GBI investigating drowning death of an Alabama man found in the river in Helen

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Helen Police Chief Brian Stephens

HELEN, Ga. – The body of an Alabama man was found submerged in the Chattahoochee River in Helen Friday. Helen Police Chief Brian Stephens has requested the Georgia Bureau of Investigation’s help with the death investigation.

The body was found in the area of Brucken Strasse. A GBI press release identified the man as 42-year-old Gary Phillip Freeman of Troy, Alabama.

The body was spotted in the water by a tourist who called White County 911 Friday morning and emergency services workers pulled the deceased from the water.

An autopsy was performed by the GBI Medical Examiner’s Office in Decatur. The investigation is ongoing.

 

 

Fetch Your News is a hyper local news outlet that covers Dawson, Lumpkin, White, Fannin, Gilmer, Pickens, Union, Towns and Murray counties as well as Cherokee County in N.C. FYN attracts 300,000+ page views per month, 3.5 million impressions per month and approximately 15,000 viewers per week on FYNTV.com and up to 60,000 Facebook page reach. If you would like to follow up-to-date local events in any of those counties, please visit us at FetchYourNews.com

 

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Mayo indicted for murder of his girlfriend

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Scott Mayo charged with murder.

CLEVELAND, Ga. – Justin Scott Mayo, of Cleveland, was indicted last week in connection with the death of his girlfriend, Stephanie Ann Smith, Nov. 4.

The White County Grand Jury indicted the 35-year-old Mayo for malice murder, felony murder, aggravated assault and aggravated battery.

As FetchYourNews reported last month, Mayo appeared at the White County Sheriff’s Office to report that he found Smith unresponsive. According to Lt. Rick Kelley, deputies and White County EMS responded to the scene at 794 Stanley Nix Road and found the victim deceased.

Kelley added the victim had significant injuries and trauma to her body. White County Sheriff’s Office Investigators along with the Georgia Bureau of Investigation agents processed the scene, collected evidence, and conducted numerous interviews.

During the investigation they discovered Mayo and the victim had been involved in a verbal altercation in Helen late the previous night. The victim’s body was sent to the GBI Crime Lab in Decatur for an autopsy and Mayo was arrested.

 

Fetch Your News is a hyper local news outlet that covers Dawson, Lumpkin, White, Fannin, Gilmer, Pickens, Union, Towns and Murray counties as well as Cherokee County in N.C. If you would like to follow up-to-date local events in any of those counties, please visit us at FetchYourNews.com

 

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Grand Jury Indicts Former Hall County Deputy

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Michael Paul Lusk

CLEVELAND, Ga. – A White County Grand Jury indicted former Hall County Sheriff’s deputy Michael Paul Lusk, 51,  of Cleveland Monday on charges of Computer Invasion of Privacy and Violation of Oath of Public Office, both felonies.

In May 2015, the Hall County Sheriff’s Office called the GBI in to investigate what they believed to be Lusk’s unauthorized procurement of personal data for his own personal gain.

Lusk was fired that same month and the GBI sought warrants on May 22 from White County Chief Superior Court, Judge Murphy C. Miller.

Lusk surrendered himself at the White County Jail and was later released on a $10,000 bond.

Count One of the indictment reads: “Michael Paul Lusk, on or about the 2nd day of May 2015, did willfully and intentionally violate the terms of his oath as prescribed by law in that he did swear and abide by the Law Enforcement Code of Ethics and then did violate the laws of the State of Georgia by committing the offense of Computer Invasion of Privacy and stalking, contrary to the laws of said State…”

Count 2 reads: The Grand Jury aforementioned in the name of and on behalf of the citizens of Georgia, charge and accuse Michael Paul Lusk with the offense of Computer Invasion of Privacy for that said accused in White County, Georgia, on or about the 2nd day of May 2015, did intentionally use a computer network to examine personal data relating to Rusty Myers with the knowledge that such examination was without authorization of said person contrary to the laws of the State…”

No trial date has been set.

 

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Press Release: GBI Crime Lab Identifies Counterfeit Pills

Press Release

Four Indicted for Distributing Heroin

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Four Indicted for Heroin Distribution in North Ga.

News

GAINESVILLE, Ga. – Michelle Dawn Dorsey, Nigel Alan Waddell, and Tyler Josiah Matthews have been arraigned on federal charges of trafficking in heroin.  A fourth defendant, Derrik Omar Frazier, was arraigned on July 20.

Appalachian Regional Drug Enforcement Office Special Agent in Charge Mitchell Posey said, “This indictment absolutely saved lives.  We will never know exactly how many lives were saved but we know families whose lives would have otherwise been shattered will enjoy time together today because of this team’s hard work.  That makes you bounce out of bed each morning so we can get to work!”

