Friday, October 01, 2021

Two McIntosh County men sentenced to federal prison for armed robbery, other charges

 Defendants indicted as part of Operation Krack Down

SAVANNAH, GA:  Two McIntosh County men indicted as part of a major drug trafficking operation have been sentenced to federal prison for charges including armed robbery.

John Hope Jr., 28, of Townsend, Ga., was sentenced to 111 months in prison followed by three years of supervised release and ordered to pay $677 in restitution after pleading guilty to Interference with Commerce by Robbery and Brandishing a Firearm During and in Relation to a Crime of Violence, said David H. Estes, Acting U.S. Attorney for the Southern District of Georgia.

Hope’s co-defendant in the robbery, Tyler Marshall, 27, also of Townsend, was sentenced to 93 months in prison followed by three years of supervised release and ordered to pay $677 in restitution after pleading guilty to Conspiracy to Possess with Intent to Distribute and to Distribute Methamphetamine, Heroin, and Cocaine, and Interference with Commerce by Robbery. There is no parole in the federal system.

“These two men chose to not only participate in a drug trafficking organization that spread poison throughout south Georgia, but also terrorized innocent people at gunpoint,” said Acting U.S. Attorney Estes. “They well deserve their time in prison.”

Hope and Marshall were among 17 defendants indicted in July 2020 in Operation Krack Down, an Organized Crime Drug Trafficking Task Forces (OCDETF) investigation that targeted a drug trafficking organization in Liberty, Bryan, McIntosh, and Wayne counties with ties to the Ghost Face Gangsters criminal street gang. At the time of the indictment, Hope and Marshall were in custody for the Jan. 3, 2020, armed robbery of a Liberty County gas station.

Three other defendants in Operation Krack Down have been sentenced to federal prison terms of up to 181 months after pleading guilty to drug trafficking charges, while six defendants await sentencing after pleading guilty. Five others are awaiting trail and are presumed innocent unless or until proven guilty, and one defendant, Cruz Lawson, 33, of Jesup, Ga., is a fugitive.

“The mission of DEA is unwavering – we relentlessly pursue drug traffickers,” said Robert J. Murphy, the Special Agent in Charge of the Drug Enforcement Administration’s Atlanta Field Division. “These defendants and their organization distributed dangerous drugs that caused immeasurable damage to the McIntosh County community. These sentences are a perfect example of how the law enforcement community and the U.S. Attorney’s Office work together to remove violent criminals from our streets.”

“Drugs and violence have no place in Georgia. Citizens deserve to feel safe, however, these two men threatened this coastal community and are being now held accountable,” said Vic Reynolds, Director of the Georgia Bureau of Investigation. “The GBI values its partnership with federal and local agencies, including prosecutors, to ensure justice is served.”

Operation Krack Down was investigated under the Organized Crime Drug Enforcement Task Forces. OCDETF identifies, disrupts, and dismantles the highest-level criminal organizations that threaten the United States using a prosecutor-led, intelligence-driven, multi-agency approach.

Agencies investigating the case include the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF), the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA), the U.S. Marshals Service, the Georgia Bureau of Investigation (GBI), the McIntosh County Sheriff’s Office, the Bryan County Sheriff’s Office, the Liberty County Sheriff’s Office, and the Richmond Hill Police Department, and prosecuted for the United States by OCDETF Coordinator and Assistant U.S. Attorney Marcela C. Mateo.

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