Remaining defendants in drug trafficking ring sentenced

May 8—MACON — The leaders of an armed drug trafficking ring centered in Warner Robins recently have been sentenced to federal prison for their crimes.

Antoine Riley, aka "Bear," 45, of Warner Robins, was sentenced as a career offender to serve 180 months in prison to be followed by three years of supervised release to run consecutively to any term of imprisonment imposed in a pending case in Taylor County Superior Court, after he previously pleaded guilty to distribution of cocaine base.

Co-defendant Antonio Raines, 39, of Warner Robins, was sentenced to serve 97 months in prison to be followed by three years of supervised release, after he previously pleaded guilty to distribution of cocaine base. The sentences were handed down by Chief U.S. District Judge Marc Treadwell. There is no parole in the federal system.

"Armed repeat felons will face federal consequences for their continued criminal activity," U.S. Attorney Peter D. Leary said. "Thanks to the efforts of the local, state and federal agencies with the Organized Crime Drug Enforcement Task Force, another armed criminal group has been held accountable."

"These career criminal drug traffickers posed a significant threat to the quality of life in our communities," Special Agent in Charge of the DEA Atlanta Division Robert J. Murphy said. "The dismantling of this organization makes our communities a safer place today."

The following codefendants have pleaded guilty and been sentenced:

—Brittany Smith, 29, of Warner Robins, was sentenced to serve 135 months in prison on Jan. 4, after previously pleading guilty to possession with intent to distribute methamphetamine;

—Emanuel Ivey, 36, of Warner Robins, was sentenced to serve 87 months in prison on Feb. 9, after previously pleading guilty to distribution of cocaine base;

—Joseph Day, 49, of Warner Robins, was sentenced to serve 46 months in prison on Feb. 27, after previously pleading guilty to distribution of cocaine base;

—Desmond Griffin, 30, of Warner Robins, was sentenced to serve 24 months in prison on April 6, after previously pleading guilty to distribution of cocaine base;

—Obie Wright, 67, of Warner Robins, was sentenced to serve 18 months in prison on April 6, after previously pleading guilty to distribution of cocaine base;

—Latanya Williams, 41, of Warner Robins, was sentenced to serve three years of probation on April 6, after previously pleading guilty to making false statements.

According to court records, federal agents began investigating Riley for distributing large quantities of crack cocaine out of several stash houses in the Warner Robins community. He was known to be armed.

Recorded conversations and text messages between Riley and his codefendants revealed Riley and Raines as the leaders of the criminal operation. Several controlled purchases of cocaine were made, including a multikilogram transaction involving Riley while he was under surveillance. Riley was taken into custody on Feb. 12, 2021, by Bibb County Sheriff's Office deputies after attempting to flee while in possession of a large amount of cocaine.

A search warrant was executed that same day at Riley's residence at McCall Circle in Warner Robins, and agents recovered a stolen Glock 9mm handgun, an extended Glock magazine, a .357 caliber revolver and a large quantity of cocaine. Riley told agents he was running another stash house on Vinson Drive in Warner Robins.

Riley is being held accountable for at least 4.717 kilograms of cocaine, 45.68 grams of cocaine base and two firearms. Riley has a lengthy criminal history that includes two prior convictions for possession with intent to distribute controlled substances and obstruction of an officer.

Raines was named in a separate armed drug distribution and dog-fighting investigation in the Middle District of Georgia.

This case is being prosecuted as part of the joint federal, state, and local Project Safe Neighborhoods Program, the centerpiece of the Department of Justice's violent crime reduction efforts. This effort also is part of an Organized Crime Drug Enforcement Task Force operation. OCDETF identifies, disrupts, and dismantles the highest-level criminal organizations that threaten the United States using a prosecutor-led, intelligence-driven, multi-agency approach.

The case was investigated by the DEA, FBI, the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives, the United States Marshals Service, the Monroe County Sherriff's Office, the Bibb County Sherriff's Office and the Warner Robins Police Department.

Assistant U.S. Attorney Alex Kalim prosecuted the case.