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Man sentenced to federal prison in meth case
Edwin Barrera
Edwin Barrera

A Gainesville man was sentenced to 10 years in a drug case in which law enforcement seized roughly $400,000 worth of methamphetamine, according to authorities and court documents.

Edwin Barrera pleaded guilty to possession with intent to distribute at least 500 grams of meth and was sentenced Oct. 12. He will receive credit for time served in federal custody.

Law enforcement arrested Barrera Dec. 10 on Otila Drive in Gainesville, where officers seized 4 kilograms of meth, according to Hall County Sheriff’s Office spokesman Derreck Booth.

The Gainesville/Hall County Multi-Agency Narcotics Squad worked with the Georgia Bureau of Investigation’s gang and drug task forces, the Appalachian Regional Drug Enforcement Office and the Department of Homeland Security on the case.

Following his release from prison, Barrera will be on supervised release for five years.

Defense attorney Stephen Johnson did not return a request for comment.

In a memo filed before sentencing, Johnson said Barrera worked as a sanitation worker at a chicken plant but lost his job in August 2020.

“Out of work, Mr. Barrera lamentably made the decision to involve himself in the instant offense,” Johnson wrote in the memo. “Believing he could make a quick buck, Mr. Barrera decided to act as a drug courier. While his role was relatively minor and limited in a larger conspiracy, Mr. Barrera failed to exercise the judgment and the morality, which his last period of incarceration should have instilled within him.”

Johnson wrote in the memo that Barrera would use his time behind bars to “better himself,” including taking vocational courses provided by the Bureau of Prisons. 

“His redemption and his commitment to living a law-abiding life will be the knowledge that any further failures will deny him an opportunity to be a father to his child,” Johnson wrote. “The love for his daughter is Mr. Barrera’s redemptive power.”

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