Col. Terry Williams, commanding officer of Marine Corps Logistics Base-Albany, stands with representatives from several agencies at a news conference Wednesday to announce that arrests had been made in connection to an area drug operation. Some of those involved were civilians aboard the installation.
ALBANY ALBANY — Several people in the Albany area have been arrested so far in connection to a drug bust, including a handful of civilians working aboard Marine Corps Logistics Base-Albany.
A total of nine people have been indicted. Akeem Daniel, Bryan Santos, Roy Shine, Leon Winsberry, Nathaniel Swan Sr., Michael Teemer, Willie Watts and Jonathan C. Webb were each indicted on charges of possessing with intent to distribute vicodin, lorcet, hydrocodone, loratab and more than 280 grams of cocaine.
James Phillips was listed on a separate indictment for marijuana charges. Five out of the nine are civilians working at Maintenance Center Albany as well as the distribution center aboard the base.
Seven of these individuals were arrested Wednesday morning, and had their initial appearance before U.S. Magistrate Thomas Langstaff later that day. The arrests were made after a year-long investigation.
Officials at MCLB emphasized that these developments demonstrated no immediate threat to anyone on the installation, nor were they indicative of a larger problem.
“None of the arrests involve uniformed Marines; however, it is important to reiterate that the Marine Corps has a zero tolerance policy on illegal drug activity, and that includes anyone and everyone who comes aboard the installation,” Col. Terry Williams, the base’s commanding officer, said in a prepared statement.
“The use, distribution, or even possession of illegal drugs is counter to the Marine Corps’ core values. It is detrimental to the good order and discipline of the installation, it is counterproductive to our mission to support the warfighter, and it degrades our effectiveness — especially where their work has a direct impact on Marines in harm’s way in Afghanistan or other locations around the world.”
The Naval Criminal Investigative Service (NCIS) was the lead agency in the investigation. Other agencies involved included the U.S. Attorney’s Office, U.S. Marshals Service, Drug Enforcement Administration, Georgia Bureau of Investigation, Dougherty District Attorney’s Office, Albany-Dougherty Drug Unit, Lee County Sheriff’s Office and the Marine Corps Police Department.
“This is an indication that when agencies work together, great things can happen,” said Michael Moore, U.S. attorney for the Middle District of Georgia. “These are just a few bad apples. My job is to pick those bad apples.
“There is simply no place for drug activity (on MCLB) or in the Middle District of Georgia.”
Officials went on to say at a news conference on the base Wednesday that they were confident the situation is under control. They would not go into specifics regarding investigative techniques, nor give additional details on the cases of any of the individuals involved.
During their initial court appearance at 3:20 p.m. Wednesday, Daniel, Santos and Webb entered not-guilty pleas. The remaining individuals who have been arrested — Shine, Teemer, Watts and Phillips — are scheduled to be arraigned at 9:30 a.m. Sept. 1 because they have not yet obtained legal counsel.
The majority of the individuals were granted pre-trail release with an unsecured bond recommendation of $20,000. There were also several conditions given to each individual for his release. Phillips was granted release on similar conditions with an unsecured bond recommendation of $10,000.
Watts was initially recommended for a $10,000 bond, 10 percent of which had to be secured before his release from custody. Because of his inability to immediately secure the funds, he was granted release until 10 a.m. today on the condition that failure to surrender the $1,000 by that time would result in a warrant being issued for his arrest.