AUGUSTA, GA: A member of a violent white supremacist street gang has been sentenced to more than a decade in federal prison after pleading guilty to trafficking methamphetamine.
Donnie Lee Curtis Jr., 37, of Tunnel Hill, Ga., was sentenced to 144 months in prison after previously pleading guilty to Conspiracy to Possess with Intent to Distribute, and To Distribute, 50 Grams or More of Methamphetamine, said David H. Estes, U.S. Attorney for the Southern District of Georgia. U.S. District Court Judge Dudley H. Bowen also fined Curtis $1,500 and ordered him to serve five years of supervised release after completion of his prison term.
There is no parole in the federal system.
“Drug-trafficking felons are a malignant source of a significant amount of the violent crime in our communities,” said U.S. Attorney Estes. “With our law enforcement partners, we will make our streets safer by identifying and removing these criminals from our neighborhoods.”
Curtis’ co-defendant, Robert Lewis Coney Jr., 50, of North Augusta, S.C., faces a mandatory minimum sentence of 10 years in prison, up to life, after also previously pleading guilty to Conspiracy to Possess with Intent to Distribute, and To Distribute, 50 Grams or More of Methamphetamine.
As described in court documents and testimony, Curtis and Coney were identified as methamphetamine traffickers during an investigation in 2021 initiated by the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration. With assistance from the Columbia County Sheriff’s Office, the two were arrested during a drug deal in the parking lot of a motel in Grovetown, Ga., on May 19, 2021.
In subsequent searches of their vehicle and hotel rooms in Grovetown and in Trenton, S.C., authorities seized large amounts of high-grade methamphetamine and multiple firearms. Curtis, a member of the Aryan Brotherhood criminal street gang who was on felony probation on state drug charges at the time of his arrest, was identified as Coney’s source of supply for the illegal drugs.
“Residents in Augusta and elsewhere can sleep better tonight knowing that this violent ‘meth’ distributor can no longer peddle insidious drugs on the streets,” said Robert J. Murphy, the Special Agent in Charge of the DEA Atlanta Field Division. “The DEA and its law enforcement partners presented a united front to protect our communities by bringing these dangerous drug traffickers to justice.”
The case was investigated by the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration and the Columbia County Sheriff’s Office, with assistance from the Bureau of Alcohol, Firearms, Tobacco, and Explosives, and prosecuted for the United States by Assistant U.S. Attorney Jeremiah L. Johnson.