BRUNSWICK, GA: A Pooler man who led a drug trafficking organization that transported and distributed significant amounts of cocaine and other drugs into the coastal Georgia area awaits sentencing after admitting guilt.
Omar Griffin, 41, of Pooler, Ga., pled guilty to Conspiracy to Possess with Intent to Distribute Five Kilograms or More of Cocaine before U.S. District Court Judge Lisa Godbey Wood and now faces a minimum sentence of 15 years in prison, along with substantial fines and 10 years of supervised release after completion of any prison term.
There is no parole in the federal system.
“For at least six years, Omar Griffin played a key role in bringing cocaine and other poison into the Savannah area for mass distribution, undoubtedly ruining countless lives in the process,” said U.S. Attorney Christine. “His capture and admission of guilt caps off the outstanding investigation and prosecution of this drug trafficking organization, and serves as a warning to others engaged in such illegal trades: We will find you and shut you down.”
With the recent sentencing of Allen Grady, 43, of Port Wentworth, Ga., to 240 months in prison for Conspiracy to Commit Money Laundering, a dozen members of the conspiracy have been sentenced to prison.
Operation Snowplow was the largest single seizure of cocaine to date by the Chatham-Savannah Counter Narcotics Team (CNT). According to court documents and testimony, Griffin, who was previously convicted of cocaine trafficking, conspired with others in the organization to transport kilogram-quantities of cocaine and other drugs from Texas and California and into the Savannah area from as early as February 2014 until his capture in March 2020. The drugs were packaged in children’s toys and DVD players, concealed in cargo vans and truck trailers for shipment to Savannah, and distributed to mid-level dealers operating from several Savannah-area residences.
On March 5, 2018, law enforcement officers intercepted a shipment of 25 kilograms of cocaine that had been driven from Texas to a hotel in Richmond Hill, Ga., concealed inside a cargo trailer. Officers also seized more than $387,000 in cash that had been exchanged for the cocaine. Omar evaded capture by stealing, and then crashing, a police car. After interdicting the drugs, law enforcement executed a number of search and arrest warrants. In total in this investigation, investigators seized approximately 35 kilograms of cocaine, more than 30 pounds of marijuana, approximately $900,000 in cash, nearly two dozen firearms – including semi-automatic rifles – and other narcotics.
Griffin continued to distribute cocaine while on the run for two years until U.S. Marshals captured him in Houston in March and returned him to the Southern District for prosecution.
“This once-thriving cocaine distribution network who delivered doses of poison in the Savannah area was ultimately dismantled,” said the DEA Atlanta Field Division Special Agent in Charge Robert J. Murphy. “DEA and its law enforcement partners stand united to shut down drug trafficking organizations.”
Two members of the alleged conspiracy are still being sought: Kia Hickman, 49, of Savannah, and Jamaal Singleton, 42, of Savannah. Individuals with information on their whereabouts can anonymously contact the Chatham-Savannah Counter Narcotics Team (CNT) at 912-652-3900, or Savannah Crime Stoppers at 912-234-2020.
Operation Snowplow was investigated under the Organized Crime Drug Enforcement Task Forces (OCDETF), the premier U.S. Department of Justice program to dismantle multi-jurisdictional drug trafficking organizations, and conducted by the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration, the U.S. Postal Inspection Service, the U.S. Marshals Service, the Chatham-Savannah Counter Narcotics Team, Savannah Police Department, Chatham County Police Department, and the Chatham County Sheriff’s Office K9 Unit and the Chatham County Aviation Unit, and prosecuted for the United States by the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Southern District of Georgia.