Published on July 18th, 2013 | by Daniel R. Perlman0
Brantley County man gets nearly 22 years for drug trafficking conspiracy
A federal judge sentenced a Brantley County man to nearly 22 years in prison Tuesday for the role he played in a drug trafficking conspiracy and in an insurance fraud scheme, the U.S. Attorney’s Attorney’s Office said.
Chief Judge Lisa Godbey Wood sentenced Gerald “Geral” Roberson, 47, in the federal courthouse in Waycross where he had pleaded guilty in November to single counts of conspiring to import more than 100 kilograms of marijuana, cocaine and prescription drugs into Southeast Georgia and making a false insurance claim by phone.
Wood had already sentenced a pair of Roberson‘s codefendants who had also pleaded guilty. She sentenced Harold Lee Ragland, 48, to 18 years in prison on the same charges, and Roberson‘s ex-wife Decia Roberson, 45, to three years and eight months in prison for using a phone to carry out the drug trafficking conspiracy.
Roberson had rented land with structures off Georgia 32 in the Hortense community from which he ran a trucking business that he and Ragland used to haul loads of marijuana from Texas and pills from Florida. Drug Enforcement Administration Special Agent Robert Livingston testified during a change of plea hearing in Septber that the two men had sold drugs in Brantley and Coffee counties in Georgia and in Tennessee.
Livingston said they had also burned houses and vehicles and filed insurance claims of more than $250,000 for the losses.
In one case, the frauds crossed. Roberson and Ragland took 50 pounds of methamphetamine to Monteagle, Tenn., for some Mexican clients, unloaded the meth and burned the truck and collected insurance for the loss, Livingston said.
In addition to the DEA, the Georgia Bureau of Investigation and Brantley County Sheriff’s Office investigated the crimes.
One crime on the Brantley County land remains unresolved.
The week after Roberson pleaded guilty, investigators unearthed a body from a shallow grave behind a building on the land Roberson rented.
The body was subsequently identified as that of George “Jack” Dempsey of Blackshear, who was 69 when he disappeared three years earlier.
Source: jacksonville.com “Brantley County man gets nearly 22 years for drug trafficking conspiracy,” July 18, 2013.