Burglary, Assault and Kidnapping, 05/15/2015

Meriwether County Sheriff Chuck Smith reported that he along with Patrol Deputies and Investigator’s responded to a location North of Gay, Georgia in regard to a reported armed forced entry of an occupied residence, assault and kidnapping.

“On 05/14/2015 about 0400 hours a request for service came in through the Meriwether County 911 Center requesting that units respond to a location North of Gay, Meriwether County, Georgia in which a residence was reportedly forcibly entered and the residents were assaulted. Our Patrol Units were the first on the scene and made contact with the victims in this matter. Information was obtained that an unknown suspect forcibly entered the residence and assaulted the occupants with a handgun. The suspect then forced the occupants to drive him to a location approximately 10 miles away inside the county and dropped him out. The suspect then fled the area on foot according to the information received. We had multiple crime scenes to work regarding this incident. Our Investigative Personnel, Patrol Deputies, K-9 Unit along with the GBI Crime Scene Unit worked both crime scenes simultaneously. Fortunately none of the victims were critically injured in this matter; however one of the victim’s did receive medical treatment. This is an active on-going investigation at this time and we are limited on what can be released. However, we have increased our patrol efforts in this area and we are actively pursuing any and all leads.” Sheriff Smith stated.

“The suspect is described as a black male, possibly 25-30 years of age, 5’10 – 6’00 in height, slender muscular build, possibly wearing blue jeans and a black t-shirt. The suspect concealed his face with a ski mask possibly dark colored and was armed with a possible semi-automatic handgun. If anyone has any information related to this matter or observed any suspicious activity in the North West Quadrant of the county today on or before 0400 hours this date, call the Meriwether County Sheriff’s Office at (706) 672-4489. Any information will be greatly appreciated or if any of our residents see anything suspicious call Meriwether County 911.” Sheriff Smith advised.

Multiple Case Investigations Resulting in Multiple Arrest

Meriwether County Sheriff Chuck Smith reported that his Deputies, Investigator’s and Narcotics Agents have been extremely busy in the last few weeks investigating numerous incidents that have been reported or initiated in the county. These investigations lead to multiple arrests with stolen property recovered and drugs taken off the streets.

“On 04/28/2015 the Meriwether County Sheriff’s Office Patrol Division responded to the Alvaton Food Mart in reference to a reported shoplifting already occurred. When the two patrol deputies were informed of the perpetrators in this matter they made contact to investigate further. During this time one of the subject’s gave deputies a false name and date of birth and then they both fled on foot. Johnny Russell, III, B/M, 23 years of age of Gay, Ga. was caught after a brief foot chase in which a struggle ensued. They were able to get Russell into custody, however both deputies were slightly injured in the apprehension and had to receive medical attention. The other suspect identified as Dexter Sinkfield, B/M, 31 years of age of Gay was able to elude arrest. Russell was transported to the Meriwether County Jail and was charged with 2 counts of Felony Obstruction and Shoplifting. Sinkfield is currently still at large with warrants out for his arrest for Obstruction, Shoplifting and Providing a False Name.” Sheriff Smith said.

“On 03/12/2015 a burglary was reported at an Alvaton Road, Gay, Georgia address in which several firearms were reported stolen. Investigators were able to track down a lead of where the property had been possibly sold. The stolen guns were recovered and evidence was obtained in regard to the identity of the perpetrators in this matter. We were also able to link these subjects to an additional theft of a riding lawn mower from the same location on a previous date. That stolen riding mower was recovered as well at another location. Further investigation lead to evidence being obtained of these subjects being involved in the theft of an air conditioner unit from an address off of Rocky Mount Road, Greenville, Ga. Warrants were obtained for Charles Clifton Collins, W/M, 45 years of age, of Alvaton Road, Gay, Ga. and Danielle Fawn Storey, W/F, 32 years of age, of Alvaton Road, Gay, Ga. Collins and Storey were charged with 3 counts of Felony Theft by Taking. Both subjects are currently in the Meriwether County Jail. Additional charges are pending in this matter with several ongoing investigations. ” Sheriff Smith stated.

“On 04/28/2015 Investigator’s went to 416 Oak Drive, Warm Springs, Ga. and executed a search warrant. We received information that Willard “Randy” Fowler, W/M, 71 years of age of 416 Oak Dr., Warm Springs, Ga. was in possession of stolen property. A search of the location turned up a Genrac Generator and a Dremel Multi-tool that had been stolen from a burglary in the 1800 block of Raleigh Road. Further investigation into the matter revealed that Fowler was also in possession of additional stolen property along with property that had the serial numbers altered or removed. Warrants were obtained for Fowler’s arrest. He was picked up a few days later. Fowler was transported to the Meriwether County Jail. He has been charged with Theft by Receiving Stolen Property and 3 Felony Counts of Possession of Items with Altered Serial Numbers. Fowler is on Felony Probation out of Harris County, Georgia. Additional Probation Violation charges were filed out of Harris County. Fowler is currently in the Harris County Sheriff’s Office Jail without bond.” According to Sheriff Smith.

