A Bryan County man could face decades in federal prison for trafficking fentanyl.
Javarus McKinney, a/k/a “Jody,” 34, of Richmond Hill, Ga., was convicted after a four-day trial on charges of Conspiracy to Possess with Intent to Distribute, and to Distribute, Fentanyl; Possession with Intent to Distribute and Distribution of Fentanyl; and Possession with Intent to Distribute and Distribution of Fentanyl in or Near Schools, said Jill E. Steinberg, U.S. Attorney for the Southern District of Georgia. The charges carry a statutory penalty of up to 60 years in prison, followed by a substantial period of supervised release.
There is no parole in the federal system.
The jury acquitted McKinney on enhanced charges related to the death of an overdose victim.
“Fentanyl is addictive, pervasive, and deadly, and drug traffickers like McKinney help fuel this national crisis,” said U.S. Attorney Steinberg. “Now convicted, he will be held accountable.”
As described in court documents and testimony,Richmond Hill Police officers initiated an investigation Aug. 12, 2020, after a male victim was found dead in a residential pool. An autopsy indicated the man had a fatal dose of fentanyl in his system at the time of death. Additional investigation identified McKinney as a Richmond Hill-area distributor of counterfeit pills containing fentanyl, in addition to marijuana and THC products.
U.S. District Court Judge R. Stan Baker will schedule sentencing following the completion of a pre-sentence investigation by U.S. Probation Services.
“The poisonous fentanyl continues to flow into communities at the expense of too many lives,” said Robert J. Murphy, Special Agent in Charge of the DEA Atlanta Division. “This trafficker must now face the consequences of his actions.”
The case was investigated by the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration, the Chatham-Savannah Counter Narcotics Team, and the Richmond Hill Police Department, and prosecuted for the United States by Assistant U.S. Attorneys Darron J. Hubbard and Frank M. Pennington II.