Co-defendants convicted of distributing more than 10 kilos of meth in Southwest Georgia | USAO MDGA

ALBANY, Georgia — Three people involved in an illegal drug ring responsible for distributing approximately 20 pounds of methamphetamine in southwest Georgia were today sentenced to prison for their crimes.

Matthew Bridges, 29, of Albany, was sentenced to 293 months in prison followed by five years’ supervised release after previously pleading guilty to conspiracy to possess with intent to distribute controlled substances; Terrance Battle, 41, of Albany, was sentenced to 240 months in prison followed by five years’ supervised release after previously pleading guilty to conspiracy to possess with intent to distribute controlled substances; and Quannesha Gatling, 27, of Albany, was sentenced to 12 months and one day in prison followed by two years of supervised release after previously pleading guilty to conspiracy to possess controlled substances, possession of methamphetamine with intent Distribution and possession of marijuana with intent to distribute. US District Judge Leslie Gardner delivered the verdicts.

“The distribution of harmful illegal drugs, such as methamphetamine, contributes to the addiction and deaths of many people,” said US Attorney Peter D. Leary. “Our office works with law enforcement to prevent the most dangerous drugs from hitting the streets and to hold traffickers accountable for their crimes.”

‚ÄúDrug trafficking is not tolerated at any level in the state of Georgia. It is of the utmost importance that drug law violators are held accountable. The Georgia Bureau of Investigation is committed to working with our local and federal drug enforcement partners to address these types of crimes,” said GBI Director Michael Register.

“This case shows the citizens of Lee County and Southwest Georgia that law enforcement agencies are working together to take down drug networks that are bringing the addictive illicit substances into our communities. We will not tolerate this activity and will hold them accountable for their crimes,” said Lee County Sheriff Reggie Rachals.

According to court documents, in August 2021, GBI agents interviewed a confidential informant (CI) who suggested Bridges was selling illegal drugs in the Albany area. Between August and October 2021, investigators conducted multiple controlled purchases of methamphetamine and heroin from Bridges and co-defendant Battle. On October 30, Lee County Sheriff’s Office deputies, in cooperation with GBI agents, initiated a traffic stop on three vehicles driven by the co-defendants who were returning from the Atlanta area. Police found about 20 pounds of methamphetamine and about three pounds of marijuana in the Gatling-operated vehicle.

The case was investigated by GBI with assistance from the Lee County Sheriff’s Office and the DEA.

The case was being prosecuted by Assistant US Attorney Leah McEwen.

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