Kyrell Benton and four other indicted on federal charges for drug manufacturing, trafficking conspiracy

Kyrell Benton and four other indicted on federal charges for drug manufacturing, trafficking conspiracy

(STL.News) – Five Savannah-area residents are charged in a seven-count federal indictment handed down by a U.S. District Court grand jury meeting in virtual session in accordance with the COVID-19 pandemic.

The four men and one woman named in the indictment face charges with possible penalties of up to life in prison, said Bobby L. Christine, U.S. Attorney for the Southern District of Georgia.  There is no parole in the federal system.

The Chatham-Savannah Counter Narcotics Team (CNT) and Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) conducted the investigation leading to the arrests and indictments in the case, seizing thousands of methamphetamine-laced pills and their raw materials, along with industrial pill presses, stamps with logos including cartoon characters and the Facebook logo, substantial amounts of cash and a firearm.

“The dangerous mix of contraband narcotics and illegally possessed weapons continues to be a primary target of law enforcement operations in the Southern District,” said U.S. Attorney Christine.  “Our efforts to infiltrate, disrupt and dismantle these activities will continue relentlessly as we seek to bring safety and security to our communities.”

Those charged in the indictment are:

  • Kyrell Benton, 33, of Savannah, charged with Conspiracy to Manufacture, Possess with Intent to Distribute, and to Distribute
  • Methamphetamine and Eutylone; Possession with Intent to Distribute Methamphetamine and Eutylone; and two counts of Use of a Drug-Involved Premises;
  • Jamall Brown, 34, of Richmond Hill, Ga., charged with Conspiracy to Manufacture, Possess with Intent to Distribute, and to
  • Distribute Methamphetamine and Eutylone; Possession with Intent to Distribute Methamphetamine and Eutylone; Possession of a Firearm in Furtherance of a Drug Trafficking Crime; Possession of a Firearm by a Convicted Felon; and Use of a Drug-Involved Premises;
  • Antwan Benton, 29, of Savannah, charged with Conspiracy to Manufacture, Possess with Intent to Distribute, and to Distribute
  • Methamphetamine and Eutylone; and Possession with Intent to Distribute Methamphetamine and Marijuana;
    Stacy Benton, 45, of Savannah, charged with Conspiracy to Manufacture, Possess with Intent to Distribute, and to Distribute Methamphetamine and Eutylone; and,
  • Tina Lipsey, 42, of Savannah, charged with Conspiracy to Manufacture, Possess with Intent to Distribute, and to Distribute Methamphetamine and Eutylone; Possession with Intent to Distribute Methamphetamine and Eutylone; and Use of a Drug-Involved Premises.

The investigation into the operation continues.

Robert J. Murphy, the Special Agent in Charge of the DEA Atlanta Field Division, said “The distribution of dangerous drugs (in this case methamphetamine-laced pills), coupled with the possession of illegal weapons, are a recipe for disaster.  Drug traffickers who peddle this poison are a menace to society.  Because of the dedicated efforts between DEA, its law enforcement counterparts and the U.S. Attorney’s Office, this case is a shining example of what can be achieved when multi-level law enforcement agencies work collaboratively to protect their citizens.”

“CNT will continue to focus its resources on individuals who manufacture illegal drugs and work to stop the distribution of these toxic substances in to our community,” said Chatham-Savannah Counter Narcotics Team Director Dwane Ragan.  “I want to thank our Federal, State, and Local law enforcement partners, as well as the United States Attorney’s Office, and applaud their continued cooperation with CNT’s efforts to keep our community safe.”

Criminal indictments contain only charges; defendants are presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty.

The case was investigated by the DEA and CNT, with assistance from the Savannah Police Department Special Weapons and Tactics Team, and is being prosecuted for the United States by Assistant U.S. Attorneys Frank Pennington and John P. Harper III.

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