Athens, GA

Sentences Handed Down in Athens Area Cases of Drug Trafficking Involving Firearms

Hunt County Theft Reports

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ATHENS, Ga. – Three individuals who were convicted in several cases of drug trafficking while carrying weapons in the Athens area have been sentenced to serve time in federal prison this week.

Stacey Collins, also known as "Sue," aged 45 and residing in Alto, Georgia, has been given a prison sentence of 240 months, followed by three years of supervised release. This decision was made after she confessed to conspiring to possess methamphetamine with the intention of distributing it, as per the Case No. 3:22-cr-00009.

Juan Carlos Pimentel, also known as Manuel Romero Gonzalez, from Athens and Mexico, has been sentenced to 14 years in prison and three years of supervised release. He has confessed to conspiring to distribute heroin in Case No. 3:20-cr-00045. His accomplice, Steven Ricole Scott, also known as Black or Unc, from Athens, has been sentenced to 10 years in prison and three years of supervised release. He admitted to conspiring to distribute methamphetamine, heroin, and cocaine in Case No. 3:20-cr-00008.

On July 10, the sentences were issued by U.S. District Judge C. Ashley Royal. It's worth noting that the federal system doesn't allow for parole.

Based on official court documents related to the Collins case, it was found that Malcody Dinges, also known as "Cody" or "Yes, Sir Cody," was using illegal cell phones to conduct drug transactions while in custody at Wheeler Correctional Facility. Further investigation revealed that Dinges was communicating with Collins and other co-defendants in the Athens area to distribute methamphetamine. Collins stored the drug proceeds and illegal substances at her home in northeast Georgia, for which she was arrested and found in possession of a large amount of methamphetamine and cash. Dinges was sentenced to 240 months in prison after pleading guilty to conspiracy to distribute methamphetamine.

According to official court documents related to the Pimentel and Scott case, agents were investigating the distribution of illegal controlled substances and firearms from Athens Gardens Apartment Complex. The inquiry centered around Rickshun Willingham, who is now deceased. Willingham was obtaining drugs from Pimentel and Scott, and agents observed him purchasing drugs from Scott's stash house on Lombardy Circle in Athens. Willingham arranged to buy one kilogram of heroin for $77,000 from Pimentel and another co-conspirator. During the transaction, Willingham claimed he had used $50,000 in fake currency to rob the Mexicans, which Scott warned him about due to the risk of firearms. Pimentel was under surveillance and conducted additional transactions involving large quantities of heroin. In Jan. 2020, multiple search warrants were executed, including at Pimentel's residence, which led to the discovery of firearms and ammunition, cash, cell phones, receipts for money transfers to Mexico, and vacuum-sealed bags. Additional narcotics were found at stash houses belonging to co-conspirators named in the indictment. Pimentel is responsible for distributing between three and ten kilograms of heroin, while Scott is responsible for distributing 780 grams of crack cocaine.

The Collins case was thoroughly investigated by multiple law enforcement agencies including the Drug Enforcement Agency (DEA), Banks County Sheriff’s Office, Franklin County Sheriff’s Office, Gwinnett County Sheriff’s Office, Clarke County Sheriff’s Office, Oconee County Sheriff’s Office, Madison County Sheriff’s Office, Greene County Sheriff’s Office, Georgia State Patrol (GSP), Georgia Bureau of Investigation (GBI) Appalachian RDEO, and Northeast Georgia Regional Drug Task Force.

The FBI, Oconee County Sheriff’s Office, Athens-Clarke County Police Department, and Georgia State Patrol investigated the Pimentel and Scott case. Tamara Jarrett, an Assistant U.S. Attorney, prosecuted the cases for the Government.

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