Betting Bad: Lottery winner used $3 million winnings to fund crystal meth ring

By Ben Hooper
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BRUNSWICK, Ga., July 27 (UPI) -- Authorities said a Georgia lottery winner's "unsound investment strategy" involved using his $3 million to start his own business -- as a crystal meth dealer.

U.S. Attorney Ed Tarver said Ronnie Music Jr., 45, of Waycross, pleaded guilty to drug trafficking and firearms charges last week in a Brunswick federal court.


Tarver said Music won $3 million from a Georgia Lotter scratchers game in 2015 and was arrested in September of that same year when he and a group of accomplices were found with 11 pounds of crystal methamphetamine, worth more than $500,000, they were apparently trying to sell.

Prosecutors said they also seized $600,000 cash, firearms, thousands of rounds of ammunition, and multiple vehicles in the course of the investigation.

Tarver said Music was funding the crystal meth ring by using his lottery winnings to purchase large amounts of the drug, which he and his accomplices then planned to sell.

"Defendant Music decided to test his luck by sinking millions of dollars of lottery winnings into the purchase and sale of crystal meth," Tarver said. "As a result of his unsound investment strategy, Music now faces decades in a federal prison."


Tarver said Music could face a maximum sentence of life in prison.

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