The subject of that statement, 51-year-old Barry Bagwell, agreed with a simple “yes, sir” after being sentenced to 20 years in federal prison on drug charges.
The government dropped several firearms-related charges after he pleaded guilty in March to possession with intention to distribute at least 500 grams of methamphetamine.
Prior to his arrest in Feb. 9, 2009, Bagwell sold meth while on the run from authorities, hiding out in homes across Northwest Georgia until his capture 90 days later at a convenience store in Gordon County.
Before he fled arrest, Bartow County drug task force agents made a number of purchases of meth and firearms through an informant, including a Bushmaster AR-15 assault rifle, from Bagwell in the Floyd County area, said Assistant U.S. Attorney Paul Jones.
At the last scheduled buy before authorities raided his home, Bagwell sold the undercover informant a .22-caliber Pietta rifle equipped with a silencer he referred to as a “good hit man gun,” Jones said.
On Dec. 2, 2008, authorities raided Bagwell’s home on Sam Harris Road in Floyd County, but Bagwell was nowhere to be found. There were rumors of Bagwell’s location, but none panned out.
The break came in February 2009 when another informant stepped forward and said he knew how to get in touch with the fugitive and would set up a buy at Ralston’s Corner store near Sonoraville in Gordon County.
Bagwell was taken into custody and prosecutors told the court several ounces of meth were found on him and in his vehicle.
After receiving his sentence, Bagwell apologized to the court and his loved ones.
“I also want to apologize to my family sitting back here,” Bagwell said. “I’m sorry for my behavior.”
Several members of Bagwell’s family were in attendance at the sentencing and wished him well from a distance as he was escorted out of the courtroom.
Bagwell will also serve 10 years on supervised release. His significant criminal history played a part in his sentence.
“He’s got a long criminal history without having to service much time,” Jones said. “This is definitely a wake-up call he’s going to need.”
Bagwell was released from a Georgia prison in June 2008, according to the Department of Corrections website, and has been convicted multiple times of the possession of meth as well as the sale of the drug.