“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.
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.
“On January 21, 2015 the Meriwether County Sheriff’s Office Criminal Investigation Division and School Resource Division arrested Sherrie Turner White, 55 years of age, of 209 Walker Drive, Manchester, Georgia for the offense of Felony Theft by Conversion. White is charged with converting funds in excess of $33,000.00 to her own personal use from the Meriwether Association of Educators. White was the President of this organization that teachers and para-pros pay into monthly in order to have legal services if needed. The reported conversion of the funds occurred on or between November 2012 and December 2014 while White served as President.” Sheriff Smith said.
“The incident was discovered when the Meriwether County Board of Education Administration was contacted by the bank in which the account was held regarding it being overdrawn. The School System Administration reported this to our School Resource Officer Supervisor. My Criminal Investigation Division picked up the investigation from there which resulted in an arrest warrant being issued for White. The investigation revealed that smaller amounts of funds were taken from the account originally and then increased dramatically over time. The funds were not sent to the Georgia Association of Educators and the investigation revealed that they were converted to her personal use. White was the signature authority on the checking account. According to information received, Sherrie White had been employed with the Meriwether County Board of Education for approximately 17 years and served as a Paraprofessional at the Greenville Middle/High School.” Sheriff Smith advised.
“This incident affects approximately 64 teachers and para-pros that had been paying into this fund for legal service coverage. Sherrie Turner White is currently being held in the Meriwether County Sheriff’s Office Jail on $67,000.00 bond at this time.” Sheriff Smith stated.
On January 21, 2015 law enforcement officers from the The Meriwether County Sheriff’s Office, Upson County Sheriff’s Office, The Taylor County Sheriff’s Office, The Thomaston Police Department, and the Georgia Department of Corrections K-9 Unit simultaneously executed four search warrants during a drug investigation. Arrested in the investigation is WILLIAM MICHAEL “Bill” KELLY, 52, of 75 Pine Street in Woodbury, Ga. and 903 W. Main Street in Thomaston, Ga. A quantity of methamphetamine, cocaine, marijuana, ecstasy were located at Kelley’s residence in Meriwether County. He is charged with Trafficking in Methamphetamine, Possession of Cocaine with the Intent to Distribute, Possession of Marijuana with the Intent to Distribute, Possession of MDMA with the intent to distribute and Possession of a firearm while in the commission of a crime. There is no bond on the Meriwether County charges. Kelley is charged in Upson County with three counts of Sale of Methamphetamine. Additional warrants will be sought for Possession of Methamphetamine with the intent to distribute based on narcotics that were found on Kelley’s possession at the time of his arrest. Kelley is being held in the Upson County Jail. Bond has been denied. This investigation continues.
Chuck Smith, Sheriff, Meriwether County
Dan Kilgore – Sheriff, Upson County
Jeff Watson, Sheriff, Taylor County
Dan Greathouse, Chief, Thomaston Police Department
On Wednesday, January 14, special agents with the Georgia Bureau of Investigation, U.S. Marshal’s Service and Meriwether County Sheriff’s Office officials arrested Brian Paul Roslund, 31, of Pine Mountain on warrants charging him with Theft By Taking and Racketeering. Roslund was arrested in Lawrenceville just before noon Wednesday. His arrest stems from an alleged theft investigation initiated by the G.B.I sometime around the first part of July 2014 through the latter part of October 2014. Roslund is currently being held in the Meriwether County Jail without bond.
Chuck Smith, Sheriff
Meriwether County, Georgia
“On January 9, 2015 Agents with the Meriwether County Sheriff’s Office Narcotics Division and the Upson Regional Narcotics Task Force executed a search warrant at 165 College Street, Luthersville, Georgia. The search warrant was the result of an almost 2 year undercover investigation regarding the sale of methamphetamine. The suspect in this matter, Demetres Lashon Dean, 35 years of age, sold meth to an undercover law enforcement agent on two separate occasions. The sale of the drugs by Dean resulted in the issuance of two warrants for his arrest. Our agents were able to arrest Dean and execute the search warrant at his residence on College Street. The search resulted in the recovery of an additional 5.26 ounces of methamphetamine from Dean’s bedroom. We were also able to seize U.S. Currency and a motor vehicle that were used in these drug transactions. Demetres Lashon Dean was arrested for the offenses of Trafficking in Methamphetamine and Sale of Methamphetamine 2 counts. Dean is currently being held in the Meriwether County Jail on bonds totaling $115,000.00.” Sheriff Smith said.
“Dean was operating out of our jurisdiction as well as frequenting the Zebra Lane area of Grantville, Georgia. This was a long term undercover operation that involved several jurisdictions. However, I am glad that we were able to bring this investigation to a successful conclusion and get these drugs out of our communities and this trafficker off the streets.” Sheriff Smith advised.
