AUGUSTA, Ga. (WJBF) – Ten people have been charged in an Augusta-area drug trafficking conspiracy, which authorities say is linked to another large-scale drug trafficking prosecution.

According to David H. Estes, U.S. Attorney for the Southern District of Georgia, this was a conspiracy to transport and distribute large amount of methamphetamine and heroin in the areas of Richmond and Emanuel counties.

Estates states that these are the people that have been charged in the October 2022 indictment:

  • Justin Wayne Fields, 39, of Swainsboro, charged with Conspiracy to Possess with Intent to Distribute, and to Distribute, 500 Grams or More of a Mixture Containing a Detectable Amount of Methamphetamine and an Amount of Heroin; three counts of Distribution of Methamphetamine; and 11 counts of Use of Communication Facility, related to the use of a cell phone or Facebook Messenger to facilitate the conspiracy;
  • Joshua Brooks Woodward, a/k/a “Jay Wood,” 30, of Augusta, charged with Conspiracy to Possess with Intent to Distribute, and to Distribute, 500 Grams or More of a Mixture Containing a Detectable Amount of Methamphetamine and an Amount of Heroin; and five counts of Use of a Communication Facility;
  • Elizabeth Sarah Hagan, 38, of Augusta, charged with Conspiracy to Possess with Intent to Distribute, and to Distribute, 500 Grams or More of a Mixture Containing a Detectable Amount of Methamphetamine and an Amount of Heroin; Possession of Methamphetamine; and four counts of Use of a Communication Facility;
  • Coley Alexander Greene, a/k/a “Henry Jones,” 30, of Wrens, Ga., charged with Conspiracy to Possess with Intent to Distribute, and to Distribute, 500 Grams or More of a Mixture Containing a Detectable Amount of Methamphetamine and an Amount of Heroin; and three counts of Use of a Communication Facility;
  • James Edmund Beasley, 34, of Grovetown, Ga., charged with Conspiracy to Possess with Intent to Distribute, and to Distribute, 500 Grams or More of a Mixture Containing a Detectable Amount of Methamphetamine and an Amount of Heroin; Possession with Intent to Distribute Heroin; and three counts of Use of a Communication Facility;
  • Cameron Ruth Young, 35, of Grovetown, charged with Conspiracy to Possess with Intent to Distribute, and to Distribute, 500 Grams or More of a Mixture Containing a Detectable Amount of Methamphetamine and an Amount of Heroin; Possession with Intent to Distribute Heroin; and Use of a Communication Facility;
  • David Marshall Hood, 45, of Kite, Ga., charged with Conspiracy to Possess with Intent to Distribute, and to Distribute, 500 Grams or More of a Mixture Containing a Detectable Amount of Methamphetamine and an Amount of Heroin; two counts of Distribution of Methamphetamine; Possession with Intent to Distribute Methamphetamine; and Use of a Communication Facility;
  • James Richard Faircloth, 39, of Swainsboro, charged with Conspiracy to Possess with Intent to Distribute, and to Distribute, 500 Grams or More of a Mixture Containing a Detectable Amount of Methamphetamine and an Amount of Heroin; five counts of Distribution of Methamphetamine; Possession with Intent to Distribute Methamphetamine; and three counts of Use of a Communication Facility;
  • Leann Nicole Faircloth, 39, of Swainsboro, charged with Conspiracy to Possess with Intent to Distribute, and to Distribute, 500 Grams or More of a Mixture Containing a Detectable Amount of Methamphetamine and an Amount of Heroin; and three counts of Distribution of Heroin; and,
  • Casey Alton Henry, 45, of Swainsboro, charged with Conspiracy to Possess with Intent to Distribute, and to Distribute, 500 Grams or More of a Mixture Containing a Detectable Amount of Methamphetamine and an Amount of Heroin; two counts of Distribution of Methamphetamine; and Use of a Communication Facility.

Estes says that each of the defendants faces a conspiracy charge that carries a maximum statutory penalty of up to life in prison.

According to Estes, Operation Wheat Fields is an Organized Crime Drug Enforcement Task Forces investigation that identified a pipeline of illegal drugs from Mexico routed through Atlanta and into the greater Augusta area, facilitated by the defendants that included those housed in Georgia prisons who used contraband devices to communicate via text message and Facebook. 

Authorities say the investigation led to multiple searches and evidence seizures from residences, vehicles, and hotel rooms.

Estes states that this investigation parallels the case against Jayson Dwayne Wheatley, 41, of Augusta, who is awaiting sentencing after pleading guilty on September 23rd to Conspiracy to Possess with Intent to Distribute, and to Distribute, 50 Grams or More of a Mixture Containing a Detectable Amount of Methamphetamine.

Authorities say two other defendants also await sentencing after pleading guilty to related charges, and the remaining four defendants are presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty.