Updated: Oct 9, 2020
Aril Lynn Wolford in a 2017 Oconee County Jail booking photo
By Joe Johnson
An Athens-Clarke County woman this week was sentenced to seven years in federal prison after having pleaded guilty earlier in the year to possession with intent to distribute methamphetamine.
According to the office of U.S. Attorney for the Middle District Charlie Peeler, 26-year-olf April Lynn Wolford of Broadacres Court was one of three convicted meth dealers who on Tuesday were sentence by Judge C. Ashley Royal in U.S. District Court in Athens.
Wolford and the other defendants were all arrested as part of “Operation Wu Block,” an ongoing multi-agency investigation of meth distribution in the northeast Georgia region.
To date, Operation Wu Block has resulted in the seizure of more than 58 kilograms of methamphetamine, more than two kilograms of heroin, 31 firearms and $56,000. Federal grand juries in the Middle District of Georgia have returned indictments charging a total of 82 defendants, up from the original 68 reported at the announcement of the ongoing operation in May. Operation Wu Block is part of the larger “Operation Crystal Shield,” a national Drug Enforcement Administration operation that is focused on eight main methamphetamine trafficking transportation hubs across the nation, including Atlanta.
"A strong northeast Georgia law enforcement network is unified in our goal to rid our streets of methamphetamine, and remove criminals caught pushing this deadly, highly addictive illegal drug from our communities,” said Peeler said. “The work to eliminate methamphetamine distribution across the Middle District of Georgia is on-going and non-stop. I want to thank all of our law enforcement partners for the tremendous bravery they demonstrate daily in their work to rid our communities of methamphetamine.”
Federal authorities did not release a home address in Athens-Clarke for Wolford, but when arrested in 2017 on drug and gun charges in Oconee County, she had an address on Moss Road in Winterville.
According to a plea agreement filed on Jan. 15, Wolford stipulated to the following facts:
On Dec. 11, 2018, a confidential informant contacted local authorities to report seeing Wolford deliver meth to a co-defendant.
Already well known to authorities from previous drug investigation, Wolford was located on Dec. 17, 2018, in a car parked at RaceTrac on Atlanta Highway in Athens.
She was arrested for a parole violation, and during a search, officers located digital scales, baggies containing meth, and an Altoids tin containing more meth and a meth pipe.
The drugs were later weighed and found to be 7.84 grams of 80.5-percent pure meth.
In her post-Miranda statement, “Wolford admitted she sold meth and said her cellphone would have texts with information about drug sales,” according to the plea agreement.
Wolford will spend all seven years of her sentence in prison, as there in no parole in the federal penal system.
Operation Wu Block is a multi-year Organized Crime Drug Enforcement Task Force investigation conducted by the DEA, FBI Middle Georgia Safe Streets Gang Task Force, Athens-Clarke County Police Department, sheriff offices in Clarke, Hart, Madison, Oconee an Oglethorpe counties, the Georgia Department of Corrections and Northeast Georgia Regional Drug Task Force in partnership with the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Middle District of Georgia.