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  • Athens Banner-Herald

    Major drug lord in Georgia sentenced to life in prison

    By Wayne Ford, Athens Banner-Herald,


    An Atlanta man described by federal authorities as a drug lord who moved more than 4,000 pounds of cocaine into Georgia was sentenced to two life terms in prison Monday in U.S. District Court in Macon.

    Albert “Big” Ross, 53, ran his operation with links to a Mexican cartel from his home in Stone Mountain, where federal officials said he dealt cocaine, heroin, methamphetamine, marijuana and other drugs to numerous cities including Athens, according to a release from the U.S. Attorney's Office in Macon.

    “Albert Ross deserves every day in prison that he has been sentenced,” Senior FBI Agent Robert Gibbs said in a statement released with the announcement.

    Federal officials also reported that a primary person responsible for moving drugs from Ross's operation into the Athens area was 43-year-old TaMichael Darden, who was arrested in November 2021 during a roundup of 13 suspects in a raid supervised by the FBI’s Safe Streets Gang Task Force. More than 30 were eventually arrested as a result of the investigation, some linked to a street gang known as 1831 Piru.

    Darden, an Athens resident known as “T-Mike,” “made more than 20 trips from Athens to the Pittman Road (College Park) stash house to purchase cocaine that he later sold,” according to the report.

    Darden is currently serving 121 months in prison following his guilty plea on June 10 to a charge of distributing cocaine.

    The FBI reported that Ross, whose organization was known as DTO, dealt with a cartel known as Cartel de Jalisco Nueva Generacion .  At one point, Ross sent $2.5 million to the drug dealers as a payment for a shipment, but he was also known to purchase $4 million  in cocaine, according to the report.

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    In addition, the FBI said Ross once purchased 24,000 pounds of marijuana from dealers at a location known as “Murder Mountain,” in Humboldt County, California, which he brought to Georgia for disbursement. The FBI said a local drug pusher from Statham helped sell the marijuana in the Athens area.

    Athens-Clarke Police Chief Jerry Saulters also issued a statement saying the life sentence “should be a stern message to the traffickers who bring their poison into our community and threaten the livelihood of our residents.”

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    This article originally appeared on Athens Banner-Herald: Major drug lord in Georgia sentenced to life in prison

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