SAVANNAH, Ga. (CW69 News at 10) – A federal Judge sentenced one of the leaders of a conspiracy that imported large amounts of cocaine and marijuana into Georgia to nearly 25 years in federal prison.

Karteau Omar Jenkins, a/k/a “Yay,” 43, of Stone Mountain, Ga., was sentenced to 290 months in prison by U.S. District Court Judge R. Stan Baker, said David H. Estes, Acting U.S. Attorney for the Southern District of Georgia. A jury in 2019 convicted Jenkins for Conspiracy to Possess with Intent to Distribute and to Distribute 500 Grams or More of Cocaine and 50 Kilograms or More of Marijuana, and Possession with Intent to Distribute 500 Grams or More of Cocaine.

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After completion of his prison term, Jenkins will be required to serve five years of supervised release. There is no parole in the federal system.

Eugene Markeith Allen, a/k/a “Poncho,” 43, a former Savannah resident convicted of leading the drug trafficking conspiracy, awaits sentencing after a jury also convicted him in 2019 of Conspiracy to Possess with Intent to Distribute and to Distribute 500 Grams or More of Cocaine and 50 Kilograms or More of Marijuana.

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Allen, a leader in the Gangster Disciples criminal street gang, was serving a life sentence at Autry State Prison for a 2006 murder conviction when he used smuggled contraband phones to direct Jenkins and other members of the extensive drug trafficking conspiracy that imported marijuana and cocaine from California into Atlanta and throughout the Savannah area.

Jenkins and Allen were among 20 defendants indicted in August 2017 in Operation Five Hole, a multi-agency investigation targeting the drug trafficking organization that hid cash proceeds from drug sales in cotton candy machines for shipment by U.S. Mail and in vehicles with hidden compartments. The operation netted the seizure of pounds of marijuana and kilos of cocaine, along with nearly $400,000 in cash and multiple firearms.

Of the other 18 defendants indicted in the conspiracy, 16 have pled guilty and have been sentenced or await sentencing, with cases dismissed against two defendants. Twelve other defendants pled guilty to federal charges related to the operation and have been sentenced.

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