“On May 11, 2015 Meriwether County Sheriff’s Office Narcotics Agents, Meriwether County Sheriff’s Deputies assisted by the Narcotics Task Force executed a search warrant at 4161 Harmony Church Road, Manchester, Meriwether County, Ga. This was part of an on-going undercover investigation involving the residents of this location. Agents seized 3.5 grams of methamphetamine, 35 Schedule IV Xanax, 1 Schedule II Methadone, 1 Schedule II Hydrocodone and numerous items of drug paraphernalia along with 2 sets of scales. Those arrested were Joshua Vernon Phillips W/M, 35 years of age, of 4161 Harmony Church Road, charges Possession of Methamphetamine with Intent to Distribute, Possession of Schedule IV Xanax, Linda Marie Phillips W/F, 49 years of age, same address, charges Possession of Meth with Intent to Distribute, Possession of Schedule IV Xanax, Kathryn Nicole Speigal, W/F, 26 years of age, same address, charges Possession of Schedule II Hydrocodone, Possession of Schedule IV Xanax, Possession of Schedule II Methadone, Possession of Methamphetamine. There were 2 small children in the residence at the time of the search warrant execution. The Department of Family and Children Services were contacted in regard to the child case. We had recently charged Joshua “Josh” and Linda Phillips related to the same type activity at a residence on Nebula Road, Manchester, Ga. They were charged and booked in that matter and received bond. While out on bond they just moved locations and set up shop using and selling drugs again at this Harmony Church Road location. Linda Phillips has a violation of probation out of Jacksonville, Florida and Florida has extradited her back down there on their charges. We will get her back once this case has been indicted and ready for prosecution. Josh Phillips is being held in the Meriwether County Jail without bond. Speigal is being held in the Meriwether County Jail on $35,000.00 bond.” Sheriff Smith stated.

Search Warrant 4161 Harmony Church Road, Manchester, Ga. (1)

4161 Harmony Church Road


“On May 11, 2015 Meriwether County Sheriff’s Office Narcotics Agents, Meriwether County Sheriff’s Deputies, Narcotics Task Force assisted by the Georgia Pardons and Paroles executed a search warrant at 511 Dromedary Street, Woodbury, Georgia after purchasing crack cocaine from a female resident identified as Felissa Martin, B/F, 35 years of age of 511 Dromedary Street, Woodbury, Ga. The search warrant execution resulted in agents seizing two firearms, powder cocaine, a half cookie of crack cocaine, marijuana and Xanax. We also recovered other items of drug paraphernalia along with scales and packaging material. Martin was transported to the Meriwether County Jail and charged with 2 counts Felon in Possession of a Firearm, 2 counts of Possession of a Firearm during the Commission of a Crime, Possession of Crack Cocaine with Intent to Distribute, Possession of Cocaine with Intent to Distribute, Possession of Marijuana and Possession of Schedule IV Xanax. Martin is currently in the Meriwether County Jail without bond.” Sheriff Smith advised.

Search warrant 511 Dromedary Street, Woodbury, Ga

511 Dromedary Street

Arrest for Violation of Georgia Control Substance Act Possession of Methamphetamine, Disorderly House and Probation Violation

Sheriff Chuck Smith reported that on April 29, 2015 the Meriwether County Sheriff’s Office Narcotics Unit and Patrol Deputies executed a search warrant at 1185 Chalybeate Road, Manchester, Georgia. The search warrant execution resulted in four suspects being charged with possession of methamphetamine and disorderly house.

“We had received complaints of possible drug activity taking place at the residence located at 1185 Chalybeate Road over the past several months. The complaints ranged from high volumes of traffic  coming and going all hours of the day and night at the location. We had received calls through Meriwether County 911 regarding half clothed persons wondering down the middle of the road at night. Our investigation revealed that these subjects were residents of the location that were under the influence of methamphetamine. I had our narcotics unit start an investigation into this matter which lead to the gathering of sufficient evidence to obtain a search warrant for the location.” Sheriff Smith stated.

“During the search warrant execution our units were able to seize methamphetamine from the location along with various items of drug paraphernalia. We arrested Michael Clinton Whittington, W/M 54 years of age, Ronnie Joe Clay W/M, 59 years of age, Claudia Gunder Gribble, W/F, 21 years of age, and Amanda Leigh Williamson, 24 years of age. All subjects being residents of 1185 Chalybeate Road, Manchester, Georgia. All were charged with VGCSA Possession of Meth and Disorderly House, 1 count each. They were transported to the Meriwether County Sheriff’s Office Jail and charged as stated. Whittington is being held on an additional charge of probation violation.” Sheriff Smith advised.

