ATHENS, Ga. –– An Athens resident was convicted by a federal jury of trafficking methamphetamine resulting from an investigation and subsequent arrest during which she and a co-defendant attempted to flee law enforcement with her two-year-old grandchild in the car.
Kimberly Garcia, 52, of Athens, Georgia, was found guilty of one count of conspiracy to possess with intent to distribute methamphetamine and one count of possession of methamphetamine on Oct. 19, concluding a trial that began on Oct. 17 before U.S. District Judge C. Ashley Royal. She faces a maximum sentence of 40 years imprisonment and a $5,000,000 fine. A co-defendant, Corey Gresham, 38, of Athens, previously pleaded guilty to possession with intent to distribute methamphetamine. He faces a maximum sentence of 40 years in prison and a $5,000,000 fine. Sentencings for both defendants will be scheduled at a date determined by the Court.
According to court records and evidence presented at trial, information provided by a confidential source (CS) sparked a local law enforcement investigation into the drug distribution activities of Garcia in June 2020. The CS told law enforcement that Garcia often sold methamphetamine with her grandchildren in the car at the Airport Mini Mart in Athens. Under surveillance, Garcia and Gresham drove together to a Lawrenceville (Gwinnett County), Georgia, apartment complex on July 6, 2020. Garcia was observed entering the apartment of a known methamphetamine supplier along with a person associated with the Sureños criminal street gang and exiting with a bag. On their return trip to Athens, deputies with the Oconee County Sheriff’s Office attempted to conduct a traffic stop on the vehicle, driven by Gresham. Gresham evaded law enforcement by speeding and running red lights. Gresham then slowed the car down at Fairfield Circle, Athens, and bolted from the car as it continued to move forward. Garcia moved to the driver’s side and stopped the car before it crashed into a telephone pole. Gresham, who had outstanding arrest warrants at the time, ran inside a family member’s nearby home but was taken into custody. Garcia remained in the car with her two-year-old grandchild in the backseat. Officers recovered 37.94 grams of methamphetamine and drug distribution supplies including baggies and a spoon during a search of the vehicle and the area where Garcia attempted to flee law enforcement. A search of Garcia’s cell phone found many communications about trafficking methamphetamine with Gresham and others.
The case was investigated by the Athens-Clarke County Police Department, Oconee County Sheriff’s Office and DEA. Assistant U.S. Attorney Tamara Jarrett is prosecuting the case.