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


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.


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