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Department of Justice

U.S. Attorney's Office
Southern District of Georgia
Jill E. Steinberg, United States Attorney
For Immediate Release
Thursday, April 4, 2024

Ghost Busted Defendant Who Sold Fatal Fentanyl Doses Sentenced to Two Decades in Prison

Deadly Drug Blamed for Two Overdose Deaths

BRUNSWICK, GA:  A Glynn County man has been sentenced to 20 years in federal prison after pleading guilty to trafficking drugs that led to two fatal overdoses.

Jon Dillon Screen, 32, of Brunswick, Ga., was sentenced to 240 months in prison after pleading guilty to Possession with Intent to Distribute and to Distribute 50 Grams or More of Methamphetamine and a Quantity of Fentanyl, said Jill E. Steinberg, U.S. Attorney for the Southern District of Georgia. U.S. District Court Judge Lisa Godbey Wood also ordered Screen to serve five years of supervised release upon completion of his prison term. There is no parole in the federal system.

“Dillon Screen’s sentence is among the highest of all defendants sentenced in Operation Ghost Busted, and for good reason: He sold drugs that killed people,” said U.S. Attorney Steinberg. “This multi-agency investigation and prosecution demonstrates our commitment to holding accountable those who illegally sell fentanyl and other deadly drugs.”

Operation Ghost Busted, unsealed in January 2023 as USA v. Alvarez et al., charged 76 defendants with involvement in a drug trafficking conspiracy that distributed large amounts of high-grade methamphetamine, along with fentanyl, heroin, and alprazolam in the greater Glynn County area.

For more than two years, investigators from the FBI Coastal Georgia Violent Gang Task Force, the Glynn County Police Department, the Brunswick Police Department, the Glynn County Sheriff's Office, and the Camden County Sheriff's Office collaborated with multiple federal, state and local agencies to identify the sprawling drug trafficking network. The conspiracy operated inside and outside Georgia prisons, coordinated by members of the Ghost Face Gangsters working with affiliates of other criminal street gangs including the Aryan Brotherhood, Bloods, and Gangster Disciples.

Screen, a member of the Gangster Disciples with a significant criminal history including a federal conviction for heroin trafficking, was a large-scale distributor and dealer in the operation. The investigation determined that two people – Screen’s 31-year-old girlfriend and a 58-year-old Brunswick man – died after injecting fentanyl obtained directly from Screen.

More than 70 defendants have been sentenced in the conspiracy or are awaiting sentencing after pleading guilty. Other defendants are awaiting trial including David D. Young, a/k/a “Khaos,” 43, of Hortense, Ga., who was a fugitive until his March 10 capture in Hermosillo, Sonora, Mexico. The remaining defendants are considered innocent unless and until proven guilty.

Among the defendants previously sentenced in this case, James D. NeSmith, 26, of Brunswick, used contraband cell phones and a corrupt prison guard to coordinate the drug distribution operation as an inmate at Telfair State Prison where he was serving a life sentence for murder. He was sentenced to life in federal prison after pleading guilty in the drug trafficking conspiracy. His girlfriend Rachael P. Byrd, a/k/a “Bird is the Word,” 26, of Waverly, Ga., was a major drug distributor and transporter who served as the outside link between NeSmith and other drug dealers. She is serving a 324-month sentence after pleading guilty in the conspiracy.

“In September 2021, the McIntosh County Sheriff’s Office investigated Jon Dillon Screen after his girlfriend was found deceased in Darien,” said Lt. Mike Ward with the McIntosh County Sheriff’s Office Criminal Investigations Division. “In the course of several months following the untimely death of Rebecca Cain, Investigators were able to obtain evidence that resulted in the arrest of Screen.  Our agency began working with the FBI and Glynn County Police Department that identified similar acts. We will continue to hold responsible those who distribute narcotics resulting in the death of others.”

“Dillon Screen didn’t care whose lives he put in danger to sell his fatal drug mixtures, including his own girlfriend,” said Senior Supervisory Special Agent Will Clark of FBI Atlanta’s Brunswick office. “Operation Ghost Busted put a major dent in drug trafficking in Southeast Georgia. We will continue operations like this as long as gangs and dealers continue selling their deadly drugs.”

“The charges in this indictment further demonstrate the utter brutality of this group and the havoc the gang inflicts on our communities,” said Beau Kolodka, Assistant Special Agent in Charge of the Atlanta Field Office of the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives. “ATF and our law enforcement partners will continue to combat gang violence with relentless perseverance until the gang is dismantled and its members are brought to justice.” 

“Drug trafficking is not a victimless crime. Dangerous drugs are claiming lives and are damaging to the welfare of citizens and communities across the state,” said Chris Hosey, Director of the Georgia Bureau of Investigation. “The GBI takes these crimes very seriously and will continue to participate in operations like Operation Ghost Busted alongside partners to combat drug distribution in the state of Georgia.”

Operation Ghost Busted, the largest drug trafficking prosecution in the history of the Southern District of Georgia, was investigated under the Organized Crime Drug Enforcement Task Forces (OCDETF). OCDETF identifies, disrupts, and dismantles the highest-level criminal organizations that threaten the United States using a prosecutor-led, intelligence-driven, multi-agency approach.

Agencies involved in the investigation include the FBI Coastal Georgia Violent Gang Task Force; the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives; the U.S. Marshals Service; the Georgia Bureau of Investigation; the Georgia Department of Corrections; the Georgia Department of Community Supervision; the Glynn County Police Department; the Brunswick Police Department; the Glynn County Sheriff’s Office; and sheriff’s offices from Pierce, Camden, Wayne, Treutlen, McIntosh, Toombs, Telfair, Dodge, and Ware counties. The case is being prosecuted for the United States by Assistant U.S. Attorneys Jennifer J. Kirkland and Criminal Division Deputy Chief E. Greg Gilluly Jr. 

Barry L. Paschal, Public Affairs Officer: 912-652-4422

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