NOTE – Members of the media who wish to have an A&B report should contact the Meriwether County Sheriff’s Office Jail and upon proper form completion under Georgia Law said item will be provided.
“On December 22, 2014 numerous subjects were indicted in the United States District Court for the Northern District of Georgia in regard to a large methamphetamine trafficking ring that involved individuals from Meriwether County, Georgia. Through the efforts of the many law enforcement agencies working together collaboratively we were able to arrest several major traffickers in methamphetamine as well as remove a large quantity of drugs off the streets. The investigation led to traffickers being taken down in Georgia as well as the State of Florida. Through our combined effort we were able to seize a total of 7 Kilos of Methamphetamine out of a search warrant execution on Kodiak Lane, Greenville, Georgia as well as a traffic stop conducted in Harris County, Georgia earlier this year. The investigation also led to seizures of residential property, currency, vehicles, four wheelers and motorcycles that were proceeds of the sale of the illegal narcotics. The investigation did not stop there and it led to additional arrest being made in the State of Florida.” Sheriff Smith said.
“The subjects listed were indicted in Federal Court related to this case investigation.” Sheriff Smith advised.
Harlan O. Jackson, Kodiak Lane, Greenville, Ga. – Charge Trafficking Methamphetamine.
Christopher Jackson, Kodiak Lane, Greenville, Ga. – Charge Trafficking Methamphetamine.
Tiffany Jackson, Kodiak Lane, Greenville, Ga. – Charge Trafficking Methamphetamine.
Leon Buchannan, Grantville, Ga. – Charge Trafficking Methamphetamine.
Jose Lopez, Crescent City, Florida – Charge Trafficking Methamphetamine.
Elmer Ochoa, Atlanta, Ga. – Charge Trafficking Methamphetamine and Possession of a Firearm During the Commission of a Felony.
“These six offenders along with five additional offenders from Panama City, Florida were indicted related to this major case investigation. This investigation involved the Meriwether County Sheriff’s Office, Upson Regional Narcotics Task Force, Harris County Sheriff’s Office, Troup County Sheriff’s Office, West Point Police Department and the DEA. I wish to thank all of the participating law enforcement agencies in helping us in this effort to get these drugs off the streets and out of our communities.” Sheriff Smith stated.
“On December 17, 2014 Agents with the Meriwether County Sheriff’s Office Narcotics Division were conducting an investigation near Luthersville, Meriwether County, Georgia. During which time agents observed a pickup truck believed to be transporting stolen property in a known high drug area. Our agents initiated contact with the occupants of the vehicle at the intersection of Gilbert Circle and Roosevelt Hwy. The female driver, identified as Tia Tittle, attempted to conceal something in her front pants pocket. Agents also observed in plain view open containers of alcoholic beverages in the center console of the vehicle. Our agents began to investigate the matter further and discovered that the female driver was in possession of methamphetamine and a glass smoking device. The vehicle also contained a loaded 9mm semi-auto handgun on the driver’s seat. The male passenger, identified as Jason Moore, had an active probation violation warrant for the offense of burglary. Both subject’s were taken into custody and transported to the Meriwether County Jail.” Sheriff Smith said.
“Arrested were Lia Tittle, W/F, 45 yoa., of Moreland, Georgia for the offenses of Possession of Methamphetamine and Open Container. She was the driver of the vehicle. Also arrested was the vehicle passenger Jason Moore, W/M, 38 yoa., also of Moreland, Georgia for the offenses of Violation of Probation (Burglary) and Open Container.” Sheriff Smith advised.
“On November 11, 2014 about 0800 hours the Meriwether County Sheriff’s Office School Resource Officers responded to George E. Washington Elementary School in reference to a report of a student possibly having a handgun on the school bus. SRO Lt. Royce Thompson along with additional School Resource Officers responded to the location and instituted their safety lock down procedures. The original information was that the 11 year old elementary student had been in possession of a handgun on the school bus. It was alleged that he had possibly thrown the gun out of the window of the school bus in close proximity to a local business in Greenville, Georgia. The reported student was secured by School Administrative Personnel and SRO Deputies. At that time a search was conducted in accordance with the information received and a small caliber handgun was located in the elementary student’s book bag.” Sheriff Chuck Smith said.
“We began to interview the witnesses in this matter and it was revealed that the student had allegedly made threats toward another student on the school bus. This information was not revealed until after the interviews were conducted. There was no immediate outcry of this occurring to the bus driver or any other school personnel until the students arrived at the school. It was at that time that some of the students informed school personnel that they saw the student with a gun. The student in which the threat was made got up and changed seats.” Sheriff Smith advised.
“The student that was in possession of the handgun was taken into custody immediately upon our School Resource Officers and School Personnel receiving this information. This matter was addressed with urgency on all of our behalf. The juvenile has been detained in a youth detention facility and has been charged with the offenses of Aggravated Assault 1 count, and Carrying a Weapon within a School Safety Zone, 1 count at this time.” Sheriff Smith said.
