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Contraband
10/04/2010

Georgia man convicted of drug trafficking, racketeering

BEAUMONT, Texas - A Georgia man was convicted on Monday by a federal jury of a wide-scale drug trafficking conspiracy, announced U.S. Attorney John M. Bales, Eastern District of Texas. The investigation was conducted by the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) Office of Homeland Security Investigations (HSI).

Following a four-day trial before U.S. District Judge Marcia A. Crone, Brian Holmes, 51, from Austell, Ga., was convicted of the following charges:  conspiracy to possess with intent to distribute marijuana, two counts of interstate travel in aid of racketeering, and possession with intent to distribute marijuana. The jury returned the verdict on Oct. 4.

According to court records, on Sept. 15, 2007, federal agents stopped a vehicle registered to Holmes which contained over 6,000 pounds (three tons) of marijuana.  Further investigation revealed that Holmes was involved in a major marijuana distribution enterprise.  He was responsible for bringing thousands of pounds of marijuana through eastern Texas for distribution throughout the country. Holmes was indicted by a federal grand jury on July 15, 2009 and charged with drug trafficking violations.

Holmes faces 10 years to life in federal prison for the conspiracy charge, up to five years for each racketeering charge, and five to 40 years for the possession charge. A sentencing date has not been set.

Investigative assistance was provided by the Coast Guard Criminal Investigative Service, U.S. Border Patrol, the DEA, ATF, Texas Department of Public Safety, Orange County Sheriff's Office Drug Interdiction Unit, Jefferson County Crime Lab, and the Allentown and Port Author police departments.

Assistant U.S. Attorney Randall L. Fluke, Eastern District of Texas, is prosecuting this case.