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MACON – Three defendants involved in a methamphetamine drug trafficking operation involving nearly 2,000 grams of “ice” methamphetamine pleaded guilty to federal criminal drug charges June 25, U.S. Attorney for the Middle District of Georgia Charlie Peeler said.

The trio were arrested following a traffic stop on I-75 in August 2018 when a Butts County Sheriff’s Office K9 alerted on the vehicle and methamphetamine was found in a beer box.

“DEA agents and Butts County Sheriff’s deputies intercepted a large quantity of pure ice methamphetamine before it entered the Macon community,” Peeler said in a news release. “I have no doubt their efforts saved lives in middle Georgia, and we owe these officers a debt of gratitude for their good work. Our office will prosecute all those engaged in pushing methamphetamine, heroin, opioids and other illegal, deadly drugs into our communities.”

Jose E. Ordez Avalos, 39, of Ellenwood, pleaded guilty to conspiracy to possess with intent to distribute methamphetamine. Avalos faces a maximum sentence of life in prison, a $10 million fine and five years supervised release.

Alex Raymond, 43, of Warner Robins, pleaded guilty to possession with intent to distribute methamphetamine and faces a maximum sentence of 20 years in prison, a $1 million fine and three years supervised release.

Albruce Green, 40, of Macon, is charged with conspiracy to possess with intent to distribute methamphetamine. Green faces a maximum sentence of 20 years in prison, a $1 million fine and three years supervised release.

All three defendants entered guilty pleas before U.S. District Judge Marc Treadwell, and sentencing dates have not been scheduled by the court. There is no parole in the federal system.

Methamphetamine obtained from Avalos in Atlanta was transported by Raymond for distribution by Green in Macon. The DEA was conducting surveillance on the drug trafficking operation in August 2018. On Aug. 19, 2018, a Butts County deputy stopped Raymond’s vehicle for following too closely and weaving. The deputy’s canine alerted on the passenger side door of Raymond’s vehicle. During a legal search of the vehicle, 1,990.8 grams of pure “ice” methamphetamine was found inside a Michelob Ultra beer box.

“Drug distribution delivers misery to the community,” Robert J. Murphy, Special Agent in Charge of the DEA Atlanta Division, said. “DEA’s mission is about removing the supply before it gets to the consumer. This case was successful because of the collaborative efforts of our federal, state and local law enforcement partners and the United States Attorney’s Office.”

This case was investigated by the DEA. Assistant U.S. Attorney Charles Calhoun is prosecuting the case for the government.

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