“I commend our Meriwether County School Resource Officers, Meriwether County Sheriff’s Deputies George E. Washington School Administrative Personnel, and the students who came forward to provide this information. This matter was handled swiftly and we were able to secure the juvenile and the weapon without any incident. The School Safety Plan Procedures were put in place and we handled the matter in accordance to our training and procedures. This matter is still under investigation and we are tracing how this juvenile came to be in possession of the handgun.” Sheriff Smith stated.
If further contact is requested regarding this matter, contact Sheriff Chuck Smith at (706) 672-6638.
“On Sunday, October 26, 2014 at 7:30 a.m. officials with the Meriwether County Sheriff’s Office responded to reports of a person shot at a Roswell Lee Road home near Grantville Georgia. According to reports received from the initial caller we determined the incident may have stemmed from a domestic related dispute between a husband and wife. We determined the caller, an eighteen year old, inside the home witnessed her father shoot her mother. She gathered her three other siblings, ranging in age from four years to fourteen years, and fled the home on foot. This young woman told us her father was attempting to barricade himself inside the residence” Sheriff Chuck Smith said.
“When our deputies arrived a perimeter was immediately established around the home and we began requesting other first responders to stage in the immediate area. We made several attempts to make telephone contact with persons inside the home, but our efforts failed. We saw smoke bellowing from the eves of the home and due to the volatility of the situation entry was made in the residence. My personnel had to breach their way into the residence and it was at that time we encountered heavy smoke inside the home. The smoke was so intense that further advance could not be made. We discovered the suspect may have tried to ventilate the residence to further fuel a fire that had been set. My personnel provided cover while firemen battled the flames from the exterior of the residence. They were unable to knock the flames back and we determined the fire had to be attacked from the interior. This would be the only way we could gain further entry into the home. One of my personnel donned breathing apparatus gear provided by the fire department and with his firearm he provided additional cover which enabled fireman to make further entry into the residence. Other law enforcement personnel at the scene were able to provide cover from the front entrance way and the exterior of the residence. With the provided cover several fire fighters were able to advance into a front bedroom area where the fire was most intense. These firemen were able to extinguish the blaze. Fire and Sheriff’s personnel were able to make further entry which revealed a flammable liquid had been doused throughout the interior of the residence. When the flames were extinguished the home was ventilated to prevent what could have been an explosive situation. Firemen were able to spray down the flammable substance to knock back flames that had been purposely set. Once this had been done a further search of the two story residence was conducted. The body of an unresponsive adult male was found in a closet area on the first floor of the residence. The adult male had a gunshot wound to the head. We then located an unresponsive adult female at the base of a staircase. She had gunshot wounds to the head. Both were determined dead at the time they were located inside the residence.” Sheriff Smith advised.
“We then completed a sweep of the residence and no other persons were found within the home. As we were conducting this protective sweep further volatile liquids were found in the residence to include an upstairs living area. We determined attempts were made to set additional fires in these upstairs areas, but those flames apparently smothered themselves. Firemen were able to assist us in properly ventilating the residence to make the scene as safe as possible. Through our investigation we determined a weapon had been fired numerous times inside the residence. Several bullets were fired through a downstairs window of the home. It is unknown if the subject was firing at the initial responding deputies or if he was shooting out window panes to further ventilate flames. None of my guys heard gunshots being fired when they initially arrived on the scene. We also found evidence of a suspected indoor marijuana grow room inside the residence. Our narcotics personnel recovered evidence relevant to a grow operation.” Sheriff Smith stated.
The deceased were identified as Tammie Tameke Beasley, 36 years of age, of 730 Roswell Lee Road, Grantville, Georgia and Willie James Beasley, Jr., 42 years of age, of the same address. Both bodies were sent to the GBI Crime Lab in Dekalb County. Meriwether County Coroner Johnny Worley made the death pronouncements at the scene.” Sheriff Smith said.
“This was tragic and such a terrible event that occurred. I am so thankful that these children were able to get out without harm coming to them. The eldest sibling, who is 18 years of age, led her three other siblings out to safety. She displayed great courage during this time of tragedy. She performed a heroic act by leading them to safety. My thoughts and prayers go out to the family as they try to put their lives back together. Those volunteer firemen that put themselves in harm’s way to assist my personnel are to be commended for putting their own safety aside for the benefit of others. They do this so many times when they answer the call for service, but not under the circumstances we encountered today. I commend my personnel in the way they handled this situation. They did all that was expected of them. I also appreciate the Georgia State Patrol and Luthersville Police personnel who responded and assisted my deputies with perimeter security as well as all of the first responder personnel. I am very thankful none of my personnel or other first responders were seriously injured during this very horrific and tragic incident.” Sheriff Smith advised. The investigation continues.