MACON, Ga. – An incarcerated individual who attempted to have a controlled substance smuggled into Georgia prisons and brokered a methamphetamine deal with an undercover GBI agent was sentenced to serve 25 years in federal prison for his crimes.
Brannon McCoy, 27, of Jasper, Georgia, was sentenced to serve 300 months in prison to be followed by eight years of supervised release (to be served consecutively to current state sentences) after he previously pleaded guilty to one count of conspiracy to possess with intent to distribute methamphetamine and one count of using a communications device to facilitate drug trafficking crimes. Co-defendant Jose Lainez-Zamora, 21, of Brookhaven, Georgia, was sentenced to serve 96 months in prison to be followed by three years of supervised release after he previously pleaded guilty to one count of conspiracy to possess with intent to distribute methamphetamine. U.S. District Judge Tilman E. “Tripp” Self, III handed down the sentences on Sept. 6.
“Let me be clear that incarcerated individuals working to undermine the safety and security of our prisons and our communities will face accountability for their crimes at the federal level,” said U.S. Attorney Peter D. Leary. “Our office is working closely with local, state and federal law enforcement to combat prison crime and corruption; safer prisons make for safer communities.”
“Illegal drug dealing – inside or outside prison – will not be tolerated. This already incarcerated offender decided to not take his current sentence seriously and continue to commit crimes behind the wire. We are committed to working with our state and federal partners to investigate drug trafficking and smuggling and bring these offenders to justice,” said GBI Director Michael Register.
According to court documents, a confidential informant (CI) told GBI agents in Aug. 2020 that McCoy, who was incarcerated at Macon State Prison, was trying to find someone to help him smuggle a controlled substance analogue called “spice” into Georgia prisons. A GBI undercover agent began communicating with McCoy on social media, posing as an individual who was willing to assist McCoy with smuggling illegal drugs into Georgia prisons. During the course of the investigation, McCoy brokered a deal to sell the undercover agent one kilogram of methamphetamine and coordinated the address, time and instructions on meeting the drug courier. As arranged by McCoy, the undercover agent met with co-defendant Lainez-Zamora at a Brookhaven apartment complex. Lainez-Zamora was taken into custody in possession of nearly one kilogram of 100% pure methamphetamine and in possession of a loaded handgun with a magazine containing 17 rounds of ammunition. Lainez-Zamora told agents he had been distributing methamphetamine; a search of his apartment recovered a half kilogram of methamphetamine and $51,920 in cash. McCoy has a lengthy criminal history to include three prior convictions for serious drug felonies in the Superior Court of Pickens County, Georgia.
The case was investigated by GBI.
Assistant U.S. Attorney Joy Odom prosecuted the case.