Drug-dealing brothers sentenced to life in prison

Published 6:28pm Friday, June 21, 2013

Two Donalsonville, Ga., brothers have been sentenced to life in federal prison.

Last Thursday, June 13, Michael J. Moore, U.S. Attorney for the Middle District of Georgia, announced the sentencing of Kelvin “Popcorn” Johnson, 35, and Carlos Johnson, 29, both of Donalsonville. Both had pleaded guilty to multiple counts of distribution of both powder cocaine and cocaine base, also called “crack cocaine.”

Carlos Johnson had also pleaded guilty to a charge money laundering.

Also sentenced were Antonio Winbush, 30, of Leary, Ga., and Raymond Sutton, age 38, of Albany, Ga., on June 13, 2013, before W. Louis Sands, U.S. District Judge for the Middle District of Georgia.
Winbush and Sutton had both pled guilty to conspiracy to distribute cocaine.

Court records reveal that the four defendants were part of a large group operating in the Seminole County, Ga., area between 2008 and 2011, distributing multi-ounce quantities of cocaine powder and cocaine base (“crack” cocaine).

The members of the drug conspiracy, led by the Johnson brothers, were believed to have been obtaining cocaine in bulk from Atlanta, Ga., and then re-selling it to other dealers in a large area extending between Columbus, Ga., and Panama City, Fla., said Frank Green, deputy director of Bainbridge Public Safety.

In addition to Bainbridge and Donalsonville, the suppliers were observed frequently traveling to the Georgia cities of Albany, Colquitt and Blakely, as well as the area around Dothan, Ala., and part of north Florida.

“During the time of the conspiracy, we believe the Johnson brothers’ network picked up about 500 kilograms of cocaine,” Green said. “The Johnsons had purchased a kilogram from Sutton several days before they were arrested. However, on average they would arrange to buy 10 kilograms of cocaine on one trip, at a price of about $30,000 per kilogram.”

Winbush was a secondary supplier, based in the Albany area, who was also working with a Hispanic drug group based in Georgia, Green said.

The Johnsons used several other people — including Casey Clemons, Nicole Sheffield and Anthony Shuler, all three of whom have also been prosecuted and sentenced in federal court — to transport the cocaine and large amounts of cash between Atlanta and south Georgia, according to Green.

The indictment, conviction and sentencing of the Johnson brothers came at the end of an approximately four-year investigation led by Bainbridge Public Safety, in collaboration with the U.S. Drug Enforcement Agency and numerous other agencies.

Carlos and Kelvin Johnson both received sentences of life imprisonment. Sutton was sentenced to 168 months imprisonment and Winbush received a sentence of 87 months in prison. All four men were also sentenced to five years supervised release and a $100 mandatory assessment fee per count of conviction.

“Their sentencing is long overdue, based on the amount of time they had been selling drugs,” Green said. “We expect more indictments related to this investigation, as well as future sentencings of people involved in a related drug conspiracy, within the next year. Along with the sentencings handed down last week, those will bring a satisfactory resolution to this case.”

“There is no parole in the federal system,” U.S. Attorney Moore said. “These life sentences mean that Carlos and Kelvin Johnson shall never be dealing drugs in our community again. All four of these sentences should send a strong message to those who deal drugs illegally of the fate that awaits them if prosecuted in federal court.”

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