Sentencing of drug trafficker wraps up prosecution of Richmond County narcotics conspiracy


AUGUSTA, GA:  With the sentencing of the lead defendant, the prosecution of a major Richmond County drug trafficking conspiracy has resulted in convictions of all eight defendants – including a man and two sons.

Terrance Quain Freeman, 50, of Augusta, was sentenced to 100 months in federal prison after pleading guilty to Conspiracy to Possess with Intent to Distribute and To Distribute Cocaine and Marijuana, said David H. Estes, Acting U.S. Attorney for the Southern District of Georgia. U.S. District Court Chief Judge J. Randal Hall also ordered Freeman to pay a fine of $2,500 and serve four years of supervised release after completion of his prison sentence. There is no parole in the federal system.

“Multiple law enforcement partners at all levels worked together to identify, infiltrate and terminate this conspiracy that imported significant amounts of illegal drugs into the Richmond County area,” said Acting U.S. Attorney Estes. “This sentence slams the prison door on poison profiteers who no longer will plague the greater Augusta community.”

The 2019 indictments in USA v. Freeman, et. al., a two-year investigation initiated by the Richmond County Sheriff’s Office and the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration, with assistance from the Columbia County Sheriff’s Office and the Aiken County Sheriff’s Office, identified Freeman as the leader of a drug trafficking conspiracy in the Augusta area.  Mario Hubbard, 45, of Atlanta, was found to be Freeman’s source of supply for cocaine.  The conspiracy involved the sale of kilograms of cocaine, as well as amounts of crack cocaine marijuana. 

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During the investigation of Operation Snowfall – so named because of the large quantities of powder cocaine involved – DEA agents and sheriff’s office investigators seized more than $500,000 in cash, more than two kilos of cocaine, 32 grams of crack cocaine and more than 9 pounds of marijuana, along with eight firearms.

Hubbard previously pled guilty to an Information charging him with Conspiracy to Possess with Intent to Distribute and To Distribute Cocaine and Marijuana, and Conspiracy to Commit Money Laundering. The plea subjects Hubbard to a statutory sentence of up to 40 years in prison, and he has agreed to the forfeiture of a residence in Smyrna alleged to have been purchased with drug trafficking proceeds.

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Six other defendants previously pled guilty in the investigation, including:

More than a dozen other defendants faced state charges in the investigation.

“The sentencing of the lead defendant in this case closes the door on an organization that once profited from peddling cocaine in the Richmond County area,” said Robert J. Murphy, Special Agent in Charge of the DEA Atlanta Field Division. “DEA and its law enforcement partners worked tirelessly to ensure that Richmond County citizens trust their community is a safe place to live. Terrance Freeman will spend well-deserved time in prison.”

“I applaud the federal and local partners who assisted in this investigation,” said Richmond County Sheriff Richard Roundtree. “Targeting organizations will have the greatest impact on the drug trade, and we remind area citizens that these multijurisdictional efforts will continue.”

The case was investigated under the Organized Crime Drug Enforcement Task Forces (OCDETF). OCDETF identifies, disrupts, and dismantles the highest-level criminal organizations that threaten the United States using a prosecutor-led, intelligence-driven, multi-agency approach.

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The investigation was conducted by the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration, the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives, the Richmond County Sheriff’s Office, the Columbia County Sheriff’s Office, the Aiken County Sheriff’s Office, the Dekalb County HIDTA Task Force, the Greene County Sheriff’s Office, and the Georgia National Guard Counterdrug Task Force, and prosecuted for the United States by Assistant U.S. Attorneys Patricia G. Rhodes and Hank Syms.

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