COLUMBUS, Ga. (WRBL) — On Wednesday, the Attorney General’s Office for the Middle District of Georgia announced that a federal grand jury convicted a Columbus resident with a violent criminal history on armed methamphetamine trafficking charges.

According to the Attorney General’s Office for the Middle District, 41-year-old Karzarta Piett was convicted on Wednesday of possession of more than five grams of methamphetamine with the intent to distribute and illegal possession of a firearm by a convicted felon.

Piett is facing a maximum sentence of 40 years in prison followed by a minimum of four years of supervised release and a maximum $500,00 fine for distributing methamphetamine and a maximum of 10 years in prison, at least three years of supervised release, and a $250,000 fine for illegally possessing a firearm.

Based on court records and evidence presented at Piett’s trial, he was pulled over by Columbus Police Officers for several traffic violations on Jan. 7, 2021, after officers noticed Peitt leaving a bar associated with drug trafficking activity.

Piett drove with a suspended license at the time, and officers observed drug residue inside the car. As a result, officers requested a K-9 unit, and a canine alerted officers about the prescense of narcotics.

Officers searched Piett’s car and discovered two ounces of methamphetamine, a loaded pistol, a digital scale, plastic bags, and nearly $1500 in cash, found in the center console of the vehicle. Officers also found $2000 in cash inside Piett’s pocket.

The Attorney General’s Office for the Middle District of Georgia says that an in-depth check of Piett’s background revealed a 20-year-long criminal history, including past convictions for kidnapping, false imprisonment, robbery, and terroristic threats. Peitt also has past convictions for multiple drug distribution charges and two separate convictions for aggravated assault.

Following Peitt’s June sentencing in the Middle District of Georgia, he will be transferred to the Middle District of Alabama, where he is indicted for conspiracy to distribute more than 50 grams of methamphetamine.

Columbus Police Chief Freddie Blackmon says the Columbus Police Department will continue to keep dangerous criminals off the street and thanks all parties who worked alongside the police department to keep the local community safe.

“One of our main goals is to protect our community from violent offenders like Karzarta Piett, who was engaged in reckless and destructive offenses. Piett will face the consequences of his actions because of the hard work of our Columbus Police Department Investigators and the U.S. Attorney’s Office. We are grateful for the critical support of our law enforcement partners, without whom this conviction would not have been possible. This investigation demonstrates our continued commitment to removing violent criminals and drug traffickers from our streets,” said Chief Blackmon

The DEA, ATF, and the Columbus Police Department investigated Peitt’s case, and Assistant U.S. Attorney Crawford Seals is prosecuting the case.