Tifton bartender pleads guilty to distributing meth and fentanyl from Los Angeles to South Central Georgia

TIFTON, Ga. (WALB) — A Tifton man who worked as a bartender while dealing large amounts of methamphetamine and fentanyl has pleaded guilty to distribution.

Edgar Fernando Neri, also known as Colocho, pleaded guilty to methamphetamine distribution before U.S. District Judge Hugh Lawson on June 21.

According to court documents, agents from the Georgia Bureau of Investigations (GBI) developed a confidential source in late August 2021 that had information regarding the methamphetamine distribution in Tifton. The Confidential Source was buying from a local bartender known as “Colocho” who wanted the Confidential Source to purchase larger quantities of drugs that would come from a source in Los Angeles.

During the investigation, Neri, 21, discussed moving pounds of methamphetamine, several kilograms of cocaine, as well as the purchase of body armor, guns, a rocket launcher and rockets with its supplier in California.

Several controlled purchases of methamphetamine were made from Neri and Neri arranged shipments of more methamphetamine and fentanyl pills, also known as “Percocet”, from the source.

Packages containing three pounds of methamphetamine and 1,990 fentanyl blue pills were sent from Neri’s source in Los Angeles to Tifton in October 2021; Neri was taken into custody on October 19, 2021.

“Defendant was attempting to move large amounts of methamphetamine and fentanyl into a small community in south central Georgia; discussions of trafficking in firearms, a rocket launcher and body armor also took place, further illustrating the violent criminal element surrounding illegal drug distribution,” said U.S. Attorney Peter D. .Leary. “We are working with law enforcement at all levels to hold individuals accountable for the crimes that most affect the safety and security of our region.”

Neri is held responsible for distributing 1,290.93 grams of actual meth based on the high level of purity of the meth implicated and 1,990 fentanyl-containing pills weighing 205.92 grams.

“A large amount of illegal drugs have been removed from the streets of south central Georgia. We will continue to dedicate resources to investigating drug activity to make our communities safer. Thank you to our federal partners for being a force multiplier when it comes to successfully investigating and prosecuting these types of cases,” said GBI Director Vic Reynolds.

Neri faces a maximum of 20 years in prison followed by at least three years of probation and a maximum fine of $1,000,000. Sentencing is scheduled for September 21. There is no parole in the federal system.

“This defendant posed a clear and present danger to the community of Tifton by selling dangerous drugs, including discussions of firearms trafficking,” said Robert J. Murphy, the special agent in charge of the division. of Atlanta land. “Thanks to the collaborative partnerships between the DEA and its law enforcement partners, this defendant no longer poses a threat to Tifton and elsewhere.”

The case was investigated by the DEA, GBI, and the Tift County Sheriff’s Office, with assistance from the United States Postal Inspection Service.

Assistant United States Attorney Robert D. McCullers is prosecuting the case.

Copyright 2022 WALB. All rights reserved.

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