Law enforcement disrupts major marijuana distribution ring operating in three counties

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Steven Pruitt

CLEVELAND, Ga. – Agents with the Appalachian Regional Drug Enforcement Office (ARDEO) and multiple local law enforcement agencies including White County and the Cleveland Police Department disrupted a large marijuana distribution organization operating in White, Habersham and Gwinnett counties last week.

White County authorities learned about the organization through tips from the local community. On Feb. 2, search warrants were executed at Steven Pruitt’s residence at 110 Rolling Ridge Drive in Cleveland where eight pounds of marijuana, 200 grams of tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) wax and numerous firearms were confiscated.

ARDEO Agents and Norcross Police also executed a search warrant at Evan Johnstone and William Blake Moore’s townhome in Norcross where they found 14 pounds of marijuana, 200 grams of THC wax, 104 .500 mL THC Vape Cartridges, and $42,169 in cash.

Evan Johnstone

Johnstone and Ryan Crispin were arrested with cash and drugs in their possession during traffic stops in White County. An investigation indicated Crispin was coming to White County to purchase marijuana from Pruitt and that Johnstone and Moore supplied Pruitt with marijuana and the THC wax.

Overall, the operation yielded $56,253 in cash and took $546,000 of illegal narcotics off the streets.

Agents believe a large quantity of the marijuana was smuggled into Georgia from states that have legalized marijuana. It also appears Johnstone and Moore were producing their own THC wax, a highly potent THC-concentrated mass that contains extraordinarily high THC levels.

William Crispin

Pruitt, 33, Crispin, 20, and Johnstone, 25, were charged under Georgia’s Racketeer Influenced Corrupt Organization (RICO) statute and transported to the White County Detention Center. A RICO warrant has been issued for Moore, but he has not yet been arrested.

Anyone with information about Moore or who would like to report suspicious drug activity can do so via instant message or by calling 706-348-7410.

 

 

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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Cleveland man charged with attempted burglary

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Bryan Christopher Thornton

CLEVELAND, Ga. – White County deputies arrested Bryan Christopher Thornton, 39, of Cleveland last week, following a 911 call referencing a suspicious person knocking on a door in Sautee.

White County Sheriff’s Captain Rick Kelley said when deputies located Thornton, he told them he was lost. However, Thornton was wearing an empty gun holster and carrying handcuffs. Kelley said the deputies also discovered paperwork and a bolt cutter in close proximity to Thornton they believe to have been stolen.

Thornton was transported to the White County Detention Center where he was charged with possession of tools for the commission of a crime, entering an automobile, criminal trespass, theft by taking, and criminal attempt to commit burglary.

The investigation is ongoing, said Kelley.

 

 

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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Sheriff’s Office, ARDEO conduct sweeping search for drugs in White County residences

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Sheriff Neal Walden

CLEVELAND, Ga. – On Monday, Jan. 22, the White County Sheriff’s Office, Department of Community Supervision and Appalachian Regional Drug Enforcement Office (ARDEO) conducted a search of 15 residences in White County that resulted in nine arrests and the seizure of drugs, guns and stolen property.

The goal of the operation was to remove all illegal narcotics and deter drug dealers from selling illegal narcotics in White County.

Joshua Cunningham, Glen Goerke, Victoria Thompson, William Nicely, and Thomas Keith Trammell were arrested at 859 West Kytle Street and charged with multiple drug possession charges. Thompson faces the additional charge of possession of a firearm during the commission of a felony.

Christopher Shane Goodsir was arrested at 170 Sycamore Dr. in Cleveland where law enforcement found one gram of methamphetamine, three codeine pills valued at $125 and recovered a stolen trailer from Hall County valued at $999. Goodsir was arrested for possession of methamphetamine, possession of schedule III drugs, and theft by receiving.

Johnny Ray Bridgers was arrested at 726 Partin Road in Cleveland where authorities found one gram of methamphetamine valued at $110. Bridgers was arrested for possession of methamphetamine.

