Man sentenced to 30 years over SW Georgia drug network

ALBANY — A Bronwood, Ga., man has been sentenced to federal prison in connection with distribution of more than 500 kilograms of cocaine throughout Southwest Georgia, including Donalsonville and Bainbridge.


Nolberto Martinez, also known as “Negro,” age 31, was sentenced Thursday to serve 30 years (360 months) in federal prison for conspiracy to possess with the intent to distribute cocaine and crack cocaine and distribution of cocaine. The sentence was handed down by Senior United States District Court Judge W. Louis Sands in Albany.

Martinez was convicted on Sept. 5, 2013, following a 20-day jury trial, according to a press release from the U.S. Justice Department.

Testimony at trial revealed that Martinez was a member of the Gulf Cartel that supplied cocaine to Middle Georgia. From 2007 to October 2011, he was involved in a largescale cocaine and crack cocaine distribution organization responsible for the distribution of more than 500 kilograms (1,100 pounds) of cocaine in Berrien, Colquitt, Dougherty, Tift, Lowndes, Terrell, Turner, Seminole, Ware, and Calhoun counties in Georgia.

The cartel worked from Matamoros, Mexico, placing cocaine inside the hidden compartments of specially-equipped vehicles, the Justice Department said.

A number of additional members of the drug conspiracy have previously been sentenced. Those include:

• Carlos Johnson, life in prison.

• Kelvin Johnson, life in prison.

• Bobby Taylor, 360 months imprisonment.

• Gary Lockett, 262 months imprisonment.

• Stuart Cole, 188 months imprisonment.

• William McKeithen, 188 months imprisonment.

• Raymond Sutton, 168 months imprisonment.

• Mark Cleveland Simpson, 160 months imprisonment.

• T’Michael Jones, 147 months imprisonment.

• Casey Clemons, 120 months imprisonment.

• Octavio Sandoval, 100 months imprisonment.

• Antonio Wimbush, 87 months imprisonment.

• James Willis, 80 months imprisonment.

• Francisco Javier Arispe, 70 months imprisonment

• M. Nichole Sheffield, 48 months imprisonment.

• Baldemar Chavero Leal, 46 months imprisonment.

• W. Alvin Barge, 24 months imprisonment.

U.S. Attorney Michael Moore said, “We have seen an alarming increase in the distribution of drugs from Mexico to the Middle District of Georgia. With these drugs come violence and the devastation of untold numbers of lives.

“These organizations, whether you call them cartels or simply gangs, will find no safe haven in Middle Georgia,” Moore said. “We will spare no effort or resource to make sure that we dismantle these drug distribution organizations. With the lengthy sentences for many of these defendants, we can all sleep a little better knowing that they will be off our streets for years to come.”


The case was investigated by agents from the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration, Georgia Bureau of Investigation, Bainbridge Department of Public Safety and Georgia State Patrol. Assistant United States Attorney Leah E. McEwen prosecuted the case for the government.

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