A Georgian man who ran an industrial-scale illicit pill-manufacturing enterprise was sentenced to 20 years in federal jail, marking the final punishment for the drug-trafficking conspiracy ‘s biggest leaders.
The US sentenced Walker Christian Forrester, 25, of Loganville, Ga., to 240 months in jail. District Court Chief Judge J. Randal Hall, U.S. Attorney for the Southern District of Georgia, Bobby L. Christine said. Forrester, who pleads guilty to an accusation of Conspiracy to Possess with Intent to Distribute and Distribute Controlled Substances (Carfentanil, Alprazolam, and marijuana), will now complete five years of supervised release upon completion of his prison term.
“The criminals in this drug trafficking conspiracy distributed massive amounts of dangerous illegal drugs, including deadly synthetic opioids, on the streets of Georgia and beyond through the Dark Web,” said U.S. Attorney Christine. “Our federal, state and local law enforcement agencies did outstanding work in investigating and shutting down these manufacturers of misery and bringing them to justice.”
Three other defendants in the conspiracy have also plead guilty: Kolbie Hadden Watters, 23, of Augusta, Ga., was sentenced to life in prison plus 10 years for Conspiracy to Possess with Intent to Distribute and to Distribute Controlled Substances, and Possession of a Firearm in Furtherance of a Drug Trafficking Crime. He also must serve five years of supervised release after completion of his term.
Jonathan Britt Lester, 23, of Loganville, Ga.; was sentenced to 210 months in prison for Conspiracy to Possess with Intent to Distribute and to Distribute Controlled Substances (Carfentanil, Alprazolam and marijuana), followed by five years of supervised release. And finally Morgan McKenzie Slaton, 23, of Hoschton, Ga., was sentenced to three years’ probation for Conspiracy to Distribute and Possession with Intent to Distribute a Controlled Substance (Alprazolam), followed by years of supervised release.
Another defendant in the case, Armand Sananda Saedi, 28, of Atlanta, Ga., is awaiting sentencing after pleading guilty to Conspiracy to manufacture and distribute Controlled Substances (Alprazolam) with intent.
According to court records and evidence, the co-defendants engaged in a drug ring dating back to 2016 that purchased vast amounts of narcotics bought with cryptocurrency on the Dark Web, used industrial-grade equipment to manufacture pills, and distributed the narcotics on the Dark Web and throughout Georgia. The plant, at its height, produced as many as 200,000 pills a month, producing profits up to $18,000 a month.
In addition to profiting from drug trafficking, Forrester admitted that he was paying $10,000 a month by a Canadian drug trafficker to obtain shipments of Fentanyl delivered from China and then reship it to addresses in Canada and elsewhere. That trafficker is on federal indictment in Georgia ‘s northern district.
Forrester first came to the attention of the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration around Sept. 2017 after he purchased an industrial-grade pill press. Two months later , in November 2017, Forrester, Watters and a juvenile were arrested on state charges in Harlem, Ga., following a traffic stop where Harlem police officers discovered more than 5,200 counterfeit Xanax tablets, marijuana and a shotgun in the car.
Watters and Lester both face state charges of felony murder in Walton County and aggravated assault in the death of Chase David Loffler, 25, whose body was found buried in April 2018 in the backyard of Lester’s Loganville home. All are accused of beating and suffocating the alleged co-conspirator Loffler and burying his body in a shallow grave.