Moultrie Observer

Local News

February 28, 2012

Long prison sentences in federal drug case

MOULTRIE — Two Moultrie men who were among five arrested in August 2011 by federal authorities were sentenced Monday to lengthy prison terms on drug charges.

James Corshoray Willis, 35, and Peter Thornton, 39, entered guilty pleas in December and were sentenced by U.S. District Court Judge Hugh Lawson this week, United States Attorney Michael J. Moore’s office announced Tuesday.

Lawson sentenced Thornton to a 188-month sentence, on his admission to responsible for 109 grams of crack cocaine and 337 grams of the powder form of the drug. He also admitted to selling cocaine on multiple occasions to a confidential informant.

Thornton was categorized as a career offender based on convictions in Colquitt County on a 1990 sale of cocaine and a later conviction for kidnapping.

Thornton also had served prison sentences on convictions for theft by taking and criminal damage, according to the Georgia Department of Corrections.

Thornton originally was indicted on six counts of possession with intent to distribute crack cocaine.

Willis received an 80-month sentence after admitting in his plea agreement that he sold cocaine to a confidential informant on multiple occasions. He also said in the statement he was responsible to at least 500 grams of cocaine.

The federal sentence is consecutive to sentences he received for violation of parole in connection with a Henry County Superior Court case for possession of cocaine with intent to distribute and a Colquitt County case for possession of ecstasy.

Willis served nearly five years on the Henry County conviction.

The Observer learned of the men’s arrests in early August 2011, but federal officials did not confirm those arrests for about three weeks, when they made a court appearance in Albany.

He originally was indicted on three counts of distribution of cocaine and one count of distribution of crack cocaine.

The three men also arrested at that time -- Demetrius Davis, Corey Horne and Adrian Whitaker -- also have entered pleas in the case but have not yet been sentenced, Cmdr. Steve Exum of the Moultrie-Colquitt County Drug Enforcement Team said Tuesday.

Exum said the agency will give details today about the five-year operation that resulted in those convictions.

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