Updated: Sep 30
By Joe Johnson
Three federal defendants involved in a lengthy and ongoing investigation into armed drug trafficking in the Athens area that was conducted out of jail facilities in Mexico and Georgia were recently sentenced to lengthy prison sentences.
Cindy Stamey, 50, of Danielsville, was sentenced to 120 months -10 years - in prison to be followed by five years of supervised release after a federal jury found her guilty of conspiracy to possess with intent to distribute methamphetamine and possession of methamphetamine.
Christopher Wilson, 42, of Hull was sentenced to 55 months - four and a half years - in prison and of three years of supervised release after he previously pleaded guilty to possession of methamphetamine with intent to distribute.
Laura Yazmine Garcia Guerro, a citizen of Mexico and resident of Duluth was sentenced to 10 years in prison and five years of supervised release after she previously pleading guilty possession with intent to distribute more than 500 grams of methamphetamine.
None of the defendants are eligible for parole, which does not exist in the federal penal system.
U.S. District Judge C. Ashley Royal handed down the sentences on Sept. 18. at the Athens federal courthouse,
The defendants are not eligible for parole.
"These cases are the result of a lengthy and ongoing criminal investigation into armed methamphetamine trafficking in the Athens community with ties to prisoners and Mexican cartels, a dangerous mixture," said U.S. Attorney Peter D. Leary, whose office is prosecuting the case.
According to court documents, law enforcement officers in the Middle District of Georgia began investigating drug trafficking organizations operating from jail facilities in Mexico and Georgia in 2016, including inmates using social media and contraband cell phones to conduct and direct drug sales and move the drug proceeds to other members of the conspiracy. In 2018, federal agents learned that Dinges was conducting drug deals using contraband cell phones while in custody at Wheeler Correctional facility, where he was serving a 20-year sentence for Meth trafficking and a 2015 shootout with sheriff’s deputies in the parking lot of the Banks Crossing shopping center in Commerce.
During the investigation, agents learned that Dinges was communicating with the co-defendants and others located in the Athens region about controlled substances; these individuals would travel to locations in Atlanta as directed by Dinges to receive methamphetamine and return to Athens to distribute the drugs. Dinges received a fee for brokering the deals. The drug trafficking organization was responsible for distributing more than 100 kilograms of methamphetamine.
Previously sentenced defendants are:
Bruce Hicks of Athens, was sentenced to 260 months, about by after he pleaded guilty to conspiracy to possess with intent to distribute methamphetamine in 2019;
The ringleader, Malcody Dinges of Jackson County was sentenced in 2021 to 240 months in prison, to run consecutive to his 20-year state sentence for pleading to conspiracy to possess with intent to distribute methamphetamine;
Adonias Sales Temaj, a citizen of Guatemala and resident of Norcross was sentenced to 210 months in prison in March after he pleading to conspiracy to possess with intent to distribute methamphetamine;
Frankie Baza, of Gwinnett County was sentenced to 200 months in prison and three years of supervised release in 2021, after he pleading to conspiracy to possess with intent to distribute methamphetamine;
Ervin Sales Temaj 35, a citizen of Guatemala and resident of Norcross, was sentenced 121 months and three years of supervised release in July 2022, after he pleading to conspiracy to possess with intent to distribute methamphetamine;
Carrie Kasper, 32, of Athens, was sentenced to serve 120 months in prison on July 10, after she pleaded guilty to possession with intent to distribute methamphetamine;
Jeris Dove, 29, of Athens was sentenced in January 2022 to 110 months in prison and four years of supervised release after he pleading to possession with intent to distribute methamphemine;
Justin Maddox, 45, of Athens, was sentenced to serve 30 months in prison in January after pleading to possession with intent to distribute methamphetamine;
Katlyn Lackey, 22, of Commerce was sentenced to 20 months in prison in May 2022 after pleading to possession with intent to distribute methamphetamine.
The following co-defendants are awaiting sentencing:
Brendan R. Gates, 38, of Commerce, who was found guilty by a federal jury of one count each of conspiracy to possess with intent to distribute methamphetamine, possession with intent to distribute methamphetamine and possession of a firearm in furtherance of a drug trafficking crime;
David Zavala, of Gordon County who pleaded guilty to one conspiracy to possess with intent to distribute methamphetamine.