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Columbus man found guilty of attempting to sell nearly 12000 grams of cocaine

COLUMBUS, Ga. WRBL - March 14, 51 year-old Columbus man Kenneth James has been found guilty of "attempting to sell 11,995 grams of cocaine to an undercover agent." Currently a resident of Phenix City, Ala., James was convicted on a charge of "Possession of Cocaine with Intent to Distribute."

As a result of the large amount of cocaine, going over five kilograms, James is facing a possible 10 year to life sentence, as well as a $10 million fine.

The federal trial, presided over by Columbus judge the Honorable Clay D. Land, lasted only three days, beginning on March 11 and concluding on March 14. The jury "returned the verdict after an hour and a half of deliverations," on Wednesday afternoon. Sentencing is set to take place in July, with James now in custody without the chance for parole.

Previously, James was convicted in December 1999 on the charge of Possession of Cocaine with Intent to Distribute in the Middle District of Alabama, according to the U.S. Attorney of Middle Georgia.

James was first identified in Sept. 2017 with a co-defendant, Marcus Marshall, 35, of Columbus, Ga. as a "large quantity cocaine distributor," by an undercover agent working with the Columbus Police Department.

After a series of phone calls recorded by CPD, Marshall agreed to meet with the undercover agent "to sell 10 kilos of cocaine at $27,500 per kilo." On Oct. 16, 2017, law enforcement officers "documented Mr. James meeting Mr. Marshall at a motel and moving a large box (later discovered to be carrying 11,995 grams of brick form cocain) from the trunk" of Mr. Marshall's car, a BMW SUV.

James and Marshall then drove to the Welcome Center on Williams Road to meet with the undercover agent. Following their arrest at "the transaction with the undercover agent," Marshall plead guilty in Dec. 2018 and sentenced to 10 years in prison for "Possession with Intent to Distribute and Possession of a Firearm by a Convicted Felon."

“Good police work stopped these career criminals from distributing a large amount of a deadly drug into the Columbus community,” said Charles “Charlie” Peeler, the U.S. Attorney for the Middle District of Georgia. “Law-abiding citizens do not want dangerous drugs circulating in their communities, and law enforcement across Middle Georgia are successfully joining together to investigate and prosecute these crimes. Thank you to the Columbus Police Department and the DEA for their work in this matter.”

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