SAVANNAH, Ga. (WSAV) – Eugene “Poncho” Allen, 44, received a 30 year federal prison sentence for operating a drug trafficking organization while incarcerated.

The sentence comes after a conviction of a charge of Conspiracy to Possess with Intent to Distribute and to Distribute 500 Grams or More of Cocaine and 50 Kilograms or More of Marijuana.

According to authorities, Allen is a high-ranking member of the Gangster Disciples criminal street gang and has been in state prison since 2004 after violating parole on a prior state conviction.

 In 2006, he was convicted of multiple violent crimes, including murder, and sentenced to life in prison.

Police say Allen used smuggled-in cell phones to direct a drug ring.

A joint operation between the FBI, the Chatham-Savannah Counter Narcotics Team (CNT) and the Savannah Police Department named Operation Five Hole discovered the drug ring shipped or delivered kilogram amounts of drugs, including cocaine, crack cocaine, heroin and marijuana, from California to Atlanta, and then to Savannah.

Police say the group concealed the shipments in candy machines.

Allen and 19 co-defendants were indicted in U.S. District Court in 2017 for their roles in the drug trafficking conspiracy. 

All have been adjudicated, with 17 found guilty and sentenced and two cases dismissed.