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Dealer gets 25-year stretch

ALBANY -- A Smithville man caught a 25-year sentence to federal prison without parole from a federal judge after pleading guilty to illegal drug distribution Thursday, a U.S. Department of Justice press release stated.

Russell Leon Jenkins, 37, was sentenced "as the result of a guilty plea," said G.F. Peterman III, acting United States attorney for the Middle District of Georgia.

The sentence imposed by Judge W. Louis Sands will run consecutively with a sentence Jenkins is already serving in the custody of the Georgia Department of Corrections.

No information on where Jenkins is incarcerated or how long his state sentence will run was immediately available.

Jenkins was arrested by the Lee County Drug Force, said Lee County Sheriff Reggie Rachals. The drug deputies executed a search warrant on Jenkins' home at 157 Muckaloochee Street and found 90.1 grams of crack cocaine and 8.2 grams of powder cocaine.

"Think of a pack of Sweet and Low as a gram so you can see how much was there," Rachals said.

After the Lee County narcotics team recovered the drugs from Jenkins' home, the U.S. Drug Enforcement Agency stepped in, Rachals said.

"I'm glad they did," he said. "(Jenkins) got serious time with the federal charges."

Previously, Jenkins had been convicted in state court in Lee County of selling cocaine in 1994 and 1998, a press release stated.

When Jenkins pleaded guilty this time, he forfeited a Ford F-250 crew cab pickup and all the equipment he used in his landscaping business.

Rachals said he plans to convert the pickup into a mobile command center, and county Public Works will put the landscaping equipment to good use.

"I feel good about this sentence," Rachals said. "I hope it sends a message. We will arrest drug dealers, and they will lose their possessions and do serious time."