COLUMBUS, Ga. – A Columbus man with a lengthy criminal history was sentenced to serve 168 months in federal prison for attempting to distribute a half-kilo of methamphetamine, said Peter D. Leary, the Acting U.S. Attorney for the Middle District of Georgia.
Jeffery McBride, 40, of Columbus, was sentenced by to serve 168 months in prison to be followed by three years of supervised release by U.S. District Judge Clay D. Land after previously pleading guilty to possession of methamphetamine with intent to distribute. There is no parole in the federal system.
“With this sentencing, repeat violent offenders and drug traffickers operating in the Middle District of Georgia can clearly see the punishment that comes with federal prosecution—lengthy prison time without parole,” said Acting U.S. Attorney Leary. “I want to thank both the Harris County and Muscogee County Sheriff’s Offices and the DEA for their tremendous partnership working to bring federal cases against the most disruptive offenders in the region.”
“For all dealers trying to come into Harris County—we do not condone drug trafficking, and we have the combined strength of local, state and federal law enforcement working together to stop such activity. This 168-month federal prison sentence sends a strong message that our partnership is paying dividends toward a safer community,” said Harris County Sheriff Mike Jolley.
“The Muscogee County Sheriff’s Office is committed in working with our local, state, and federal partners to work every case from the beginning to the end, without let-up. I am pleased to see Acting U.S Attorney Peter D. Leary seeking federal prosecution. This is huge! This will send a loud message to those involved in criminal activity within the Middle District of Georgia to let them know federal prosecution is headed their way. Great job Harris County Sheriff’s Office, Muscogee County Sheriff’s Office, DEA, and the United States Attorney’s Office for the Middle District of Georgia,” said Muscogee County Sheriff Greg Countryman.
“This ‘meth’ trafficker, who is a convicted felon, was caught because of the joint efforts between DEA and its law enforcement counterparts,” said the Special Agent in Charge of the DEA Atlanta Field Division Robert J. Murphy. “Mr. McBride will now spend well-deserved time in prison and his sentencing makes the Columbus, Georgia community a safer place to live.”
Investigators with the Harris County Sheriff’s Office, Muscogee County Sheriff’s Office and DEA arranged a controlled buy of “ice” methamphetamine from McBride on September 20, 2019. McBride initially told undercover officers (UC) he had one kilogram of methamphetamine to sell, but later messaged the UC that he had one-half of a kilogram of methamphetamine remaining to sell. The controlled buy occurred at a gas station in Fortson, Georgia (Harris County). The defendant was taken into custody in possession of 498.73 grams of methamphetamine. Inside the vehicle, officers discovered a loaded Glock 22 handgun. McBride was previously convicted of attempted burglary and identity fraud (2014), possession of cocaine with intent to distribute (2008), robbery and possession of a firearm by a felon (2000), and two counts of burglary (1999), all in the Superior Court of Muscogee County, Georgia.
The investigation was conducted as part of Project Safe Neighborhoods (PSN), the centerpiece of the Department of Justice’s violent crime reduction efforts. PSN is an evidence-based program proven to be effective at reducing violent crime. Through PSN, a broad spectrum of stakeholders work together to identify the most pressing violent crime problems in the community and develop comprehensive solutions to address them. As part of this strategy, PSN focuses enforcement efforts on the most violent offenders and partners with locally based prevention and reentry programs for lasting reductions in crime.
This case is also part of Project Guardian, the Department of Justice’s signature initiative to reduce gun violence and enforce federal firearms laws. Initiated by the Attorney General in the fall of 2019, Project Guardian draws upon the Department’s past successful programs to reduce gun violence; enhances coordination of federal, state, local, and tribal authorities in investigating and prosecuting gun crimes; improves information-sharing by the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives when a prohibited individual attempts to purchase a firearm and is denied by the National Instant Criminal Background Check System (NICS), to include taking appropriate actions when a prospective purchaser is denied by the NICS for mental health reasons; and ensures that federal resources are directed at the criminals posing the greatest threat to our communities. For more information about Project Guardian, please see https://www.justice.gov/projectguardian.
The case was investigated by the Harris County Sheriff’s Office, the Muscogee County Sheriff’s Office and DEA. The case was prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Christopher Williams. Questions can be directed to Pamela Lightsey, Public Information Officer, United States Attorney’s Office, at (478) 621-2603 or Melissa Hodges, Public Affairs Director (Contractor), United States Attorney’s Office, at (478) 765-2362.