Juvenile Offender 11 years of age in Possession of a Small Caliber Handgun at George E. Washington Elementary School, Woodbury, Georgia.

“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.

Apparent Murder/Suicide 730 Roswell Lee Road, Grantville, Meriwether County, Georgia

“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.

Burglary Suspect Arrested

Since the latter part of September, Sheriff’s Deputies began taking numerous theft, entering automobile and burglary reports from various homeowners on Judson Bulloch Road, Warm Springs Highway, Dallas Mill Road, Springdale Drive and County Line Road. Stolen items ranged from radar detectors, Global Positioning Systems (GPS) and loose change, to weedeaters, lawn mowers, leaf blowers and firearms. “During our investigation we could see similarities at some of our crime scenes. Our investigative, narcotic and patrol divisions worked together to determine patterns which enabled us to pinpoint times these thefts were occurring. Through concentrated patrol efforts we were hoping we would catch those involved,” Sheriff Chuck Smith said.

On Friday morning around 3:00 a.m.,(October 17,2014) while patrolling Judson Bulloch Road near Warm Springs Highway, Sheriff’s Sergeant Matt Polk noticed a white Chevrolet Malibu with the handles of a push lawn mower protruding from the open trunk. When the deputy initiated his blue lights the driver attempted to elude by speeding away. Following a short chase the driver jumped from the car and ran toward the vicinity of 3726 Warm Springs Highway. A foot chase ensued and assisted by three responding back-up deputies, the driver identified as Lakelvis Antwon Leath of Pine Mountain was apprehended. Items recovered from the trunk of the car had been recently stolen from a carport on Linda Lane in Manchester. “During an inventory of the car we found tools commonly used to commit burglaries along with gloves and masks,” the Sheriff said. Later Friday morning searches were conducted at an Oconee Street home in Manchester and a home in Cherokee Club Estates near Pine Mountain. Stolen property was recovered from both locations.

“During our investigation we learned Troup County Sheriff’s officials were investigating similar incidents near Pine Mountain and the Stovall areas”, Sheriff Smith stated. During the search of the Oconee Street and Cherokee Club Resort homes, Troup County Sheriff’s Investigators were able to recover stolen items from incidents they were investigating. “Through our investigative efforts Leath has been charged with five counts of burglary, one count of entering auto, one count of theft by taking and possession of burglary tools in our jurisdiction. Leath is facing approximately sixteen counts of similar charges in Troup County. Leath is currently being held in the Meriwether County Jail without bond.” Sheriff Smith advised.


Multi-County Burglary Suspects Arrested

On 08/11/2014 Meriwether County Sheriff’s Office Investigator’s with the assistance of the Taylor County Sheriff’s Office and Agents with the GBI executed a search warrant at 8491 Cedar Creek, Riverdale, Clayton County, Georgia in reference to a multi-county burglary investigation. Recovered from the location was jewelry, televisions, a compound bow, a lawn mower and check books. While our guys were executing the search warrant in Riverdale it appears that the perpetrators were doing another burglary in Talbot County, Georgia. The results of our search warrant not only resulted in the recovery of some stolen property but helped us positively identify our additional suspect in these investigations. We had arrest warrants already issued for Jason Roger Times of 8491 Cedar Creek Riverdale, Georgia. However, we were able to conclusively identify our second suspect in this matter as Christopher Hill of Clayton County, Georgia. Times turned himself into the Clayton County Jail on 08/11/2014 about 1700 hours and we were able to pick him up from there. Hill is still on the run and we have warrants out for his arrest.” Sheriff Chuck Smith said.

