SAVANNH -- Two cocaine dealers with lengthy criminal histories will spend more than a decade in prison after recent sentencing in federal court.
Anderson Holmes, 50, of Savannah, was sentenced to 151 months in federal prison, and Ronnie Cope, 38, of Guyton ,was sentenced to 120 months in federal prison during sentencing Sept. 27 by U.S. District Court Judge Lisa Godbey Wood. The two were sentenced after entering guilty pleas on charges of Conspiracy to Possess Cocaine with Intent to Distribute and Conspiracy to Distribute Cocaine. Both Holmes and Cope will be on supervised release for three years after their prison terms end; there is no parole in the federal system.
Holmes, whose criminal history spans more than 30 years and includes five prior felony convictions, and Cope, who has a criminal history of more than 19 years with four prior felony convictions, are among more than 30 defendants convicted in Operation Lazarus. This joint federal and state investigation determined that members of a drug trafficking organization were transporting cocaine, via tractor-trailer, to Savannah from Texas and elsewhere. Once the cocaine reached Savannah, the drug traffickers would distribute and sell the drugs throughout the Southern District of Georgia.
Operation Lazarus has sent dozens of convicted drug dealers to prison for conspiracy to traffic cocaine, including local minister Cedric Manior, sentenced to 120 months in federal prison, and Trevor Walker, sentenced to 144 months in prison. During the investigation, agents seized dozens of firearms, kilograms of cocaine and significant amounts of MDMA (“ecstasy”), marijuana and other controlled substances.
“These sentences should serve as a stern warning to illegal drug dealers,” said United States attorney Bobby L. Christine. “Our law enforcement agencies and prosecutors are united in our determination to make our communities safer, and long prison sentences await those who would push poison for their own profit.”
“Drug traffickers who distribute illegal and dangerous drugs are a true menace to society,” said Robert J. Murphy, special agent in charge of the DEA Atlanta Field Division. “These cocaine distributors will spend well-deserved time in prison. This investigation was a success because of the true spirit of cooperation that existed between all of the law enforcement agencies involved and the subsequent prosecution by the U.S. Attorney’s Office.”
Operation Lazarus involved local and federal law enforcement and is being prosecuted under the Organized Crime Drug Enforcement Task Forces (OCDETF), which includes members of the Chatham County Narcotics Team (CNT), the Savannah Police Department, the Chatham County Sheriff’s Office, the Garden City Police Department, the Drug Enforcement Administration, and the United States Marshals Service. The OCDETF program is the premier U.S. Department of Justice program utilized to dismantle multi-jurisdictional drug trafficking organizations.
The case is being prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorney E. Greg Gilluly Jr.