A Dahlonega woman was sentenced to 25 years behind bars and more than $875,000 in fines in a heroin trafficking case.
Brittany Nicole Grizzle, 26, appeared before Superior Court Judge Jason Deal Tuesday, Nov. 5, two weeks after her trial.
The jury returned guilty verdicts Wednesday, Oct. 23, for Grizzle and Gilbert Alexander Hill on charges of trafficking and possession of other controlled substances.
Hill, who had been out on bond for a year, was hospitalized during the trial due to a heart condition and not present for closing arguments or the jury charge, defense attorney Andy Maddox said. He was set to be sentenced along with Grizzle. A warrant has been issued for his arrest.
Maddox said the amount of drugs in question was 108 grams “of a combination of heroin and fentanyl mixed with other stuff.”
Grizzle’s attorney Dan Sammons argued on her behalf that she “doesn’t deserve what the law requires” and that the judge’s hands have been tied by the legislature.
Under Georgia code, cases involving more than 28 grams or more of heroin require a mandatory minimum sentence of 25 years and a fine of $500,000.
Multi-Agency Narcotics Squad agents and other law enforcement authorities investigated Hill and Grizzle for two weeks at a residence in the 2000 block of Pine Circle Drive in Gainesville in April 2017.
The agents said the two were in possession of 5 ounces of heroin in different bags, seven alprazolam pills and a gram of marijuana.
Agents also reportedly recovered two semiautomatic pistols — a 9mm and a .380 — along with digital scales, packaging materials and smoking devices.
The estimated street value of the drugs is $27,575.
Deal agreed with some of the arguments Sammons made regarding the mandatory minimum, though he noted the substances involved were “extremely dangerous.”
Deal imposed a 30-year sentence, with the first 25 years to be served in confinement and the remainder on probation. She will receive credit for time served.
Grizzle will be subject to drug and alcohol screens “at the direction of probation.”
Following surcharges, the total fine was $875,055.