Felony drug cases result in lengthy prison sentences, banishment

STAFF REPORT :::

The Spalding County District Attorney’s Office has concluded the first week of a two-week trial calendar in front of the Honorable W. Fletcher Sams.

According to a press release issued by Griffin Judicial Circuit District Attorney Ben Coker, the calendar began with 77 cases. Altogether this week were 22 guilty pleas and six bench trials.

In total, these defendants were sentenced to 219 years on probation and 71 years in prison.

The trial calendar will continue Monday.

Among those cases disposed of this week were the following:

Kindley Coggins pled guilty to racketeering and trafficking cocaine. He was sentenced to 30 years with the first 12 years to be served in prison. He is banished from the Griffin Judicial Circuit. Coggins’ case was part of a large-scale investigation led by Sgt. Josh Pitts, of the Spalding County Sheriff’s Office.

The Spalding County Sheriff’s Office, along with the Griffin Police Department, followed the activity of multiple individuals on a Title III wiretap over the course of many months. Coggins sentence and banishment is the result of countless hours of teamwork and preparation.

Wilber Louis Brown III pled guilty to racketeering, cruelty to children in the second degree, and illegal use of a communication device. He was sentenced to 30 years with the first 12 years to be spent in prison. Brown is banished from the Griffin Judicial Circuit. Brown was also a part of the Title III wiretap investigation led by Sgt. Josh Pitts.

Authorities say Brown, along with Coggins and Joshua Stephens were three of the main cocaine suppliers to Spalding County at the time of their arrest. Stephens pled guilty on an earlier date, was sentenced to 30 years with 10 years to be served in prison, and is also banished from the Griffin Judicial Circuit.

Another main player in a separate Title III wiretap from 2015 also entered a guilty plea on June 20.. Adrian Ryan Lehsten pled guilty racketeering, sale of methamphetamine and illegal use of a communication facility. He was sentenced to 20 years with 15 years in prison. He is banished from the Griffin Judicial Circuit and surrounding counties. Officials describe Lehsten as a methamphetamine dealer in Spalding County. The investigation into Lehsten was led by Cpl. Howie Spitzer with the Spalding County Sheriff’s Office. The Spalding County Sheriff’s Office, aided by the Griffin Police Department, observed Lehsten’s distribution of methamphetamine over a wiretap in June of 2015. Multiple arrests arose from the wiretap.

Lehsten also faces drug charges in Lamar County.

Daniel Knight, a main player in the Lehsten Title III methamphetamine wire, also pled guilty to racketeering and was sentenced to 15 years with 10 years to be served in prison. He is also banished from the Griffin Judicial Circuit.

Randy Ray Brown, also involved in the Lehsten wire, pled guilty to 20 years with 4 years to be served in prison. He is, likewise, banished from the Griffin Judicial Circuit.

Of the results from this week, Coker said, “This is the result of the tireless work of law enforcement and the preparation and dedication of Chief Assistant District Attorney Marie Broder and the Spalding staff. The drug dealers that entered guilty pleas on Monday will serve a combined 63 years in prison and will be banished from the Griffin Judicial Circuit for 145 years. Cocaine and Methamphetamine are poison that infiltrate our community and breed drug addiction and crime. The Spalding County District Attorney’s Office remains committed to keeping those that sell these drugs off the streets of Spalding County and keeping our community safe.”

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Comments

  1. Good article, Sheila. Thanks for keeping us informed.

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