“I am very pleased when we are able to make arrest on these drug offenders that are in our communities, but this one is especially pleasing due to the fact that these perpetrators were operating directly across the street from one of our neighborhood churches.” Sheriff Chuck Smith stated.

Meriwether County College Fair/Career Day

On March 26, 2015 Meriwether County Sheriff Chuck Smith along with the Meriwether County Sheriff’s Office School Resource Officers Lt. Thompson, Sgt. Hightower and Deputy Sullivan participated in the Meriwether County College Fair/Career Day activities. This event was held at Camp Meriwether located in Luthersville, Ga. with students from Manchester High and Greenville Middle/High Schools attending. This career day involved grades 9-12 with the students being in the 13 to 18 year age range.

Sheriff Smith and the SRO’s provided the students with handouts for a public service career in law enforcement specifically the qualifications to become a deputy sheriff. Topics included qualifications, training, and Georgia POST Standards.

“This was a great opportunity for us to reach out to our community youth and put a career choice in front of them that they may have not considered. We also had handouts for them related to “Making Good Choices”. That will be beneficial to them in whatever career path they take. I also had a special message for the youth in regard to illegal drugs and there negative effects, keeping our schools safe and how our SRO’s make a positive difference in our schools. I talked to the youth extensively regarding the dangers of meth. We were able to reach out and talk with approximately 250 students about a career in law enforcement. Overall I think we had a very good day. There were representatives at this event from various colleges, military branches and from the private sector that presented information to our youth. I appreciate all those that were involved in putting this event on and our School Resource Officers that helped make our part successful.” Sheriff Chuck Smith said.

FullSizeRenderPictured above: Sgt R. Hightower with Sheriff Smith


Arrest Made For Felony Theft by Taking from Dongwon

Meriwether County Sheriff Chuck Smith reported that an arrest was made and stolen property was recovered involving an employee of Dongwon, located at 475 Meriwether Park Drive, Hogansville, Meriwether County, Georgia.

“On 03/31/2015 Dongwon Administrative Personnel filed a report with the Meriwether County Sheriff’s Office Patrol Division in reference to the theft of around 28 copper welding disc, valued in excess of ten thousand dollars. The incident was reported to have occurred on or between 03/25/2015 through 03/26/2015. Our Criminal Investigation Division along with the Patrol Division were able to quickly identify the suspect in this matter with the assistance of Dongwon Personnel. The suspect in this matter was an employee identified as Jackson Blake Thompson, W/M, 35 years of age, address listed as Howard Road, Shiloh, Georgia.” Sheriff Smith said.

“Once we identified Thompson as the perpetrator in this felony theft we obtained warrants for his arrest. Our personnel arrested Thompson without incident when he reported for work at Dongwon on 03/31/2015 around 2 p.m. Through further investigation into the matter by our investigators we were able to locate and recover the stolen disc. Thompson sold the stolen disc to Davis and Sons Scrap Yard, located in Hamilton, Harris County, Georgia. Additional charges are pending against Thompson in Harris County, Georgia related to the sale of the stolen disc in that jurisdiction.” Sheriff Smith stated.

Jackson Blake Thompson is currently being held in the Meriwether County Jail on bonds exceeding fourteen thousand dollars. Additional charges are pending in this investigation.

Multiple Search Warrants and Arrest Carried Out

Sheriff Chuck Smith reported that the Meriwether County Sheriff’s Office and the Upson County Multi-jurisdictional Task Force along with the Georgia Department of Parole executed numerous search warrants with multiple arrest on March 26, 2015.

“We had several back to back operations that we conducted on Friday, March 26, 2015 regarding the sale of and possession of narcotics. Meriwether County Sheriff’s Office personnel along with the Multi-jurisdictional Task Force executed a search warrant at 70 Teal Lane, Luthersville, Ga. Agents seized over 18 grams of methamphetamine, 9 grams of crack cocaine and over 37 grams of marijuana during the search of this location. The seized drugs have an estimated street value of over three thousand three hundred dollars. Deputies and Drug Agents also seized property that had altered serial numbers which are believed to be proceeds of the drug trade from this location. Warrants have been obtained for the offender in this matter, identified as Michael D. Marshall, B/M, 37 years of age, of 70 Teal Lane, Luthersville, Ga. for possession of these drugs with intent to distribute. This incident is an active investigation with additional charges pending.” Sheriff Smith stated.

