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Kingpin receives two life sentences for trafficking Mexican cocaine that flooded Athens area

Albert Ross aka “Big,” 53, of Stone Mountain on Monday received two life sentences for his involvement in a massive drug conspiracy.

The US Attorney’s Office for the Middle District of Georgia said Ross was the leader of a violent drug trafficking organization (DTO) that sent 2,000 kilograms of cocaine from Mexico and distributed the drugs in throughout middle Georgia, including Athens.

According to court documents, Ross admitted that he was the leader of the organization. Working with co-conspirators, investigators learned that Ross directed individuals to transport large amounts of cocaine from Texas to be distributed to Ross’s customers and associates. Ross’s DTO was supplied cocaine by a source in Mexico affiliated with the Cártel de Jalisco Nueva Generación (CJNG ) . Money for the cocaine purchases was given to couriers in Atlanta who would then deliver the money to Ross’s cocaine supplier in Mexico, officials said.

Agents learned that Ross and his co-conspirators flew to Mexico City in August 2019 to meet with Ross’s cocaine supplier and his cartel boss to negotiate a deal where they would supply Ross’s DTO with 200 more kilograms of cocaine per month.

The DA’s office said a text thread found on Ross’s iPhone read that in under one month between March 14 and April 4, 2020, Ross was supplied with 112 kilograms of cocaine. During the same period, Ross sent over $2.5 million in payment for the drugs to his cocaine source in Mexico. In 2018, Ross received 1,300 kilograms of cocaine from a different Mexican supplier. Once the cocaine arrived in metro Atlanta, Ross stashed the dope at an elderly family member’s home, who had previously been shot picking up drugs at Ross’s direction.

Co-defendants Lonnie Bennett, 44, of Atlanta, and Brandon Payne, 30, of Atlanta, sold cocaine supplied by Ross out of their stash house on Pittman Road in College Park, authorities said. Co-defendant TaMichael Darden, 43, of Athens, made over 20 trips from Athens to the Pittman Road stash house to buy cocaine that he later sold throughout middle Georgia.

TaMichael Darden

In Dec. 2018, DEA agents received information from a confidential source that Ross was moving a large amount of cash from illegal drug sales from Atlanta to California using a private plane. Agents said they spotted men leave Ross’s Bouldercrest Road stash house and board a plane at Peachtree DeKalb Airport with four suitcases and two backpacks. DEA and FBI agents in California were waiting and seized more than $2 million in drugs from the luggage.

On Sept. 23, 2021, Ross was arrested at his home in Stone Mountain. Agents found over $300,000 in cash wrapped in tinfoil and vacuum-sealed in black trash bags inside Ross’s bedroom closet. Inside an Atlanta area bar owned by Ross, agents found more than $600,000 in drugs. As part of this entire investigation, authorities seized $3,164,210 in cash, 73 guns, 165.22 kilos of cocaine, 1.32 kilograms of fentanyl, 11.25 ounces of heroin, 1.39 kilograms of crack cocaine, 12.57 pounds of crystal methamphetamine, 25.35 pounds of marijuana and 198 dosage units of controlled substances.

Ross has a prior felony drug conviction in Fulton County Superior Court and numerous felony arrests for drug trafficking.

Ross was sentenced to serve the statutory maximum of life imprisonment for each count of conspiracy to possess with intent to distribute cocaine and conspiracy to possess with intent to distribute marijuana for which he pleaded guilty on Jan. 22. He’s ordered to serve five years of supervised release and pay a $1 million fine.

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Oh for goodness sakes! This man has ruined numerous lives and basically gets a slap on the wrist. I'm disgusted if that is true. Somebody (Joe) tell us what the real time in jail will be. Very unclear.


Yeah but he is not even going to see the inside of a prison he basicly just got 5 years probation but let a user get caught with less than a gram 3 times in 10 years and they will do 7 years in prison minumum now tell me justice is blind


Two life sentences and he's ordered to serve 5 years of supervised release? Perhaps I'm missing something here---

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Unless the sentence is for life without the possibility of parole, prisoners in Georgia are eligible for parole after serving 7 years of a life sentence. That’s just eligibility,@: members of the Board of Pardons and Parole consider each eligible prisoner on a case by case basis.

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