Jeffrey Anthony Chastain and Amanda Christine Anderson were arrested at 1149 Black Road in Cleveland where deputies found one gram of methamphetamine, three amphetamine pills and two grams of marijuana valued at $200. Chastain and Anderson were charged with possession methamphetamine, possession of a schedule II drug and possession of marijuana (misdemeanor).

ARDEO encourages citizens to report any suspicious drug activity via IM or at 706-348-7410 or contact your local Sheriff’s Office or Police Department.

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 and Franklin County, along with the Cleveland Police Department, Lavonia Police Department, 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 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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Baldwin man charged with burglary of Sautee home

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CLEVELAND, Ga. – White County authorities have made an arrest in the Sept. 30 burglary of a home on Sautee Trail that netted more than $24,000 in cash, jewelry, silverware and electronics.

Joshua Adam Doster

Joshua Adam Doster, 40, of Baldwin, was arrested last Tuesday (Nov. 21) and charged with first degree burglary, theft by taking and identity theft. He is being held without bond in the White County Detention Center

The occupant of the residence, Ann Day, was on vacation in Florida when the burglary occurred. Marcia Rougeou, a friend who had been asked to take care of some plants inside the residence while Day was gone, entered the home and noticed several items out of place. She and her husband then called the White County Sheriff’s Office to report the robbery.

Among the items identified as stolen were a gold wedding band that belonged to Day’s late husband, a diamond ring valued at $16,000, silverware valued at $2,775, a computer, a television set and $500 cash.

 

 

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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Cleveland woman injured in wreck on Hwy. 115

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fetchyournews

CLEVELAND, Ga. – A Cleveland woman was injured in a two-vehicle accident Sunday at the intersection of Hwy. 115 and Pless Road in White County.

Hilda Seymore, 69, of 2226 Black Road in Cleveland, suffered undisclosed injuries when the 1997 Buick LeSabre she was driving attempted to cross Hwy. 115 from Pless Road. According to the White County Sheriff’s Office accident report, the Seymore vehicle failed to yield to oncoming traffic and was struck on the driver’s side by a 1998 Dodge Ram 1500 driven by Jacob Glore.

There were no passengers in either vehicle. Seymore was transported to Northeast Georgia Medical Center in Gainesville by White County Emergency Services.

 

 

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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Man Charged With Violent Attack on Girlfriend

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Michael Allison charged with battery.

CLEVELAND, Ga. – A Murrayville man accused of beating his girlfriend, damaging her car and leaving her battered and bruised at her home in Cleveland has been arrested again nearly 10 months after the incident took place.

Michael Allison, 34, was initially arrested in Jan. 2017 but made bond and disappeared before his court date. He was arrested by Hall County on unrelated charges this month and served with a White County warrant for assault, battery and failure to appear in court. He is currently being held on $10,000 bond.

According to the incident report, deputies responded to a call at 156 Brookwood Lane in Cleveland on Jan. 19 where they found the victim, Nichole Martin, on the front porch with a large knot on her forehead and blood coming from her nose.

Martin told White County Sheriff’s Office deputies she and Allison had been arguing about his drug use and when she tried to leave, he disabled her car, came back inside and punched her in the face. She added that when she ran outside, he followed her and head butted her, punched her several more times then began trying to bust out the front windshield of the car, hitting the front and side of the car and leaving dents in it before leaving the home on foot.

 

 

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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Cleveland Man Charged With Murder of Girlfriend

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A Cleveland man has been arrested and charged with the murder of his girlfriend, Stephanie Smith, 42, also of Cleveland.

According to a press release from Lt. Rick Kelley of the White County Sheriff’s Office, 35-year-old Justin Scott Mayo came to the sheriff’s office and reported that his girlfriend was unresponsive at their house.

White County deputies along with EMS immediately responded to 794 Stanley Nix Rd. Once at the residence deputies found the victim deceased in her bedroom. The victim had significant injuries and trauma to her body. White County Sheriff’s Office Investigators along with the Georgia Bureau of Investigation responded to the scene. Investigators 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 Georgia Bureau of Investigation Crime Lab in Decatur for an autopsy. 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. 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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