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Atkinson County Man Sentenced to More Than 10 Years in Prison for Drug and Gun Felonies

An Atkinson County man has been sentenced to more than 10 years in federal prison after admitting to charges involving methamphetamine trafficking and illegal gun possession.

Juan Eloy Quintanilla, 29, of Willacoochee, Ga., was sentenced to 135 months in prison after pleading guilty to Possession with Intent to Distribute Five or More Grams of Methamphetamine, and Possession of a Firearm by a Convicted Felon, said David H. Estes, U.S. Attorney for the Southern District of Georgia. U.S. District Court Judge Lisa Godbey Wood also ordered Quintanilla to serve five years of supervised release upon completion of his prison term.

There is no parole in the federal system.

“This sentence of hard time in federal prison sends the unmistakable message that we will not tolerate convicted felons continuing to commit crimes and threatening the safety of our communities,” said U.S. Attorney Estes. “Drugs and illegally possessed guns fuel violent crime, and getting such criminals off the street will make our neighborhoods safer.”

As described in court documents and testimony, Quintanilla was on felony probation on drug charges in August 2021 when Coffee County Sheriff’s deputies searched Quintanilla’s vehicle during a traffic stop and arrested him after finding drugs and a loaded pistol. During a subsequent search of his residence, Atkinson County Sheriff’s deputies seized methamphetamine, a rifle, ammunition, and drug-distribution paraphernalia.

“Despite prior felony convictions, Quintanilla continued to plague our communities with drugs and the crimes that result from them,” said Keri Farley, Special Agent in Charge of FBI Atlanta. “The FBI and our law enforcement partners are determined to make our streets safer by removing violent felons and holding them accountable with long prison terms without the opportunity for parole.”

The case was investigated by the FBI, the Georgia Department of Community Supervision, the Atkinson County Sheriff’s Office, and the Coffee County Sheriff’s Office, and prosecuted for the United States by Assistant U.S. Attorney Marcela C. Mateo.

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