Alto woman charged with murder after another major drug bust in north Georgia

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Ashley Sosbee

CLEVELAND, Ga. – An Alto woman was charged with felony murder and 17 people were arrested Friday when agents with the Appalachian Regional Drug Enforcement Office (ARDEO), Mt. Airy Police Department and Department of Corrections busted a major heroin trafficking ring operating in north Georgia.

Ashley Sosbee, 25, was charged in connection with the overdose death of Adam Hicks. The five-month investigation into Hicks’ death led to opiod-related search warrants in Habersham and Franklin counties and a total of 17 arrests for violation of the Racketeer Influence and Corrupt Organization Act (RICO) statute.

In a press release, Special Agent Mitchell Posey said, “Authorities have worked tirelessly to bring the people responsible for the death of Adam Hicks to justice. This investigation speaks loudly to opioid dealers that law enforcement will not sit idly on the sidelines as the people in our communities die.”

The release also identifies others charged as: 19-year-old Cole Dalton, of Alto, charged with Conspiracy to Distribute Heroin; 76-year-old Bud Heaton, of Baldwin, charged with Sale of Controlled Substances Schedule II (Oxycodone) and Possession Schedule II With Intent to Distribute Oxycodone; 48-year-old James Heumaneus, of Cornelia, charged with Sale of Controlled Substances Schedule II (Oxycodone); 49-year-old Janie Rogers, of Carnesville, charged with Sale of Schedule II (Oxycodone), Possession of Marijuana Less Than One Ounce and Possession of Controlled Substance Schedule II (Oxycodone); 40-year-old Karen Shope, of Baldwin, Sale of Controlled Substance Schedule I (Methamphetamine); 47-year-old Tina Smelcer, of Cornelia, Possession of Schedule II Control Substance;  49-year-old Tilynn Ivester, of Baldwin, Possession of Schedule IV Control Substance; 33-year-old Brandi Freeman, of  Mt. Airy, Possession of Methamphetamine With Intent to Distribute and Abandonment of Dangerous Drugs; 35-year-old James Chadrick Harrelson, of Mt. Airy, Possession of Methamphetamine With Intent to Distribute and Abandonment of Dangerous Drugs; and 44-year-old Jacqueline Galliher, of Mt. Airy, Possession of Controlled Substance Schedule IV and Possession of Schedule II Control Substance.

In addition, Habersham authorities executed arrest warrants for RICO on: Ashley Sosbee, 25, of Alto; Jordan Flanagan, 25, of Alto; Brandon Burton, 25, of Cornelia, Georgia; Dustin Thomas, 22, of Alto; Grant Martin, 21, of Cornelia; Jessica Hancock, 23, of Clarkesville; and Patricia Blacklock, 20, of Gainesville.

 

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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Four Indicted for Heroin Distribution in North Ga.

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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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7 Arrested in White County on Drug Charges

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CLEVELAND, Ga. — During this past week, the White County Sheriff’s Office, the Cleveland Police Department, and the Appalachian Regional Drug Enforcement Office (ARDEO) aggressively targeted suspected narcotics dealers in White County.

Mitchell Posey, Special Agent in Charge of ARDEO said, this combined effort resulted in the arrest of seven individuals for drug related offenses through aggressive street level enforcement by the uniform divisions.’

Through White County Sheriff’s Office investigations, ARDEO Agents arrested 21-year old Courtney Nelson, 23-year old James Molton, 17-year old Harvey Leahey, 19-year old Quinton Blackwell and 41-year old Susan Sorrows, for possession of methamphetamine and marijuana. Cleveland Police Department arrested 27-year old Barbara Barr and 38-year old Johnnie Hickman also for possession of methamphetamine.

Posey said, the combined street value of the drugs seized have been estimated be over $600 worth of methamphetamine and $600 worth of marijuana.

Those arrested were transported to the White County Detention Center.

The Appalachian Regional Drug Enforcement Office is a multi-agency unit that consists of the following Sheriff’s Offices: White County, Lumpkin County, Towns County, Banks County, Habersham County, Stephens County, Rabun County Franklin County the Cleveland Police Department, and the Lavonia Police Department, along with the Georgia National Guard Counter Drug Task Force, the Department of Public Safety, and the Georgia Bureau of Investigation.


