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July 25--  JULIUS PINKSTON, 61, of Metter, Georgia, has pleaded guilty before Judge B. Avant Edenfield in the United States District Court in Statesboro, Georgia to trafficking cocaine.  Pinkston was the lead defendant in a 35 defendant indictment returned by the federal grand jury in 2006.  Pinkston fled before the indictment was returned and remained a fugitive until early April, 2011 when he was arrested by deputies of the United States Marshals Service in Douglas, Georgia.

        United States Attorney Edward Tarver said, "This Defendant hid from federal authorities for years likely hoping to avoid responsibility for his criminal conduct. But for the perseverance and readiness of agents and prosecutors, this significant drug trafficker may have continued to menace the community and place additional lives in jeopardy."       

         The charge against Pinkston resulted from a joint investigation by the Drug Enforcement Administration, Georgia Bureau of Investigation, and Federal Bureau of Investigation.  Pinkston faces a maximum penalty of up to 20 years imprisonment and a fine of up to $1,000,000.  Pinkston remains in custody pending sentence, which will be held upon the completion of a pre-sentence investigation and report.