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State News

Georgia man sentenced to 14 years in federal prison for cocaine distribution in Florida

Gainesville, Florida – A 52-year-old man from Georgia, Frederick Anthony Forbes, has been sentenced to 168 months in federal prison following his conviction for conspiracy to distribute 500 grams or more of cocaine and possession with intent to distribute 500 grams or more of cocaine. The sentence was announced by Jason R. Coody, United States Attorney for the Northern District of Florida.

“Our local, state, and federal law enforcement partners work tirelessly to keep us safe by removing addictive and deadly controlled substances from our communities,” said U.S. Attorney Coody. “We remain committed to supporting their efforts through the investigation and vigorous prosecution of criminals bringing drugs into North Florida. The imposed sentence illustrates the significant consequences of harming our citizens through illicit drug trafficking activities.”

Longstanding Conspiracy Uncovered

The evidence presented at trial revealed that Forbes, who had a prior conviction for cocaine trafficking in 1994, was engaged in a longstanding conspiracy with other individuals to distribute cocaine. This conspiracy employed coded language and counter-surveillance techniques to evade detection, using a commercial trucking business as a cover for their narcotics trafficking operations.

“Drug trafficking has a devastating impact on our communities, and drug distributors, like Mr. Forbes, put profits over the lives of our citizens,” said Special Agent in Charge Deanne Reuter of the Drug Enforcement Administration Miami Field Division. “This investigation highlights DEA’s commitment to working with our law enforcement partners to hold those who threaten the safety and health of our Florida communities accountable for their actions.”

Read also: Convicted felon from Gainesville sentenced to 144 months in prison for firearm offense

Extensive Evidence and Seizures

The investigation, which included testimony, surveillance, wiretap intercepts, and the seizure of two kilograms of powder cocaine from Forbes in September 2022, established that Forbes coordinated the purchase, delivery, and re-sale of cocaine. He acted as a supplier for dealers in the Northern District of Florida and other areas.

The investigation led to the seizure of nearly four kilograms of powder cocaine from Forbes and his co-conspirators, the seizure and forfeiture of a commercial tractor-trailer used by Forbes to transport narcotics, and the indictment and conviction of two co-conspirators.

Prosecution and Sentencing

Forbes’ prison sentence will be followed by 10 years of supervised release, ensuring ongoing monitoring to prevent further criminal activity.

The case was investigated by the Drug Enforcement Administration, in coordination with the Gainesville Police Department, Alachua County Sheriff’s Office, and Florida Highway Patrol. Assistant United States Attorney David Byron prosecuted the case.

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