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 www.fetchyournews.com

 

 

 

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Commissioners’ Work Session Scheduled Monday

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CLEVELAND, Ga. — The White County Board of Commissioners will hold a work session Monday, at 4:30 p.m. followed by a called meeting to consider going into an executive session to discuss personnel and real estate.

Mitchell Posey, Special Agent in Charge of the Appalachian Regional Drug Enforcement Office will request board approval to apply for the 2016 Edward Byrne Memorial Justice Assistance Grant in the amount of $359,412.00.
White County would serve as the fiscal agent for the grant funds.

Director of Community and Economic Development Tom O’Bryant will propose an amendment to the county code associated with the excise tax levy for wholesalers of distilled spirits in White County.

Patrick Brennam, executive director of the Sautee Nacoochee Community Association will provide an update on programs at the facility. The office is located at 283 SR 255 North in Sautee and is open fro 9 a.m. until 5 p.m Monday through Friday. The Galleries and Historic Museum and Folk Pottery Museum is open from 10 a.m. until 5 p.m. Monday through Saturday and 1 p.m. until 5 p.m. on Sunday.

On Feb. 17-19 the center will host the second annual Nacoochee Art Festival in conjunction with the Winter Festival Arts Tour, Alpine Helen Festival and Unicoi Fireside Craft and Art Show.

Commissioners are also expected to consider the appointment of Judi Lawson to the White County Department of Family and Children Services Board for a five-year term to expire June 30, 2021.

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Drug Enforcement Grant, Tax Levy on Distilled Spirit Distributors Discussed at Monday Work Session

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CLEVELAND, Ga. — GBI Special Agent Mitchell Posey came before the White County Board of Commissioners work session Monday to ask for approval to apply a $359,412 grant to fund the Appalachian Regional Drug Enforcement Office (ARDEO).

Posey explained that the Edward Byrne Memorial Justice Assistance Grant from the federal government is the same grant the board has approved for several years. It pays about half the salaries of the agents and does not require any match from local government.

ARDEO is one of 11 multi-jurisdictional drug task forces and is made up of at least one agent employed by a law enforcement agency in White, Lumpkin, Banks, Habersham, Rabun, Stephens or Towns counties.

Director of Community and Economic Development Tom O’Bryant presented a proposal to amend the county code associated with the excise tax levy for wholesalers and distributors of distilled spirits in the county.

O’Bryant explained that when the county adopted a dozen or more amendments to the county code it overlooked wholesalers and distributors.

“Right now, they’re not paying the tax,” Commission Chairman Travis Turner said. “But they will pay 22 cents per liter.”

Sautee Nacoochee Community Association Executive Director Patrick Brennan previewed SNC’s upcoming Winterfest. SNC is partnerning with Unicoi State park & Lodge and Helen Arts & Heritage Center for the inaugural event being held Feb. 18 and 19 from 10 a.m. until 4 p.m. More than 145 artists will perform live and visitors can win original art and fine craft prizes. For more information visit the Sautee Nacoochee Community Association web site.

The board also discussed the appointment of Judi Lawson to the White County Department of Family and Children Services for a five-year term.
These items are expected to be voted on at the next scheduled voting session.

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Major Drug Bust in White County

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CLEVELAND, Ga. — A major drug bust was reported in White County over the weekend.

Six Cleveland residents and one man from Dahlonega were arrested following a year long investigation by agents from the Appalachian Regional Drug Enforcement Office (ARDEO).

Special Agent In Charge Mitchell Posey said the drugs seized had a street value of approximately $24,640.

A search warrant was executed Friday at two residences, one at 766 Albert Reid Road and another at 96 Greenview Court, in Cleveland.

Following the search, agents arrested Raymond Marcus Swann, 38; Joshua Lewis Reed, 27; Alysia Ann Shaft, 23; and David Lee Bell, 34, all of Cleveland.

They have been charged with trafficking in methamphetamine.

Jordan Thomas Grissom, 23, also of Cleveland, was charged with trafficking in methamphetamine and Possession of a Firearm by a convicted felon or first offender probationer.

Dustin Jerome Holbrook, 29, of Cleveland and Chuck Nelson Wehunt, 38, of Dahlonega were charged with possession of methamphetamine.

The White County Sheriff’s Office, the Cleveland Police Department, ARDEO and the Department of Community Supervision executed the search warrants.

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