Our agency experienced a residential burglary in the 8500 block of Cove Road around May of this year. We had several reliable witnesses that observed a silver/gray in color Chevrolet Malibu occupied by two black males in close proximity to the burglary location. This was around the same time span that the burglary occurred. We began concentrating on the premise that these suspects were from outside our jurisdiction. This was partially based on intelligence that our investigators developed from some of our surrounding jurisdictions. Several of our neighboring counties had been experiencing similar burglaries but they had limited leads to work with. During the first part of August we had another burglary reported on Cove Road. In this burglary we were very fortunate that the homeowner had a surveillance system set up with the suspects and their vehicle being captured on video. Although the tag was not clearly visible on the vehicle we did have a good descriptive of the vehicle and the suspects. This also matched our earlier descriptive from the previous burglary in the cove area. Our investigators began flooding our neighboring jurisdictions with the most recent suspect data. We also made this wide spread to encompass the northwest and southwest portion of the state. We had the tape enhanced as much as possible and through this effort we were able to identify four of the numbers on the vehicle tag. We contacted GBI intelligence and they ran the vehicle make and model with the numbers that we believed we had determined. The results indicated a possible match for three vehicles in the state. At that time we contacted the Fayette County Sheriff’s Office seeking assistance with a Clayton County contact person since one of the vehicles in question came back to Riverdale, Ga. this being the closest address to our jurisdiction. The Fayette County Sheriff’s Office assisted us with contact information and also ran the tag through their tag reader recorded data base. The tag reader made a recent hit confirmation in Fayette County along with a photograph of the vehicle. Everything revealed a match along with the identity of the driver. The vehicle owner was identified as the Times subject. Once we obtained booking photos and previous arrest information on Times we knew we had identified one of our perpetrators. The tag reader also gave us additional vehicle information on the suspects due to them being in a different vehicle on a separate occasion. The vehicle information from a separate tag reader hit being consistent with a burglary in Coweta County, Georgia. The combination of information obtained from some of our witnesses, video from one of our victims, the sharing of information between our neighboring agencies, the tag reader data base and just good hard work by members of my staff has led too and will clear multiple burglaries in numerous counties by arrest.” Sheriff Smith advised.

This burglary crime spree as we now know encompassed the counties of Coweta, Taylor, Talbot, Marion, Schley and Meriwether County, Georgia. These subjects are also suspects in several other neighboring jurisdictions. At the present time we have Times and Hill linked to multiple burglaries in our county and they are linked to at least one burglary in each of the above listed counties. We are still tracking down leads related to these offenses and will most likely be able to link them to several more offenses in our jurisdiction. Jason Roger Times is currently being held in the Meriwether County Sheriff’s Office Jail without bond. We have outstanding warrants for Christopher Hill and we have reason to believe that he is still in the metro Atlanta area.” Smith stated.

I appreciate the work and effort put forth by my personnel to identify these perpetrators, recover property and get one of them behind bars. We still have much work to be completed in investigation in our attempt to recover additional properties and to capture Hill. Cpl. Nash, Deputy Holland, and Taylor County Investigator’s have worked and are continuing to work diligently on these cases. Our 911 personnel also assisted us in the enhancement and identification of those valuable tag numbers on the suspect vehicle. I definitely appreciate the witnesses coming forward and providing us with valuable real time information as well as the homeowner who was able to provide a video tape of our perpetrators. All of the other agencies that have been involved and assisted with these investigations in a collaborative effort we appreciate them as well.

I ask for the communities continued assistance and support in providing us with information regarding these matters. If anyone has any additional information regarding this matter or other illegal activities please give us a call at (706) 672-4489, callers can remain anonymous.” Sheriff Smith stated.

• UPDATE – On August 16, 2014 Christopher Allen Hill, B/M, DOB. 03/16/1989 was arrested in Clayton County, Georgia on our warrant for his arrest. Hill has since been picked up by our agency as of 08/16/2014 about 1652 hours and is being held without bond in the Meriwether County Sheriff’s Office Jail on burglary charges.

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.

Accidental Drowning Lake Meriwether- Woodbury, Georgia

Sheriff Chuck Smith advised that on August 8, 2014 about 0715 hours the body of Wayman Hunt, 72 yoa, a resident of Shiloh, Talbot County, Georgia was recovered from Lake Meriwether by Rangers with the Georgia Department of Natural Resources.

“We have been searching the Lake since August 5, 2014 around 2200 hours after a vehicle belonging to Hunt was found abandoned at Lake Meriwether by Deputy Jody Holland. The vehicle had been reportedly on the lake property since around 1500 hours on the same date. While conducting further investigation into the abandoned vehicle, Holland discovered a Kayak that was over turned in the lake along with a life jacket. Holland requested assistance from DNR Ranger Keith Waddell and an extensive search was conducted. Our investigation revealed that Wayman Hunt had advised some friends that he was going fishing at the lake and it was reported that he had the Kayak for only a few weeks. The search for Hunt involved the Meriwether County Sheriff’s Office Investigation Division, Patrol and K-9 units, Woodbury Police Department, ATSAR K-9 Search and Rescue, Meriwether County Volunteer Fire Department Personnel and the Georgia Department of Natural Resources DNR Rangers who brought in their search boats and air unit to assist in this search. Ultimately the DNR Rangers are the ones that located Hunt’s body in the lake in relatively close proximity to where the kayak and life jacket were located.” Sheriff Smith advised.

“As procedure in these type matters Hunt’s body was sent to the GBI Crime Lab for further investigation into this matter by the Meriwether County Coroner’s Office. The GBI Crime Lab ruled the death an accidental drowning. We appreciate the assistance of all the agencies involved in this search and ultimate recovery effort. Our thoughts and prayers go out to the family in this unfortunate incident.” Sheriff Smith said.

