Last federal defendant in Augusta's Operation Fox Hunt sentenced

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The last of 48 defendants snagged in a 19-month undercover operation in Richmond County called Operation Fox Hunt was sentenced Wednesday in federal court.

Derek Darnell Thompson, 26, of Augusta, was sentenced by U.S. District Judge Randal Hall to 4½ years in prison followed by three years on probation for a charge of trafficking in cocaine. With the exception of three fugitives, Thompson’s sentencing marks the end of Operation Fox Hunt, according to a news release from the U.S. Attorney’s Office.

The operation started in 2009 and evolved into an undercover sting in which the suspects sold guns and drugs to narcotics detectives at Cyrus’s Corner at a strip mallat Deans Bridge and Lumpkin roads. The operation later moved to an apartment complex on Wrightsboro Road before search warrants and arrest warrants were served en masse in March 2011.

A total of 75 defendants were targeted in the sting, with 48 of them facing federal charges. All the defendants pleaded guilty and received an average five-year federal prison sentence, but some were sentenced to as much as 14 years behind bars.

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csraguy 03/08/12 - 12:00 am
What a great job by the RCSO.

What a great job by the RCSO. Again, they proved they were pro-actively to remove criminals from our area and they work in conjunction with other agencies to help reduce the expense on local taxpayers. With ALL of those arrested pleading guilty, it is very clear the Sheriff's Office Criminal Investigation Unit did a great job. Additionally, with the majority of those receiving federal prison terms, they must serve 85% of the sentence before even being eligible for parole.

This operation and the removal of these criminals from our area have to be part of the reasons the burglaries have decreased and violent crime is at its lowest point in 7 years for Augusta Richmond County.

That being said, the commission needs to replace the over 40 sworn deputy positions that were removed from the Sheriff's budget and replace the over 1 million removed from the jail so that those arrested for lessor crimes will at least stay in jail long enough to make them think twice before committing the same crimes again.

The RCSO has done an amazing job with a greatly reduced budget, reduced staff, furlough days, etc. and we should be appreciative as a community as well as supportive to our great deputies.

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