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Statesboro man sentenced to life in prison for cocaine charges

    Bulloch County Superior Court Judge Gates Peed sentenced a man Wednesday to life in prison plus 20 years for a conviction on cocaine charges.
    Johnny Lee Walker, 49, Youngblood Road, was found guilty of sale of crack cocaine and sale of crack cocaine within 1,000 feet of a housing project, said Statesboro Police Det. Robert Bryan. He was arrested at a Mikell Street location.
    The charges stemmed from a major drug bust the Statesboro Police Department Criminal Investigation Division conducted in February. The three-month long undercover "Operation Perseverance"  netted " 35 arrests for multiple drug sale charges, most of which were for sale of crack cocaine," he said.  "The operation targeted street level crack cocaine dealers in areas identified from numerous citizens complaints."
    Walker's case is notable because of the life sentence, a result of a request from Ogeechee Judicial Circuit Assistant District Attorney Barclay Black that he be treated "as a recidivist offender due to numerous past convictions for sale and possession of cocaine," as well as other previous convictions, Bryan said.
    According to information from the Georgia Department of Corrections web site (www.dcor.state.ga.us), Walker has already served six prison sentences since 1976.
    Sentencing Walker as a recividist (repeat offender), Peed handed down a life sentence for sale of cocaine, and a consecutive sentence of 20 years for the sale of cocaine within 1,000 feet of a housing project, he said.
    "Walker was returned to the Bulloch County Jail after the trial, where he has been held since the arrest for a parole violation and is currently awaiting transfer to the Georgia Department of Corrections to serve the sentence that was imposed by the court," he said.
    Walker was released on parole in Oct. 2005 after serving two years and three months for a cocaine possession charge in Bulloch County. He also served time in prison for the following offenses, all in Bulloch County; a 1975 conviction of armed robbery : a 1982 conviction of sale/distribution of narcotics/opiates;  a 1983 conviction of possession of a firearm by a convicted felon;  1984 convictions of entering a vehicle and criminal interference with government property; a 1987 conviction of possession of narcotics/opiates;  a 1989 conviction of sale/distribution of narcotics/opiates and 1996 convictions of sale/distribution of cocaine, DUI,  and violation of motor vehicle laws, according to the corrections department web site.   

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