Manufacturing Marijuana x 3

Sheriff Chuck Smith advised that on July 18, 2014 Meriwether County Sheriff’s Office Deputies responded to 21991 Highway 85, Gay, Georgia in reference to a call for service of a suspicious odor in the area. Upon arrival the deputies observed in plain view a marijuana plant growing in the yard area of the residence. At that time the Narcotics Task Force was contacted and responded to the location. Agents recovered 51 marijuana plants that were growing in the vegetable garden and the wood line of the residence. Further investigation revealed a suspect identified as Carolyn Williams, B/F, 57 years of age who was charged with the offense of Manufacturing Marijuana.

On this same date agents of the Narcotics Task Force received information that marijuana was being grown in the rear of 105 Happy Hollow Road, Greenville, Georgia. Agents executed a search warrant at the location and located marijuana plants growing in the garden near the back door to the residence. The investigation revealed the owner of the plants as being a Jarvis Williams, B/M, 19 years of age.

Both Carolyn Williams and Jarvis Williams were transported to the Meriwether County Sheriff’s Office Jail and charged with the offense of Manufacturing Marijuana.

On July 22, 2014 the Meriwether County Sheriff’s Office, Upson County Sheriff’s Office, Thomaston Police and the Narcotics Task Force set out to locate a marijuana grow. Information was received by Sheriff Smith that marijuana was being grown in the area of Highway 362 and Lima Lane. The exact location being unknown at the time, but a general descriptive of the area was provided. With the assistance of the Coweta County Sheriff’s Office Air Unit, agents located and recovered 30 marijuana plants in the area. The grower(s) even went to the trouble of surrounding the plants with a fence to prevent the wildlife from eating them. No arrest have been made at this time regarding this grow, however the case is still under investigation.

“From these three locations we recovered 83 plants with an estimated street value in excess of 373,000.00 dollars and two arrests. We appreciate the help of all agencies involved during these investigations.

I ask for the communities continued assistance and support in providing us with information regarding these matters. If anyone has any additional information regarding this matter or other illegal activities please give us a call at (706) 672-3497 or (706) 672-4489, callers can remain anonymous.” Sheriff Smith stated.

Major Drug Distributor Arrested

Sheriff Chuck Smith reported that on Tuesday, July 1, 2014, at about 0600 hours, approximately forty-five officers, four K-9 units, representing various law enforcement agencies, simultaneously converged on two homes on Kodiak Lane and a home on Keepsake Lane, Greenville, Georgia to carry out the execution of multiple search warrants. “We executed search warrants at 103 and 105 Kodiak Lane, Greenville, Georgia regarding the distribution of methamphetamine. We also went to 12 Keepsake Lane Greenville, Georgia to locate a wanted fugitive in reference to the charges of Armed Robbery out of Greenville, Georgia and Kidnapping out of Troup County, Georgia.” Smith advised.

“The search warrants executed at Kodiak Lane homes resulted from a joint eight month undercover operation with the Meriwether County Sheriff’s Office, our Narcotics Task Force and the DEA. The investigation also involved the Harris County Sheriff’s Office and the Troup County Sheriff’s Office through a collaborative investigation. Intelligence gathered during this investigation resulted in the arrest of Christopher Brent Jackson and his brother Harlan O. Jackson, both of Kodiak Lane, Greenville, Georgia. Additional arrest are pending of those involved in the distribution and trafficking in large quantities of methamphetamines. The location in which the brothers resided created a hardship on the investigative efforts. They had several layers of defenses in place that made the search warrant execution difficult. Once we had the right circumstances and best opportunity available we executed our search warrants. These search warrant executions and the continuous investigation turned up great results. We were able to seize seven kilograms (kilo’s) of methamphetamine, with an estimated street value of $420,000.00. That is approximately thirteen pounds of meth.

07_03_14 Press release Major Drug Distributor Arrest Photo

We had additional seizures of U.S. Currency, seventeen motor vehicles, motorcycles, four-wheelers, and we are proceeding to seize the two houses and the parcels of land they are located on. We arrested Christopher Brent Jackson, B/M, 38 yoa., 602’ hgt., 198 lbs., blk hair, bro eyes, address: 103 Kodiak Lane, his wife Tiffany L. Jackson, B/F, 30 yoa., 505’ hgt., 205 lbs., blk hair, bro eyes, of 103 Kodiak Lane and Harlan Orlando Jackson B/M, 602’, 210 lbs., blk hair, bro eyes, of 105 Kodiak Lane, Greenville, Georgia for the offenses of Trafficking in Methamphetamine. These subjects are being held in the Meriwether County Sheriff’s Office Jail without bond. There is additional arrest pending and this investigation is still on-going.” Sheriff Smith said.

