BRUNSWICK, GA. | Susan Anderson, a diminutive 67-year-old woman known as “Ma” to her methamphetamine customers, pleaded guilty Thursday to conspiracy to possess and distribute large quantities of the drug.
Anderson and her husband, Ira, were indicted earlier this year along with seven others on conspiracy and other charges in a methamphetamine ring run out of their Hortense home. All but Susan Anderson already entered guilty pleas but hers came late because she was a fugitive until September when she was arrested near Panama City.
At the time of her arrest, Florida officers said they found nine pounds of meth, $25,000 in cash, two firearms and other drugs.
Anderson appeared in court with her hair in cornrows and a blond topknot sticking up at the back.
Georgia Bureau of Investigation Special Agent Bobby Banks had said earlier that the Andersons were known as Ma and Pa in Brantley County. An indictment accused them of conspiring to possess and distribute methamphetamine in Brantley, Ware and Wayne counties between November 2015 and March 2017 when all but Susan Anderson were arrested.
Susan Anderson told U.S. District Judge Lisa Godbey Wood she managed finance companies and sewed upholstery for Gulfstream Aerospace in Brunswick and that she has two children in their 40s.
In addition to the conspiracy charge, she was indicted on two counts of selling more than five grams of methamphetamine. In exchange for her guilty plea to conspiracy, the government will agree to the dismissal of the two distribution charges, Assistant U.S. Attorney Charlie Bourne said.
Bourne has a history with the Andersons. He was the prosecutor when they were found guilty of similar charges in 1997. U.S. District Judge Anthony A. Alaimo sentenced Susan Anderson to 11 years, three months in prison and later denied a motion to reduce her sentence because of a hardship.
Given that criminal history, she is likely to spend at least that much time in prison again with the possible sentence ranging from 10 years to life, a fine up to $10 million and at least five years probation.
Before accepting her plea, Wood asked Anderson if she understood, “I must sentence you to at least 10 years … .”
Banks testified Thursday that he, ATF agents and others investigated the ring and that Susan Anderson sold meth to undercover agents.
Under questioning from Woods as to the amount of the drugs seized, Banks said the GBI had 20 pounds in its evidence locker and Anderson had moved other quantities measurable in pounds from Atlanta.
After accepting Anderson’s plea, Woods remanded her to the custody of the U.S. Marshals Service and said she will sentence her at a later date.
Terry Dickson: (912) 264-0405