Decatur County man sentenced to 18 months in federal prison

Published 7:00 pm Friday, July 4, 2014

A Decatur County man arrested in June 2011 for an underground marijuana growth operation was sentenced to 18 months in federal prison last Friday in federal court in Albany.

Daniel Andrew Barnard, Jr., 30, pled guilty in federal court last September for a 12-count indictment surrounding his operation. Barnard, a convenience store owner, was arrested after suspicions rose he was selling manufactured marijuana from his convenience stores.

According to Federal Court records, the normal sentence for a case of this level is 30 to 37 months in prison. Barnard’s imprisonment is to run 18 months for each count of being found guilty of possession of marijuana with intent to distribute. He will serve those concurrently for a total term of 18 months.

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Additionally, he was given two years of supervised release.

Judge W. Louis Sands delivered the sentence.

Decatur County Sheriff Wiley Griffin, who was involved in the investigation of Barnard’s case, said he was present when Barnard was indicted and sentenced.

“I was in federal court last Friday when Federal Court Judge Sands went outside of the guidelines for 37 months in federal prison and sentenced Barnard to 18 months in federal prison. Barnard told the court he was a changed man and was seriously thinking of becoming a preacher. I wish him luck.

“The assets from this underground marijuana growth are yet to be dispersed. It is obvious to me the federal court believes taking the illegal profits from drug dealers is more of a deterrent than prison time.”

A total of $54,639.17 in currency and bank accounts, two certificates of deposits from First Port City bank and 100.03 acres of land off Georgia Highway 27 North are among the property Barnard has forfeited to the U.S. as a result of the sentence.