U.S. Attorney James P. Kennedy, Jr. announced last week that Adrian Grier, 44, of Jackson, Georgia, pleaded guilty before U.S. District Judge John L. Sinatra, Jr. to conspiring to possess with intent to distribute, and distributing, 500 grams or more of cocaine. The charge carries a mandatory minimum penalty of 10 years in prison, a maximum of life, and an $8,000,000 fine.
Assistant U.S. Attorney Michael J. Adler, who is handling the case, stated that between October 2017 and December 7, 2018, the defendant conspired with 11 others to sell cocaine. One of Grier’s co-defendants brokered bulk quantity cocaine to multiple areas in the country including Buffalo, Kentucky, and Georgia. Numerous court authorized communications were intercepted between the defendant and others. On two occasions, Grier coordinated trips to Kentucky to acquire kilograms of cocaine. The defendant was intercepted discussing future plans to increase the quantity of cocaine he could obtain in Georgia.
Of the 12 defendants charged in this case, Grier is the second to be convicted. The fact that a defendant has been charged with a crime is merely an accusation and the defendant is presumed innocent until and unless proven guilty.
The plea is the result of an investigation by Immigration and Customs Enforcement, Homeland Security Investigations, under the direction of Special Agent-in-Charge Kevin Kelly; the Federal Bureau of Investigation, under the direction of Special Agent-in-Charge Stephen Belongia; the New York State Police, under the direction of Major James Hall; the Erie County Sheriff’s Department, under the direction of Sheriff Timothy Howard; and Customs and Border Protection, Air and Marine Unit, under the direction of Brian Manaher, Director, Marine Operations. Additional assistance was provided by the New York National Guard. Additional assistance was provided by HSI-Louisville; the Kentucky State Police; the Louisville Metro Police; and the Greater Hardin County Drug Task Force.
Sentencing is scheduled for January 6, 2021, before Judge Sinatra.