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Augusta Gang Drug Bust Yields Enough Fentanyl to Wipe Out City Population

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A drug bust on two Augusta gangs led to the recovery Friday of over a pound of fentanyl, enough to kill every citizen of the Garden City.

Three were arrested, while two others fled, as Richmond County sheriff’s investigators executed search warrants on two homes. The suspects were members of hybrid criminal gangs identified as the TRVP Moneyy and Only with True Thugs (aka O-DUB), according to authorities.

Narcotics officers uncovered a fentanyl press lab being operated at a home on Kaufman Drive, just a mile and a half from Hillcrest Memorial Park.  Additional seizures were made at 6 Whitney Court, which is near the Charlie Norwood VA Medical Center.

Narcotics agents sent in a drug-sniffing dog at the three-bedroom home on Kaufman Drive, and the canine quickly hit on some pine straw along the fence line in the yard. Officers searched under the pine needles and found a plastic container with the bulk of the fentanyl as well as crack cocaine, authorities said. A smaller amount of fentanyl was uncovered inside the kitchen of the home, along with a Glock semi-automatic gun.

Travis Lavert Shubert, 39, Deniodge Allen, 17, and John Dazal Drayton, 34, were all arrested on drug and weapons charges while authorities are searching for 30-year-old Demond Jackson and 38-year-old Vander Mingledolph on similar charges. (Story continues below.)

A search of Drayton’s vehicle turned up a back pack containing 103 grams of marijuana as 47 Oxycodone pills.

All of the suspects are from Augusta except Allen, who is  from Aiken. Four of the five suspects are felons with previous convictions for burglary (Jackson), aggravated assault (Drayton), possession of cocaine with intent to distribute (Mingledolph) and possession of a firearm in the furtherance of a drug trafficking crime (Shubert).

Everyone but Drayton were charged with unlawful gang activity, accused of participating in a fentanyl trafficking business to increase their status within the criminal organizations.

The charges:

John Dazal Drayton – Trafficking fentanyl, possession of marijuana with intent to distribute, possession of Oxycodone with intent to distribute, weapon possession, possession of a firearm by a convicted felon and hold for probation or parole.

Travis Lavert Shubert – Trafficking fentanyl, possession of cocaine with intent to distribute, unlawful street gang activity, weapon possession and possession of a firearm by a convicted felon.

Deniodge Allen – Trafficking fentanyl, possession of cocaine with intent to distribute, theft by receiving stolen property, weapon possession, and unlawful street gang activity.

Demond Jackson – Trafficking fentanyl, possession of cocaine with intent to distribute, unlawful street gang activity, weapon possession and possession of a firearm by a convicted felon.

Vander Mingledolph – Trafficking fentanyl, possession of cocaine with intent to distribute, unlawful street gang activity, weapon possession and possession of a firearm by a convicted felon.

The fentanyl seizure is crucial since the drug has led to an increasing number of deaths in the area and across the nation.

According to the Drug Enforcement Administration, Illicit fentanyl, primarily manufactured in foreign clandestine labs and smuggled into the United States through Mexico, is being distributed across the country and sold on the illegal drug market.

“Fentanyl is being mixed in with other illicit drugs to increase the potency of the drug, sold as powders and nasal sprays, and increasingly pressed into pills made to look like legitimate prescription opioids,” the DEA said on its website. “Because there is no official oversight or quality control, these counterfeit pills often contain lethal doses of fentanyl, with none of the promised drug.”

One kilogram of fentanyl has the potential to kill 500,000 people, the DEA says. One pound of fentanyl is the same as nearly a half a kilogram of the drug, meaning last week’s haul contained enough of the drug to kill the estimated 202,000 residents of Augusta.

The O-DUB gang has been described as one of the oldest Richmond County gangs. According to media reports from 2017, the gang is known to operate in the Barton Village neighborhood and often tattoo themselves with the letters BVS, which stands for Barton Village Soldier.

Last October, the Richmond County Sheriff’s Office announced the results of a two-year operation called “Operation No Loyalty” to dismantle a violent drug-trafficking organization in the Augusta area. Sixty people were targeted in a two-phase operation, netting multiple arrests, seizures of stolen firearms as well as large amounts of narcotics. At the time, authorities said a third phase was underway.

Greg Rickabaugh
Greg Rickabaugh
Greg Rickabaugh is an award-winning crime reporter in the Augusta-Aiken area with experience writing for The Augusta Chronicle, The Augusta Press and serving as publisher of The Jail Report. Rickabaugh is a 1994 graduate of the University of South Carolina and has appeared on several crime documentaries on the Investigation Discovery channel.
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