Southwest Georgia man and co-defendants sentenced for operating high-volume illegal drug “market”

Georgia
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ALBANY, Ga. (WRBL) — One Georgia man was sentenced to federal prison after being deemed leader of a high-volume drug trafficking operation.

39-year-old Sherrod Winchester of Albany, Georgia was sentenced Oct. 20 to 300 months in prison and five years of supervised release.

U.S. District Judge Leslie Gardner sentenced Winchester Wednesday morning following he pleaded guilty to conspiring to distribute controlled substances.

In a news release, Acting U.S. Attorney Peter D. Leary described how Winchester put the community in harms way.

“Sherrod Winchester’s sentencing concludes a lengthy investigation into a stop and shop serving dozens of addicts daily who could easily access methamphetamine, heroin and diverted pharmaceuticals. Winchester’s prolific operation caused community-wide harm,” said Attorney Leary.

Another agent involved in this case shared in a prepared statement how Winchester’s arrest will clean the streets of southwest Georgia.

“Because of the results of this case the communities in southwest Georgia will be significantly safer,” said Chris Hacker, Special Agent in Charge of FBI Atlanta.

One Field Division Special Agent explains what he thinks about this case and drug traffickers other drug traffickers.

“Drug traffickers are a menace to society, which holds true for a prolific poly-drug trafficker like Mr. Winchester,” said DEA Atlanta Field Division Special Agent in Charge Robert J. Murphy. “He attempted to elude justice, but because of the perseverance and tenacity of all law enforcement agencies involved, he was ultimately apprehended. He, and his co-defendants, will now spend well-deserved time in prison.”

The following co-defendants from Georgia have been sentenced:

James Malone, 51-year-old of Albany; 240 months in prison and five years of supervised release after he pleaded guilty to distribution of methamphetamine.

William Raymond Cook, 46-year-old of Albany; 151 months in prison and three years of supervised release after he pleaded guilty to possession with intent to distribute hydrocodone.

Anthony Dewayne Pearson, 42-year-old of Sylvester; 60 months in prison and three years of supervised release after he pleaded guilty to conspiracy to possess with intent to distribute hydrocodone.

Laura Ann Dungee-Ali, 49-year-old of Albany; 180 months in prison and two years of supervised release after she pleaded guilty to maintaining a drug-involved premises.

Shannon Marie Mason, 39-year-old of Leesburg; 75 months in prison and two years of supervised release after she pleaded guilty to distribution of methamphetamine.

Patricia Odom, 50-year-old of Albany; 12 months in prison and three years of supervised release after pleading guilty to possession with intent to distribute methamphetamine.


In 2019, Albany-Dougherty Drug Unit (ADDU) detectives identified defendants Malone and Winchester as distributors of methamphetamine and heroin, according to court documents.

GBI, DEA and FBI initiated an investigation at 520 9th Avenue, Albany, Georgia. The location was an open-air drug market run by Malone and Winchester, where pharmaceutical medications, heroin, methamphetamine, cocaine and other controlled substances were sold.

According to a news release, the location had large volumes of traffic daily. All visitors would be there for less than 10 minutes at a time, and at least 20 different vehicles would stop daily. It was compared to a ‘drive-thru window.’

More than $40,000 in drug proceeds were seized from Malone’s residence. The drug house operated almost continuously from 2015 until late 2020 or early 2021.

The case was investigated by the FBI, DEA, GBI and the Albany-Dougherty Drug Unit.

Assistant U.S. Attorney Leah McEwen prosecuted the case.

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