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Georgia lottery winner Ronnie Music Jr. gets 21 years in prison for financing meth trafficking operation

April 5, 2017  |  Posted by: Francesca Falzarano
Georgia lottery winner Ronnie Music Jr. gets 21 years in prison for financing meth trafficking operation

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Georgia Lottery winner Ronnie Music Jr. who spent part of $3 million in winnings on a meth trafficking operation will serve 21 years behind bars on drug conspiracy and firearms charges.

The 46-year-old  Waycross resident confessed to his role in a multi-state drug trafficking operation being managed out of a Georgia prison that he fronted with winnings from the lottery.

Ronnie Music Jr. also pleaded guilty to possessing a firearm as a convicted felon.

In 2015, he was awarded $3 million from a scratch-off ticket in the lottery.

“You got a windfall that few in the world get,” Chief U.S. District Judge Lisa Godbey Wood told him before sentencing. “Nobody has ever blown winnings in a more dangerous and destructive way than you.”

The government agreed to ask Wood to impose a less harsh sentence than that called for under federal guidelines, which recommended a sentence of between 27 years and 33 years, AJC.com reported.

Music gave information to agents that was used against Daniel Alo who was operating a meth ring from Calhoun State Prison where he was serving life for murder.

The lottery winner pictured after his arrest on drug trafficking charges

During a hearing at Waycross federal court, the government said associates on the outside used drones to deliver cellphones into the prison yard and that those inside used them to manage drug trafficking. They used GreenDot financial cards to transfer funds and pay drug suppliers and dealers.

Alo pleaded guilty before Wood back in January,

Assistant U.S. Attorney Greg Gilluly Jr. said a corruption probe at Calhoun State Prison was already being conducted before Music made his statement to agents.

“Alo was done,” Gilluly stated. “[Music] corroborated what we knew.”

Alo was one of 15 suspects arrested for distributing meth. All have pleaded guilty, and Music’s cooperation likely factored into those pleas and a quick conclusion of the case, according to Gilluly.

Music’s attorney, Ronald Harrison, tried to minimize Music’s participation.

“I think he’s a wholesaler,” Harrison told Wood in asking her to take off years from his sentence.

“He came in early. He was thorough… truthful,” Harrison said. “It was a risk. It was a risk to his family.”

Harrison said he was also shocked that Music and his associates, whom he called “The Apple Dumpling Gang,” even reached the status that they did.

“You wouldn’t take them to be meth dealers and users. They’re just regular guys,” he added.

Breaking Dumb: Lottery winner invests $3M in meth drug scheme

He also said the Georgia lottery winner used alcohol, weed, cocaine and meth to deal with cope with turmoils in his life.

Prosecutors argued that that Music was a large-scale dealer “who brought pounds and pounds” of meth into the area.

He also said Ronnie Music Jr. has links to drug cartels, the Bloods, and white supremacists.

Documents indicated that Music seemed unaware of any possibility that he would be arrested even as he watched authorities bust two of his co-conspirators.

Music was arrested in 2014 with 4 pounds of meth, $22,000 in cash, $5,000 of which an informant gave him for a pound of meth.

That arrest occurred one month after his co-conspirators were busted trying to sell 11 pounds of meth that Music provided to them.

While on probation from a previous conviction, Music gave over 10 pounds of meth to Jessie Case for distribution.

In September 2015, agents arrested Case for attempting to sell that meth, but the apprehension didn’t stop Music.

“Ronnie Music Jr. observed the transaction and bust, but did not stop his involvement in the business,” the government declared in court documents.

While out on bond, he was considered a fugitive from cases in Georgia and Tennessee. He was traced back to a Red Roof Inn in Tennessee and was taken into custody with 14.4 grams of meth and marijuana.

Gilluly recognized that Music, while talking with an agent, agreed to have his residence searched then led investigators to hidden cash and 11 guns, including an illicit shotgun and an assault rifle, along with thousands of rounds of ammunition.

Gilluly also added that Music has a 25-year criminal history, some of which for violent crimes.

For his role, Music took accountability for his actions and apologized to the court and his family.

Wood required Music to pay a $25,000 penalty and to serve five years on probation in addition to the cars and other funds that he already forfeited to the government.

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