Defendants plead guilty in cocaine-distribution scheme revealed after I-95 traffic stop

Published 5:05 pm Sunday, September 12, 2021

Kilos of cocaine traveled along interstate corridor

BRUNSWICK, GA:  Two men implicated in a cocaine-distribution scheme after a traffic stop have admitted guilt on federal charges.

Avon Shuttleworth, a/k/a “Havan,” 46, of Rosedale, N.Y., awaits sentencing after pleading guilty in U.S. District Court in the Southern District of Georgia to Possession with Intent to Distribute Cocaine, while Courtnay Anthony Drummond, 52, of Brunswick, Ga., awaits sentencing after pleading guilty to Conspiracy to Possess with Intent to Distribute and to Distribute Cocaine, said David H. Estes, Acting U.S. Attorney for the Southern District of Georgia. The pleas subject the defendants to statutory sentences of five to 40 years in federal prison, along with substantial financial penalties, followed by a period of supervised release.

There is no parole in the federal system.

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“It’s truly incredible how so many elaborate criminal schemes fall apart because of a simple traffic violation,” said Acting U.S. Attorney Estes. “Thanks to an alert Georgia State Patrol trooper and outstanding work from our law enforcement partners, an operation that moved kilos of illegal drugs in the northeastern United States has been brought to a halt.”

Beginning in March 2020, agents with the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration, led by agents from the Savannah Resident Office, initiated an investigation of cocaine trafficking from Jamaica into the New York City area. As described in court documents and testimony, Drummond met with Shuttleworth and another conspirator on March 14, 2020, at Shuttleworth’s home in New York, when Drummond agreed to deliver two kilograms of cocaine to a buyer in Baltimore, Md. Drummond is a native of Jamaica and legal resident of the United States; Shuttleworth is a citizen of Jamaica.

On March 15, 2020, a Georgia State Patrol trooper pulled Drummond over on Interstate 95 in McIntosh County, Ga., for tailgating another vehicle, and during a subsequent search of the car troopers found the two kilogram bricks of cocaine. Drummond told investigators that he had been unable to contact the Maryland buyer and was headed to his then-home in Riviera Beach, Fla. Agents on a federal search warrant later searched Shuttleworth’s New York residence and found a ledger detailing drug transactions and a large press used to make kilo-sized drug bricks.

“This traffic stop led to the seizure of almost five pounds of cocaine, ensuring this dangerous and potentially deadly drug never reached the seller, and more importantly, the consumer,” said Robert J. Murphy, Special Agent in Charge of the DEA Atlanta Field Division. “This case was successful because of the hard work and dedication between DEA and its law enforcement partners.”

“This case demonstrates the success of collaborative efforts between state and federal agencies,” said Vic Reynolds, Director of the Georgia Bureau of Investigation. “We continue to work with our partners to investigate drug trafficking and keep Georgia safe.”

The case is being investigated by the DEA, including agents from the DEA Atlanta Field Division Savannah Resident Office and New York DEA Task Force Group 43, and the Georgia Bureau of Investigation, with assistance from the Georgia State Patrol, and is being prosecuted for the United States by Assistant U.S. Attorney Jennifer G. Solari.