MACON – A middle Georgia drug dealer, arrested following a two-month undercover operation in Butts County, has pleaded guilty for distribution of methamphetamine, said Charles “Charlie” Peeler, the United States Attorney for the Middle District of Georgia.
Darian Berry, 40, of Jackson, pleaded guilty to one count distribution of methamphetamine before U.S. District Judge Tripp Self on Tuesday, Sept. 8. Berry faces a maximum 20 years in prison, a $1,000,000 fine and three years of supervised release. There is no parole in the federal system.
“Law enforcement stopped a well-known meth dealer in Butts County. The defendant is facing a steep prison sentence without parole for pushing this poison in middle Georgia,” said Peeler. “I want to thank our law enforcement partners with Butts County S.O. and DEA for their continued efforts to rid our communities of methamphetamine and the destruction it causes.”
“The success of this investigation speaks to the collaborative law enforcement efforts in targeting and dismantling this drug trafficker’s methamphetamine distribution ring,” said Robert J. Murphy, the Special Agent in Charge of the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration’s Atlanta Field Division. “This defendant profited by spreading this toxic drug in Butts County, and DEA is committed to serving and protecting this community. Strong law enforcement partnerships underscore the power of combined forces and demonstrate the collective impact on the war against meth.”
“I want to commend my agents, DEA and the United States Attorney’s Office for bringing this dealer to justice. We will continue to pursue those spreading poison in our community until justice is served. This type of result is what happens when agencies work together,” said Butts County Sheriff Gary Long.
The defendant admitted to selling methamphetamine to a confidential informant (CI) on five separate occasions in Butts County between July and August 2018. Officers with the Butts County Sheriff’s Office conducted the controlled, recorded buys. Berry sold a total of 16.368 grams of methamphetamine.
Berry was among 26 people arrested on Aug. 7, 2019 in what Butts County Sheriff Gary Long called “Operation Crackdown.
The investigation was centered in Jackson, targeting alleged crack cocaine sales, but led agents to other areas of Butts County as well. The investigation began in 2018 and culminated in search and arrest warrants being served at four locations on Aug. 7.
Along with the 26 arrests, agents seized three guns, 2 ounces of crack cocaine, a half-pound of marijuana and 2 grams of methamphetamine.
Agents with the Spalding County Sheriff’s Office, Jasper County Sheriff’s Office, Georgia State Patrol, U.S. Marshals Southeast Regional Fugitive Task Force and Drug Enforcement Administration also participated.
The case was investigated by the Butts County Sheriff’s Office and the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA). Assistant U.S. Attorney William R. Keyes is prosecuting the case for the government.