Six plead guilty to meth charges, dismantling major drug organization

awomack@macon.comJanuary 21, 2014 

Six men have pleaded guilty to federal methamphetamine charges, signalling the dismantling of a major methamphetamine organization in Middle Georgia, according to the U.S. Attorney’s Office.

Conservative estimates suggest that the organization distributed more than 50 kilograms of methamphetamine between Jan. 1, 2011, and Dec. 31, 2012, according to a news release.

Federal and state authorities have seized 250 grams of the drug and three firearms. Additional indictments are anticipated that target members of the organization, according to the release.

Chad Minter, 39, of Houston County, pleaded guilty Tuesday to conspiracy to possess methamphetamine with the intent to distribute. Jonathan McBride, 39, of Houston County, as well as Shawn Foster Phillips, 35, and Marty Bass, 51, both of Bibb County, pleaded guilty Thursday to the same charge, according to the U.S. Attorney’s Office.

Travis Walker McElhenny, 40, of Houston County, has pleaded guilty to possession of the drug with the intent to distribute more than 50 grams. John Rylander, 32, of Houston County, has pleaded guilty to methamphetamine possession, according to the release.

As part of their pleas, the group admitted to their respective part in the distribution chain: Phillips traveled from Warner Robins to Atlanta to get methamphetamine from a supply source. He then took the drugs back to Warner Robins where they were sold to Rylander, Bass, McBride, McElhenny and other people in the Warner Robins area who sold the drugs to street level dealers, according to the release.

The men are scheduled for sentencing April 9.

The conspiracy charge carries a maximum penalty of 20 years in prison. Possession of methamphetamine with the intent to distribute carries a sentence ranging from 10 years to life. The possession charge carries a sentence of up to a year in prison, according to the release.

To contact writer Amy Leigh Womack, call 744-4398.

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