Houston & Peach

‘Showtime’ for 10 in largest heroin, fentanyl bust in Warner Robins

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Witnessing a crime and reporting it can be just as frightening as being the victim of a crime. Here’s what you should do if you witness illegal activity.

Ten people involved in what authorities billed as the largest heroin and fentanyl bust in Warner Robins have entered guilty pleas over the past two months.

The ring leader of the drug trafficking organization, Travis Cyntelle McKenzie, 39, also known as “Showtime,” of Warner Robins, pleaded guilty to conspiracy to possess with intent to distribute controlled substances, according to a news release this week from the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Middle District of Georgia.

According to his plea agreement, McKenzie spearheaded the distribution of crack cocaine, methamphetamine, heroin, fentanyl, alprazolam and marijuana in Warner Robins, the release said.

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Houston County sheriff’s investigators began investigating the drug ring in December 2014. Sheriff’s investigators made more than 70 undercover buys with help from the FBI and other agencies from March 2015 until Travis McKenzie’s arrest in June 2017.

The drugs were sold in multiple locations within the city, with narcotics, cash, firearms and drug paraphernalia seized during raids of the locations by authorities

Inside the trunk of McKenzie’s BMW 750LI alone, authorities found $33,500 in cash, 2.8 kilograms of marijuana, 355 grams of crack cocaine, 700 alprazolam pills, 3,051 grams of fentanyl, 1,276 grams of heroin mixed with fentanyl, 3,178 grams of methamphetamine, an AK47-style assault pistol and a 9 mm semi-automatic pistol, the release said.

From his storage unit, authorities seized $187,996 in cash, 21.2 kilograms of marijuana, 1,864 grams of fentanyl, 634 grams of crack cocaine, and 276 grams of heroin, the release said. Also seized were 16 firearms including rifles, shotguns and pistols, as well as ammunition.

Codefendants who pleaded guilty for their roles in the organization include: Thomas Jeffery Locke, 53, of Taylor County, possession with intent to distribute cocaine and heroin; Justin High, 31, of Warner Robins, possession with intent to distribute more than 50 kilograms of marijuana; Clarence “Bush” Bogan, 39, of Warner Robins, possession with intent to distribute methamphetamine; and Jonathan Haslem, 38, of Warner Robins, conspiracy.

Others include Tamika Lashawn Hickey, 36, of Warner Robins, possession with intent to distribute methamphetamine; Esha Hill, 29, of Warner Robins, misprision of a felony; Kimseing Le, 30, of Warner Robins, conspiracy with intent to distribute methamphetamine; LaTray McKenzie, 20, of Warner Robins, two counts of use of a communications device to facilitate drug trafficking; and Kaelin Varrett, 24, of Warner Robins, possession with Intent to distribute methamphetamine.

Sentencing is pending.

“A thriving illegal drug ring has been put to an end in Middle Georgia,” U.S. Attorney Charles “Charlie” Peeler for the Middle District of Georgia said in the release. “Our law enforcement partners with the Houston County Sheriff’s Office, the Perry Police Department, the Warner Robins Police Department and the FBI spent more than two years investigating this dangerous operation. Middle Georgia is safer because of their efforts.”

Chris Hacker, special agent in charge of the FBI in Atlanta, said in the release, “It’s now showtime for Travis McKenzie and members of his drug organization as they face a federal judge to learn how long they will be separated from society.”

The DEA also aided in the investigation. Federal prosecutor Robert McCullers prosecuted the case.

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