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Gainesville man sentenced to 4 years in Lenox Park drug case

A Gainesville man accused of being connected to a drug distribution ring known informally as the “Lenox Park Cartel” pleaded guilty to a lesser offense Tuesday.

Edwin Barrera pleaded guilty to use of a communication facility during a drug trafficking crime.

He was given a four-year prison sentence, and all other charges against him were dismissed. Barrera will receive credit for time served.

William Morrison, Barrera’s attorney, called the sentence “fair.”

“It clearly reflected Mr. Barrera’s role in the conspiracy, and we’re certainly pleased because it’s so much lower than most everybody else’s sentence,” he said.

The charge accused Barrera of aiding and abetting others “in committing and causing and facilitating the commission of the offense of possession of methamphetamine with the intent to distribute.”

Multi-Agency Narcotics Squad agents, the Hall County Sheriff’s Office and Gainesville Police identified 12 suspects after a 10-month investigation “focused on the criminal drug trafficking organization, informally known as the Lenox Park Cartel.”

“Several of the suspects resided and/or furthered their criminal activity in the subdivision in Gainesville … known as Lenox Park, as well as other areas in Hall County and Stephens County,” Lt. Scott Ware said in March 2016.

Authorities said the group was “believed to be responsible for the distribution of 8,800 pounds of methamphetamine.”

After prison, Barrera will be on supervised release for three years.

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