BRUNSWICK, GA – An Atlanta man born and raised in Savannah who led a drug trafficking organization that transported and distributed cocaine and other drugs into the coastal Georgia area has been sentenced to 20 years in federal prison.
Omar Griffin, 41, of Atlanta, was sentenced to 240 months in federal prison by U.S. District Court Judge Lisa Godbey Wood after pleading guilty to Conspiracy to Possess with Intent to Distribute Five Kilograms or More of Cocaine, said David H. Estes, Acting U.S. Attorney for the Southern District of Georgia. After completion of his prison term, Griffin also must serve 10 years of supervised release.
There is no parole in the federal system.
“Drug traffickers who distribute illegal and dangerous drugs are a menace to society,” said the Special Agent in Charge of the DEA Atlanta Field Division Robert J. Murphy. “The cocaine distributor in this case has been removed from the streets and will now serve well-deserved time in prison. The success of this investigation hinged upon the collaborative efforts between all law enforcement agencies involved. The citizens of the Savannah area can rest better at night knowing that this criminal is headed to federal prison.”
“Omar Griffin was a major importer of cocaine and other drugs into the Savannah area, a wholesaler who delivered illegal drugs for widespread distribution in the coastal area,” said Acting U.S. Attorney Estes. “We commend the tireless investigation and relentless pursuit by the DEA, U.S. Marshals Service and other agencies in Operation Snowplow, who identified, pursued, and captured Griffin and his co-conspirators, shutting down their organization.”
Twelve other defendants in the investigation have been sentenced to prison terms of up to 240 months after all pleading guilty to related charges. Two other defendants are fugitives.
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 has several prior Chatham County convictions for drug trafficking, managed an organization that trafficked more than 35 kilograms of cocaine and other drugs from Texas and California destined for the Savannah area, from as early as February 2014 until his capture in March 2020. Some of 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. Griffin evaded capture by stealing, and then crashing, a police car.
Following his escape, Griffin fled to Texas where he continued to traffic significant quantities of narcotics. In January 2020, he attempted to transport approximately four kilograms of cocaine in a commercial flight from Texas to Georgia. On March 31, 2020, law enforcement arrested Griffin in Houston and seized nearly seven kilograms of cocaine and more than a kilogram of ecstasy (MDMA) in connection with arrest.
In total in this investigation, investigators seized approximately 35 kilograms of cocaine, more than 30 pounds of marijuana, nearly 2 kilograms of MDMA, approximately $900,000 in cash, nearly two dozen firearms – including semi-automatic rifles – and other narcotics.
Two defendants indicted in the 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.
The case was investigated as an Organized Crime Drug Enforcement Task Forces (OCDETF) operation. OCDETF identifies, disrupts, and dismantles the highest-level criminal organizations that threaten the United States using a prosecutor-led, intelligence-driven, multi-agency approach, 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.