“Meriwether County Sheriff’s Office personnel along with the Multi-jurisdictional Task Force executed a search warrant at 1 Maple Street, Manchester, Georgia. This is the second time that we have executed a search warrant at this location in the last two years. Agents seized marijuana from this location during the execution of this search warrant. Arrested was Tony Hall, B/M, 44 years of age, charges possession of marijuana, Elias Tuck, B/M, 25 years of age, possession of marijuana, and Raven Hall, B/F, possession of marijuana and probation violation out of the Manchester Police Department. Additional Charges are pending in reference to GBI Crime Lab results.” Sheriff Smith advised.

“We also had a request for assistance for the arrest of wanted fugitive by the Georgia Department of Parole at 441 Mulberry Road, Senoia, Meriwether County, Georgia. Meriwether County Sheriff’s Deputies, Multi-jurisdictional Task Force Agents and Officers with the Georgia Department of Pardons and Parole conducted a surveillance operation at the location in an attempt to locate and arrest Sean P. Smith, W/M, 41 years of age of that address. While conducting surveillance of the location Agents observed Sean Smith in the yard area of this secluded residence. Agents began to converge on the location from their hidden positions in the woods surrounding the location. As they made approach Sean Smith fled back into the front of the residence and then turned and fled toward the wood line where additional Officers with the Georgia Department of Pardons and Parole were waiting. They were able to successfully take Sean Smith into custody. A search of the residence revealed glass smoking devices with methamphetamine. Agents searched the residence and located over 31 grams of methamphetamine and over 32 grams of marijuana. The seizure of the drugs had an estimated street value of over four thousand two hundred dollars. Sean Smith was transported to the Meriwether County Sheriff’s Office Jail for the offenses of Trafficking in Methamphetamine, Possession of Marijuana more than an ounce and Parole Violation. Sean Smith has 30 years remaining on Parole and is being held without bond at the Meriwether County Sheriff’s Office Jail.” Sheriff Chuck Smith stated.

Jail Parking Lot Offered As Safe Zone

For a piece of mind and an added sense of security, the Meriwether County Sheriff’s Office is offering the use of its jail parking lot to potential buyers and sellers of items through online advertising sites.

Through various news sources we are learning criminals use these sites to perpetrate crimes against unsuspecting victims. “These transactions are occurring with people meeting face to face, stranger meeting stranger. Other area law enforcement agencies are doing this to simply safeguard the public from becoming victims of theft, robbery or worst. I think this is a great idea.” Meriwether County Sheriff Chuck Smith said.

“By simply saying, let’s meet in the parking lot of the county jail to negotiate the sell. If the person will not agree to this then you didn’t need to do business with them anyway,” the sheriff added.

The sheriff said the meeting should be done during normal business hours, Monday through Friday 8 – 5. We can have a deputy present during the transaction. The deputy can check the item’s serial number to make sure it hasn’t been reported stolen.

Suspicious Device Reported at Unity Elementary School

“On January 29, 2015 the Meriwether County Sheriff’s Office, Luthersville Police Department, Georgia State Patrol and the Georgia Bureau of Investigations, along with other first responder units responded to Unity Elementary School in Luthersville, Ga. in regards to a suspicious device that was located at one of the entrance/exits to the school. All emergency procedures were put in place to ensure the safety of the school children and school personnel in their evacuation from the location. Once our units arrived on scene we were able to conduct an investigation into the item that was reported. Further investigation by the Meriwether County Sheriff’s Office and the Georgia Bureau of Investigation revealed that the item was harmless. The investigation revealed that the item inadvertently fell out of a vehicle during student drop off procedures at the school. We still went through our safety procedures and checked the building prior to returning the children back to the school to ensure that the scene was safe. School Administrative Personnel and Staff did a very good job of evacuating the school and providing for the safety of the students during the process.” Sheriff Chuck Smith said.

Meth Lab Investigation on Gilbert Road in Manchester, Georgia.

Narcotics Agents representing the Meriwether and Upson County Sheriff’s Offices and Thomaston Police Department responded to 1680 Gilbert Road in Manchester at the request of the G.B.I.’s Region Two Office in Columbus to investigate a reported methamphetamine lab. “Our task force agents met with Manchester Police at the home and discovered a homemade meth lab in an outbuilding on the property. During the investigation approximately two grams of suspected methamphetamine, household lye, liquid fire, drain opener, plastic tubing, coffee filters, plastic liter bottles, Sudafed and other generic cold remedy blister packs were discovered,” Sheriff Chuck Smith said. Eric Lance Trice, 38, of Manchester was arrested at the scene. Warrants charging Trice with possession of methamphetamine, possession of drug related objects, possession of substances with intent to manufacture a scheduled I or schedule II controlled substance and manufacturing methamphetamine were issued by Manchester police. Manchester Fire Department responded and assisted with the decontamination process. Coastal Claim Environment Clean Up team from Valdosta responded to dispose of all hazardous materials.