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Athens drug dealer receives lengthy federal prison sentence

Updated: Jun 4, 2019


Patrick O'Neal Kennedy

By Joe Johnson


An Athens man with a lengthy criminal history was sentenced Wednesday in U.S. District Court in Macon to more than 12 years in federal prison after he was convicted of distribution of crack cocaine.

The conviction and sentencing of 43-year-old Patrick O’Neal Kennedy were announced Friday by Charles “Charlie” Peeler, U.S. Attorney for the Middle District of Georgia.

Kennedy had three prior drug convictions in Clarke County Superior Court dating to 2006 and more than two dozen criminal cases since 1998, according to court records.

According to news release from Peeler’s office, Kennedy’s most recent arrest stemmed from an operation conducted in March by the Athens-Clarke County Police Department and the FBI in which a confidential source purchased crack from Kennedy. When he was arrested, Kennedy was in possession of 8.15 grams of the drug, the news release stated.

"This individual has been a menace to the peace and safety of citizens in Athens-Clarke County, and he will now spend more than 12 years behind federal prison bars," Peeler said in the news release.

District Judge C. Ashley Royal sentenced Kennedy to 151 months in federal prison, according to Peeler.

The federal penal system does not provide for parole.

Prior to being charged federally, Kennedy was most recently convicted in Athens in 2017 for possession with intent to distribute cocaine and possession with intent to distribute a controlled substance, court records show. Those charges stemmed from a September 2016 traffic stop on Kennedy’s vehicle for rolling through a stop sign at Milledge Avenue and Dearing Street, according to Athens-Clarke County police. Police said a search of the car turned up bags of crack cocaine, hydrocodone pills and an unspecified amount of cash.

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