Local News

BIRMINGHAM, Alabama --Another man has been charged in connection with "Green Giant," the federal, state and local law enforcement operation aimed at shutting down an illegal drive-through drug operation in Brighton.

The charge came after seven of the 18 defendants in the case identified him as a large-scale drug dealer.

Fernando Atell Jackson was charged with distribution of Oxycontin in a one count complaint filed Monday in U.S. District Court in Birmingham.

An FBI agent filed an affidavit Monday in support of the charge against Jackson.

According to that affidavit:

The charge against Jackson stems from an FBI investigation begun in May 2008 into a group's illegal sale of drugs including Oxycontin, cocaine, marijuana, Xanex, and heroin from a house on McDonald Street in Brighton. Agents began making undercover buys of drugs.

On April 27, 2010, the FBI equipped a confidential source with a digital recording device and marked money for a scheduled drug buy with Demarcus Leshawn Whitt -- one of the men ultimately charged -- at a store parking lot in Brighton. An airplane was also used to photograph and monitor the drug transaction from a distance.

Instead of Whitt, however, another man -- later identified as Jackson -- showed up for the drug deal, according to the affidavit. Agents later learned from the confidential source that Whitt was nearby signaling to Jackson that it was okay to deal with him.

Whitt was indicted along with 17 others in the law enforcement operation that became known as "Green Giant." Law enforcement first became aware of the drug dealing on McDonald Street after Brighton residents complained about the traffic jams created by people driving through to buy drugs.

A federal judge in Birmingham on Feb. 21 sentenced the last of the 18 charged in the Green Giant indictments.

As part of his plea agreement with prosecutors Whitt, who was sentenced to 7 years and three months in prison, took part in debriefings with agents regarding the case, according to the affidavit. During those meetings Whitt confirmed the man who sold Oxycontin on his behalf on April 27, 2010 was Jackson, the affidavit states.

"In addition to Whitt, six other cooperating defendants, including the organization's leader, Carlos Riggs, identified Jackson as a large-scale Oxycontin distributor on McDonald Street. Conservative estimates had Jackson's Oxycontin 80 mg pill sales above 20,000 pills sold," the FBI agent's affidavit states.

By Kent Faulk - The Birmingham News

April 03, 2012, 12:00PM

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