“We also went to a secondary location simultaneously and arrested a wanted fugitive. We went to 12 Keepsake Lane, Greenville, Georgia and arrested Patrick Lanail Bray B/M, 24 yoa, 511 hgt., 175 lbs., blk hair, bro eyes, address given of 362 Carter Street, Greenville, Georgia who was wanted for the offenses of Armed Robbery out of Greenville, Georgia and Kidnapping out of Troup County, Georgia. Bray having been on the run for about 2 years. U.S. Marshals tracked him to the location of his arrest. The location was surrounded and entry was made after verbal commands were given. Bray was located in a back bedroom lying in the bed and was found to be in possession of a loaded 45 cal. semi-auto handgun and a clear bag containing crack cocaine. Bray is being held in the Meriwether County Sheriff’s Office Jail charged with Possession of a Firearm by a Convicted Felon, Possession of Crack Cocaine with intent to Distribute, and is being held on the outstanding warrants for Armed Robbery out of Greenville and Kidnapping out of LaGrange, Troup County, Georgia.” Sheriff Smith advised.

“I am very proud of all these law enforcement officers that were involved. We were able to run three separate operations simultaneously, safely and with great success. Harris County Sheriff Mike Jolley and I were both present and participated during operational briefings before the operations went down. I know that Mike is as proud of his guys as I am of mine along with the other agents and operatives that made this operation a great success. Getting one kilo of meth off the streets is great, but to get seven kilo’s off of the streets and the drug dealers in one operation is outstanding.
We got a dangerous fugitive off of our streets that was wanted for two years or more with the help of the U.S. Marshalls.” Sheriff Smith stated.

“Agencies involved in this operation include: Meriwether County Narcotics Unit, Patrol Deputies, K-9 Unit & Investigators, Narcotics Task Force, Federal Drug Enforcement Agency, DEA’s Clandestine Lab Teams, U.S. Marshalls Southeast Regional Fugitive Task Force (SERFTF), Harris County Sheriff’s Office Deputies and K-9 Unit, Troup County Sheriff’s Office Narcotics Unit and K-9 Unit, and the Georgia Department of Corrections K-9 Unit. Both the search warrant and fugitive arrest operation started in the early morning hours Tuesday, July 1st, and we completed it around 9 p.m. that same evening. So it was a long day, but one that was well worth it. This matter is still under investigation.” Smith advised.

“I am very appreciative to all of the agencies that assisted with bringing these operations to a successful conclusion and I hope that I did not leave anyone out.” Sheriff Smith stated.

Suspects Arrested in Multi-County Thefts

Sheriff Chuck Smith advised: “On June 9, 2014 a report was filed by personnel of Complete Truck, located 2185 Hwy 85, Gay, Georgia that person(s) unknown did take two large box trucks and a large amount of tools, valued in excess of 100,000 dollars. This incident occurred on or between June 6th and June 9th, 2014. Based on intelligence that our Investigators developed from some of our surrounding jurisdictions we began concentrating on a subject identified as Billy Owens, Jr. We also obtained descriptive information on a female subject along with a vehicle tag number that was observed in the area during the time span of the incident occurrence. This information was obtained from numerous citizen witnesses during our canvas of the area. We also were able to link this vehicle at the scene of a burglary that occurred at Sutherland Farms on Ga. Hwy 85, south of Haralson, Ga.”

“On June 10, 2014 in a wooded area adjacent to the 8100 block of Mt. Carmel Road, Gay, Ga. our investigators and patrol units located one of the stolen box trucks deep in a wooded area based on some tipster information that we received. Our units recovered the stolen box truck which had been partially burned and was moderately damaged. Nearby the recovery scene we located the remnants of a meth lab in the wooded area that was fresh. On this same date a burglary was reported in the 8000 block of Mt. Carmel Road, Gay, Ga. in which approximately 7,000 dollars worth of lawn equipment was stolen. The burglary scene investigation revealed items of evidential value that linked the stolen box truck to the burglary scene.” Smith stated.

