Two Aiken County men and two from Augusta have been convicted and sentenced to more than a decade each in federal prison on charges of conspiracy to traffic more than 5 kilograms of cocaine from Florida to the CSRA.
Michael Garrett Chavous, 48, of North Augusta and Kevin Tremain Chavous, 35, of Aiken and Christopher Henderson, 42, of Augusta have all been sentenced to 10 years in federal prison. Steven Lamar Cook, 44, of Augusta, seen as the head of the conspiracy, has been sentenced to 11 years 4 months.
According to court documents, in May and June, Michael Chavous and his cousin Steven Lamar Cook conspired to purchase 6 kilograms of cocaine in Dade County, Fla. Unbeknownst to them, their supplier was a federal agent and their link to that supplier was a confidential informant working with the government. Cook, the named plaintiff in the case, communicated via email and in consensual recorded telephone calls, via the informant, for the purchase in exchange for $25,500 per kilogram of cocaine.
On June 5, Cook and Michael Chavous, along with Kevin Chavous and Henderson, arrived in the Miami area from Georgia with $65,000 in cash. Much like a legitimate business transaction, the drug dealers were buying most of the drugs on consignment, paying for the rest at a later date.
Cook told the informant that his cousin would be “testing’’ the cocaine by cutting into the kilogram at the buy site.
The two other codefendants were tasked with transporting the drugs back to Georgia, according to facts stipulated to by Michael Chavous.
On June 7, Cook and his cousin met at a warehouse with the undercover officer posing as the narcotics supplier. The pair agreed to the price, their payment plan, and then presented the money. The undercover officer then presented Michael Chavous with a single kilogram of cocaine for examination. Then much like in many in television cop shows, as Chavous cut into the cocaine, police and federal agents descended on the proceedings and arrested Michael Chavous and Cook.
The next day, after taped conversations with Henderson and Kevin Chavous, a meet-up point was agreed and the pair were arrested.
On Dec. 12, the group was sentenced to prison after guilty pleas were entered in September.
Both local men are appealing their cases to the U.S. Court of Appeals. Those cases are in their embryonic phase and no opinion has been rendered.