ALBANY -- A number of Georgia drug dealers and kingpins got a rude awakening Tuesday morning when a joint task force of FBI, GBI, Albany Police Department Gang Task Force and Albany-Dougherty SWAT team officers, as well as officers in other parts of the state, took part in a multi-agency investigation that resulted in the execution of search warrants in Dougherty, Henry, Muscogee and Worth Counties, Charles "Charlie" Peeler, the U.S. Attorney for the Middle District of Georgia, announced.

Search warrants were executed in the following locations:

-- 948 South Street, Albany, Dougherty County;

-- 3 Simmons Way, Ellenwood, Henry County;

-- 204 Whitehead Drive, Albany, Dougherty County;

-- 710 Johnson Road, Apartment C, Albany, Dougherty County;

-- 1778 Nelms Road, Albany, Dougherty County;

-- 7794 Leaning Pine Court, Midland, Muscogee County;

-- 202 Glade Lane, Albany, Dougherty County;

-- 610 Johnson Road, Albany Dougherty County;

-- 101 Gurr Drive, Albany, Dougherty County;

-- 202 Pecan Street, Sylvester, Worth County.

"This was the first phase of an extended operation between the GBI, federal agencies and regional law enforcement agencies," Albany Police Department Chief Michael Persley said prior to the operation. "There were specific targets we were looking for in our commitment to use all our resources to combat crime.

"Utilization of federal and state agencies allowed us to push past our typical jurisdictional boundaries in pursuit of individuals who have been identified as part of a large organization involved in the drug trade. But this doesn't culminate today." 

In addition to those arrests, federal indictments charging six individuals for drug trafficking were unsealed Tuesday.

Persley praised Peeler and the FBI and GBI agents who took part in the operation.

"This started with one incident that was not that large, but it led to a much bigger operation," the APD chief said. "It took time to identify the people involved, but the state and federal partnerships we've established through working with these agencies made this possible. Once GBI officials made the FBI privy to what was occurring, they agreed to come onboard.

"It started with good interagency relationships, meeting and working with people in charge, and that opened channels that allowed for these (state and federal) resources to be used along with local law enforcement agencies. What you see here is a deep commitment by all agencies, people willing to use all resources available to protect our community."

The following defendants were indicted by the September 2019 federal grand jury. An indictment is only an allegation of criminal conduct. All of the defendants are presumed innocent until and unless proven guilty in a court of law beyond a reasonable doubt.

1. Willie Keith Ware, 32, of Albany, is facing six charges. Ware is charged with four counts of distribution of methamphetamine in an amount exceeding 50 grams. If convicted on any of these charges, Ware faces a mandatory minimum 10 years in prison, up to a maximum of life in prison, and a $10 million fine. He is also charged with one count of distribution of heroin. If convicted on this charge, he faces a maximum 20 years imprisonment and a $1 million fine. Ware is also charged with one count of distribution of MDMA. If convicted on this charge, he faces a maximum 20 years imprisonment and a $1 million fine.

2. Jamie L. Keith, 38, Albany, is charged with one count of possession with intent to distribute methamphetamine in an amount exceeding 50 grams. If convicted, Keith faces a mandatory minimum 10 years in prison, up to a maximum of life in prison, and a $10 million fine.

3. Quade' Z. Barrett, 25, of Albany is charged with one count of distribution of MDMA. If convicted, Barrett faces a maximum 20 years imprisonment and a $1 million fine.

4. Demarcus Cook, aka GA Boy, 37, of Sylvester, is facing two charges. Cook is charged with one count of possession of methamphetamine with intent to distribute in an amount exceeding 50 grams. If convicted, he faces a mandatory minimum 10 years in prison, up to a maximum of life in prison, and a $10 million fine. Cook is also charged with one count of possession of a firearm in furtherance of a drug trafficking crime. If convicted, he faces a mandatory minimum 5 years in prison consecutive to any other conviction, up to a maximum of life in prison, and a $250,000 fine.

5. Addy Cook, aka Frost, 36, of Sylvester, is facing two charges. Cook is charged with one count of possession of methamphetamine with intent to distribute in an amount exceeding 50 grams. If convicted, he faces a mandatory minimum 10 years in prison, up to a maximum of life in prison, and a $10 million fine. Cook is also charged with one count of possession of a firearm in furtherance of a drug trafficking crime. If convicted, he faces a mandatory minimum 5 years in prison consecutive to any other conviction, up to a maximum of life in prison, and a $250,000 fine.

6. Artarius Davis, aka Showboat, aka Boat, 38, of Albany, is facing two charges. Davis is charged with one count of possession of methamphetamine with intent to distribute in an amount exceeding 50 grams. If convicted, he faces a mandatory minimum l0 years in prison, up to a maximum of life in prison, and a $10 million fine. Davis is also charged with one count of possession of a firearm in furtherance of a drug trafficking crime. If convicted, he faces a mandatory minimum 5 years in prison consecutive to any other conviction, up to a maximum of life in prison, and a $250,000 fine.

"These search warrants and indictments are part of a multimonth, multi-agency investigation," Peeler said. "Our office is grateful for the strong partnership exhibited between our local, state and federal law enforcement in the Middle District of Georgia."

The case was investigated by the Crisp County Sheriff's Office, Lee County Sheriff's Office, Lowndes County Sheriff's Office, Thomas County Sheriff's Office, Worth County Sheriff's Office, Albany-Dougherty Drug Unit, the GBI, the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms (ATF), the FBI and the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA). Assistant U.S. Attorney Leah E. McEwen is prosecuting the case for the Government.

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