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Liberty County man gets 40 years on gun, drug charges
Charles Hyde
Charles Hyde

A Liberty County man was sentenced to nearly 40 years in prison after a jury found him guilty at trial on drug trafficking and firearms charges.

Charles Hyde of Hinesville was sentenced to 444 months in prison after being found guilty in June 2021 in U.S. District Court in Brunswick on multiple charges, including Conspiracy to Possess with Intent to Distribute and to Distribute 50 grams or more of Methamphetamine.

“After attempting to shoot at police officers, Charles Hyde is lucky to be alive,” said David H. Estes, U.S. Attorney for the Southern District of Georgia. “Now his luck has run out, and the community is safer with him behind bars.”

In addition to the above charges, Hyde, 64, also was sentenced for Possession with Intent to Distribute 50 Grams or More of Methamphetamine and a Quantity of Marijuana; Possession of a Firearm and Ammunition by a Convicted Felon; Possession of a Firearm with an Obliterated Serial Number; and Possession and Brandishing of a Firearm in Furtherance of a Drug Trafficking

U.S. District Court Judge Lisa Godbey Wood also ordered Hyde to serve five years of supervised release after completion of his prison sentence.

There is no parole in the federal system.

As described in court documents and testimony, starting as early as July 2016 through December 2018, Hyde and a key co-defendant, Stacey White, 34, of Hinesville, made multiple trips each month to the Atlanta area to obtain kilograms of methamphetamine from a supplier, and recruited others to assist in selling the drugs.

After a controlled purchase of drugs from Hyde in May 2018, investigators from the Liberty County Sheriff’s Office and Georgia Bureau of Investigation attempted to conduct a search of Hyde’s residence.

Hyde had a handgun aimed at investigators and pulled the trigger but his handgun malfunctioned, and a Liberty County deputy shot Hyde in the hand. He was taken into custody, and investigators subsequently found large amounts of methamphetamine and marijuana in Hyde’s residence.

Firearms experts who examined Hyde’s Taurus semiautomatic pistol determined that the firing pin had struck a .40-caliber cartridge in the chamber, but that it had failed to fire.

Hyde and White, along with four other defendants, were indicted on federal conspiracy charges in February 2019. White, a certified member of the violent Bloods criminal street gang, pled guilty and was sentenced in August 2020 to 246 months in prison; three codefendants also pled guilty and are serving prison terms. The sixth codefendant, Hyde’s brother, Terry Hyde, 59, also of Hinesville, pled guilty and was sentenced in December to 84 months in prison.

“Hyde’s willingness to commit a violent assault against law enforcement officers is a not only a threat to law enforcement, but is a threat to the very fabric of our society.” said Robert J. Murphy, Special Agent in Charge of the Drug Enforcement Administration’s (DEA) Atlanta Field Division. “Law enforcement officers put their lives on the line every day to protect our country from the perils of drug abuse and the violence that all too often accompanies drug trafficking. If you are brazen enough to commit such a criminal act, a long prison term awaits you.”

This drug-trafficking conspiracy was investigated by the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration, the Georgia Bureau of Investigation, and the Liberty County Sheriff’s Office, and prosecuted for the United States by Assistant U.S. Attorney Jennifer G. Solari and Special Assistant U.S. Attorney Darron J. Hubbard.

 

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