Father, 2 sons sentenced to federal prison for drug trafficking

Nick Penfield (from left), Mike Penfield, Cody Penfield

Credit: Chatham County Sheriff's Office

Credit: Chatham County Sheriff's Office

Nick Penfield (from left), Mike Penfield, Cody Penfield

Two brothers and their father will each spend more than a decade in federal prison for their roles in a major drug trafficking operation that included associates of the Ghost Face Gangsters and a former professional baseball player.

Cody Penfield, 28, was sentenced to 13½ years in prison Thursday, U.S. Attorney Bobby L. Christine said Monday in a news release. He was charged with conspiracy to possess with intent to distribute methamphetamine.

His brother, 22-year-old Nick Penfield, was previously sentenced to 17½ years in prison. Their father, 54-year-old Mike Penfield, was earlier handed a 14½-year prison sentence. All of the men are from Savannah.

“Instead of responsibly guiding his children, Mike Penfield teamed up with his adult sons to earn dishonest profit from criminal drug trafficking,” Christine said. “They’ve now earned stiff prison sentences as payment for their crimes.”

Federal prosecutors said the three men conspired to distribute kilograms of crystal methamphetamine in the southern district of Georgia and beyond.

The lengthy sentences are the most recent tied to Operation Vanilla Gorilla, a multi-agency investigation spearheaded by the U.S. Department of Justice to dismantle drug trafficking organizations.

RELATED: Ex-pro baseball player sentenced to 5 years in prison for drug trafficking

The Penfields were among 43 people indicted as part of the operation in November and December 2018, officials said. Nick Penfield was among the last to be convicted in the operation after pleading guilty in July, but was among the first in his family to be sentenced, according to Christine.

Ex-professional baseball player Darren J. Driggers, 26, of Bloomingdale, was sentenced in June to nearly five years in prison for trafficking methamphetamine.

Driggers, who was selected in the 22nd round of the Major League Baseball draft in 2012 by the Detroit Tigers, was suspended for 50 games the next year after failing a drug test. He was playing in the Gulf Coast League at the time.

Other people recently sentenced in connection with Operation Vanilla Gorilla include:

  • Dwayne Garrison, 55, of Bloomingdale, sentenced to 145 months on conspiracy to possess with intent to distribute methamphetamine;
  • Marcus Logan Greco, 29, of Rincon, sentenced to 170 months on conspiracy to possess with intent to distribute methamphemine and heroin and to a consecutive 120 months in prison on possession of a firearm by a prohibited person;
  • Robert Fuller, 40, of Richmond Hill, sentenced to 100 months on conspiracy to possess with intent to distribute methamphetamine; and
  • David Rahn, 41, of Savannah, sentenced to 151 months on possession of methamphetamine with intent to distribute.

In other news: 

Officials tell Channel 2 Action News and our partners at AJC.com the man went into an unauthorized area that leads to the track level. He suffered non-life threatening injuries to his leg and hip.