According to U.S. Attorney John Horn, the charges, and other information presented in court: Dorsey, Waddell, Matthews and Frazier allegedly conspired to distribute heroin in North Georgia. Dorsey and Waddell sold quantities of heroin in White and Habersham counties. They obtained the heroin primarily from Frazier. Matthews worked for Dorsey and were responsible for transporting heroin from Frazier’s residence in Stone Mountain to Dorsey’s residence in Demorest.

Two heroin users allegedly overdosed on heroin they obtained from Dorsey, but they were revived after being administered Naloxone by emergency medical personnel in White County in one instance and Habersham County in the other. Naloxone is used to treat narcotic overdoses as it can reverse the effects of an overdose in most cases. Both overdose victims likely would have died, but for the life saving measures taken by medical professionals.

“The indictment brought against these defendants is the result of a two-year, joint federal-state investigation by law enforcement to take down a significant heroin distribution network operating between communities in North Georgia and the Atlanta area,” Horn said. “Heroin and fentanyl are poisoning our communities, and the overdoses and deaths are climbing in truly alarming numbers.  Our office, along with state and local law enforcement agencies, are taking a strong stance against those who deal heroin and opiates.”

The overdose victims in this case were transported to medical facilities by friends who were also in possession of heroin.  However, those individuals have not been charged with any offense. Georgia’s 911 Medical Amnesty Law protects individuals from arrest, prosecution, and conviction of certain drug offenses if the evidence of their drug crime results from the individuals seeking medical assistance for someone thought to be suffering from a drug overdose.

On July 20, in conjunction with Frazier’s arrest at his residence in Stone Mountain, agents with the ARDEO and the Georgia Bureau of Investigation West Metro Regional Drug Enforcement Office executed a search warrant. The agents seized one ounce of heroin, one ounce of methamphetamine, one ounce of cocaine, and a cache of firearms.

Each defendant is presumed innocent of the charges and it will be the government’s burden to prove each defendant’s guilt beyond a reasonable doubt at trial.

Fetch Your News is a hyper local news outlet that covers Dawson, Lumpkin, White, Fannin, Gilmer, Pickens, Union, Towns and Murray counties as well as Cherokee County in N.C. If you would like to follow up-to-date local events in any of those counties, please visit us at FetchYourNews.com

 

 

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GBI Crime Lab Identifies Central Georgia Counterfeit Pills

News

Decatur, GA – The Georgia Bureau of Investigation’s Crime Lab has identified counterfeit pills related to the reported overdoses in the Central Georgia area.

Analysis has confirmed that the pills contain a mixture of two synthetic opioids, cyclopropyl fentanyl and U-47700.  Cyclopropyl fentanyl is a fentanyl analogue that is chemically similar to fentanyl.  It is unknown how the human body will react to this drug since it is not intended for human or veterinary use.  Cyclopropyl fentanyl had not previously been seen in Georgia.

U-47700 is a synthetic opioid 7.5 times stronger than morphine.

Both of these drugs are HIGHLY DANGEROUS and should not be handled.  They can be inhaled or absorbed through the skin and are extremely toxic in even the smallest quantities.

Legislation was introduced this year to outlaw both cyclopropyl fentanyl and U-47700 in Georgia.  The law banning the substances went into effect after passage by the Georgia General Assembly and the Governor’s signature on April 17, 2017.

The Georgia Bureau of Investigation, the Georgia Department of Public Health, Georgia Poison Center, hospitals, local, state, and federal partners are working jointly on this investigation.

GBI Assessment of Fentanyl Spill

State & National

Decatur, GA – On Thursday, June 29, 2017, the Georgia Bureau of Investigation (GBI) conducted an assessment of the fentanyl spill.  This assessment has determined that evidence containing a powder of fine furanyl fentanyl leaked through untaped corners and seams of a cardboard box.  The furanyl fentanyl came from powder residue within the box.  The Crime Lab has modified lab procedures related to repackaging and return of drug evidence to ensure that this situation does not recur.  These procedures include enhanced sealing and new containment protocols.  Return of drug evidence has resumed.

6/28/17 – The Georgia Bureau of Investigation’s Crime Lab is currently reviewing internal procedures for packaging drug evidence.  This follows information received from the Duluth Police Department that evidence containing a fentanyl related drug spilled out of a package that was returned to the agency today.  Additionally, the crime lab will be conducting a thorough review of this incident with the goal of establishing what caused the spill.  A temporary hold has been placed on the release of all drug evidence during the review.  An update will be provided following the full assessment.

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