storage unit, a little over three kilos was found in the storage unit along with the larger bag of money.”
In all, the Metro Narcotics Task Force seized approximately $30,000 in cash and approximately $400,000 in cocaine during the bust.
“Basically what we have here is we felt like we’ve dismantled a large cocaine distribution organization in not only Columbus but in Muscogee, Russell, Harris and in Talbot and Taylor Counties,” Stinson said.
The sergeant wouldn’t reveal where the powdered cocaine came from, but he did say it originated outside the areas in which agents believe it was slated to be sold. The ongoing investigation has been turned over to the DEA, Stinson said, and more arrests are expected.
“We’re not under any illusion that we have now stopped the drugs in Columbus, but we have put a good-sized dent in it and that’s the best way to work drug organization,” Stinson said.