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Pembroke men sentenced for drug trafficking

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POSTED: July 21, 2010 10:34 a.m.
STATESBORO -- Kevin Lamont Gourdine, 28, and Keith Denard Fields, 26, both of Pembroke, and Elijah Nahum Simmons, 32, Statesboro were sentenced earlier this week by U.S. District Judge B. Avant Edenfield to lengthy prison sentences for their roles in a drug trafficking conspiracy operating out of Statesboro and elsewhere.
On May 27 of this year, Louis Rashard Grace, 21, of Register, was also sentenced for his role in the conspiracy.
The case against Simmons and his co-conspirators was prosecuted as part of the Organized Crime Drug Enforcement Task Force initiative which targets the most significant drug trafficking organizations in the Southern District of Georgia.
The evidence showed that the drug organization was headed by Simmons and Gourdine. Simmons was mainly responsible for acquiring cocaine and marijuana from sources in Atlanta and Texas, while Gourdine primarily arranged the distribution of the drugs in and around Statesboro.
The Drug Enforcement Administration estimates that the organization was responsible for the distribution of at least 16 kilograms of cocaine between October 2007 and October 2009, along with about 150 pounds of marijuana.
The indictment followed a joint investigation by the United States Drug Enforcement Administration, the Statesboro Police Department, the Bulloch County Sheriff’s Department, and the Georgia Bureau of Investigation.
The investigation featured numerous investigative techniques, including a wiretap of Gourdine’s cellular phone, controlled drug purchases, physical surveillance, and the use of confidential informants and cooperating defendants. Several warrants were executed and traffic stops were conducted based on information developed during the investigation.
United States Attorney Edward J. Tarver said:, “The Organized Crime Drug Enforcement Task Force program is specifically designed to encourage cooperation between federal, state and local agencies. Cooperation is an essential component of efforts by law enforcement to dismantle large-scale drug organizations that seek to operate in smaller rural communities in an attempt to avoid detection. I commend the agents and officers who made this prosecution successful.”
Simmons was given 240 months in prison, Gourdine received 225 months and Fields got 78 months.

 

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