Arrests Made in Fentanyl Deaths

BRUNSWICK, GA: Two Glynn County men have been charged in federal court with selling the deadly synthetic opioid Fentanyl, including a quantity of the drug responsible for the overdose death of a Brunswick woman. In a federal complaint unsealed Oct. 17 in U.S. District Court in Brunswick, Makeda Atkinson, 44 and  Donald Adams, 62, are charged with Distribution of a Controlled Substance Resulting in Death and with Conspiracy to Possess with Intent to Distribute and to Distribute a Controlled Substance. Both men are in custody while awaiting further court proceedings. 

According to court documents, investigators with the Glynn-Brunswick Narcotics Enforcement Team (GBNET) and the Federal Bureau of Investigation determined that Atkinson and Adams were selling heroin laced with Fentanyl throughout the Glynn County, Ga., area. During the investigation, a 32-year-old woman who purchased drugs from the men on Dec. 28, 2017, was found dead the next day in her parents’ home, and an autopsy determined she died from acute Fentanyl toxicity. Glynn County Criminal Investigator Stephan Lowery took the lead in investigating the woman’s death and, working with the FBI, linked it to drugs sold by Atkinson and Adams. 

The charges against Atkinson and Adams, including that of Distribution of a Controlled Substance Resulting in Death, call for a federal prison sentence of not less than 20 years to life in prison. There is no parole in the federal system. “Our nation’s growing opioid crisis is horrific, as personified by this senseless overdose death of an addict whose drug-ravaged body was found by her 5-year-old daughter,” said Southern District U.S. Attorney Bobby L. Christine. “Our office is committed to battling these self-serving merchants of death so that no other children have to lose a parent, and no parents have to lose their children.” 

Chris Hacker, the Special Agent in Charge of FBI Atlanta, said “This case is an example of a drug crisis running rampant in our communities, causing numerous deaths. The FBI is committed to doing its part, along with our law enforcement partners, to hold those who propagate this crisis accountable to the fullest extent of our federal laws.” 

Assistant United States Attorney Greg Gilluly represents the United States in this investigation and prosecution. A criminal complaint contains only charges. Defendants are presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty. For any questions, please contact Barry Paschal at the United States Attorney’s Office at  (912) 652-4422. 

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