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Metter fugitive sentenced

5 years on the run, man pleads guilty to trafficking

Metter fugitive sentenced

Metter fugitive sentenced


    METTER - After about five years on the run, an April capture by the U.S. Marshals Service led Julius Pinkston, 61, of Metter to plead guilty to trafficking cocaine last Thursday before Judge B. Avant Edenfield in the United States District Court in Statesboro.
      Pinkston was the lead defendant in a 35 defendant indictment returned by the federal grand jury in 2006, according to a press release from the office of U.S. Attorney Edward Tarver.
      The indictment against Pinkston arose out of Operation Snakepit, a major drug investigation conducted under the auspices of the Organized Crime Drug Enforcement Task Forces.
      Pinkston fled before the indictment was returned and remained a fugitive until April when he was arrested by deputies of the U.S. Marshals Service in Douglas, Ga.
      "This defendant hid from federal authorities for years," Tarver said, "likely hoping to avoid responsibility for his criminal conduct."
      "But for the perseverance and readiness of agents and prosecutors," he said, "this significant drug trafficker may have continued to menace the community and place additional lives in jeopardy."
      The charge against Pinkston resulted from a joint investigation by the Drug Enforcement Administration, Georgia Bureau of Investigation, and Federal Bureau of Investigation.
      Pinkston faces a maximum penalty of up to 20 years imprisonment and a fine of up to $1 million. Pinkston remains in  custody pending sentence, which will be held upon the completion of a pre-sentence investigation and report.
      Tarver commended the hard work of Special Agent Stephen Tinsley and former Task Force Agent Kent Munsey of the Drug Enforcement Administration, Special Agent Kevin Waters of the Georgia Bureau of Investigation, and Special Agent Marcus Kirkland of the Federal Bureau of Investigation, who led the investigation of this case.
Assistant United States Attorney Karl I. Knoche is prosecuting the case.

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