“On June 17, 2014 the other stolen box truck was involved in a pursuit involving the U.S. Marshalls in Cherokee County, Georgia. This was based on the information that we had put out state wide regarding our stolen vehicle and the suspects in the matter. The Marshalls were also tracking Owens regarding these numerous offenses for us and the other surrounding jurisdictions. According to our information the U.S. Marshalls were involved in a shooting incident with the box truck regarding the driver hitting an agent with the stolen vehicle from our jurisdiction. The driver of the stolen box truck wrecked the vehicle in a wooded area shortly after this event. The driver of the vehicle was positively identified as Billy Owens, Jr. Owens fled the scene on foot, however the passenger in the vehicle identified as Glenda Duncan was taken into custody. Recovered in the cargo area of the stolen box truck was all but two items that had been stolen in the Mt. Carmel Road burglary.” Smith advised.

“Our investigators traveled to Cherokee County, Georgia and processed the stolen box truck and the recovered stolen property. We then brought Duncan back to Meriwether County Sheriff’s Office Jail where she is being held for the offenses of motor vehicle theft x 2, Burglary x 2, and Arson.

On June 19, 2014 Billy Owens Jr. reportedly stole two additional vehicles in which he was involved in pursuits. He was later captured after wrecking one of these stolen vehicles in Lamar County, Georgia. Owens had made his way back down to Lamar County after wrecking our stolen box truck in Cherokee County just two days prior.

We were able to pick Billy Owens, Jr. up from the Fayette County Sheriff’s Office on June 19, 2014 and bring him back to our jail in order to get him processed on some of our charges. Owens was charged with Motor Vehicle Theft 2 counts, Burglary 1 count. We will indict him on the additional charges that we have against him. We transferred Owens back to the Fayette County Sheriff’s Office Jail in order for him to be picked up by Cherokee County. Owens will then be transferred to the U.S. Marshalls for Federal Charges. They will keep him in their custody as of now.” Sheriff Smith advised.

“This crime spree as we now know encompassed the counties of Fayette, Coweta, Pike, Spaulding, Lamar, Cherokee and Meriwether County, Georgia. Information obtained through our investigation revealed that Owens along with cohorts had been stealing property in and around our jurisdiction as well as from the North Georgia Mountains to Florida. Owens just recently was released from prison in February of 2014. We are still tracking down leads related to these offenses and will most likely be able to link him to several more offenses in our jurisdiction.

I appreciate the work and effort put forth by my personnel in helping bring these cases to a swift conclusion with arrest and the recovery of stolen property. Cpl. Nash, Deputy Holland, and the Patrol Division worked diligently on these cases. I definitely appreciate the witnesses coming forward and providing us with valuable real time information that was of tremendous help. All of the other agencies that have been involved and assisted with a collaborative effort we were able to bring this to a successful conclusion. I ask for the communities continued assistance and support in providing us with information regarding these matters.

If anyone has any additional information regarding this matter or other illegal activities please give us a call at (706) 672-4489, callers can remain anonymous.” Sheriff Smith stated.

Meriwether County Sheriff’s Office Kids Fishing Rodeo

On June 21, 2014 the Meriwether County Sheriff’s Office held its Kids Fishing Rodeo Event with a total of 20 youth in attendance. The event was at the Meriwether County Sheriff’s Office Training Complex in the adjacent county farm pond. The kids got to have some friendly competition for the biggest catch with each of them getting a fishing rodeo shirt and a door prize. The top four with the largest fish received an additional prize and they all got to eat a good lunch that was prepared for them.


“It was a great opportunity for me and members of my staff to be able to bond with some of our area youth. This put us on a level of contact that was not so much about law enforcement but as stewards of our community. We were able to share with these kids the benefits of the outdoors and the sport of fishing. I strongly believe that if we can spend time with kids as a positive role model then maybe we won’t have to spend time looking for them later. We partner with the Georgia Department of Natural Resources each year in regard to this event. DNR Paul Jones comes each year and stocks the pond with fingerling catfish in order for us to hold the event. This year the kids caught a total of 44 catfish, 4 Bream and 1 Bass. We had local cub scouts and our recent graduates from the CHAMPS program in attendance for this year’s event. We attempted this in October of last year, but a cold snap came through and thwarted that effort. This was a good turn out and the kids had a very enjoyable time.

Our motto that is printed on the fishing rodeo T-shirts is “Hooked On Fishing Not On Drugs” Sheriff Smith said.

“I greatly appreciate the help from all those that made this event a success, especially members of my staff who volunteered on their time off. I also appreciate our community sponsors who helped us with this in various ways. Those sponsors are Kimble’s Commissary, Academy Sports and Outdoors, Ingles (Woodbury), Cedar Rock Outdoors, and Roses. Anyone that would like to view the full array of photos can preview them on our webpage” Sheriff Smith stated.

Congressman Lynn Westmoreland at
Mando #1 for a Tour

On May 13, 2014 Sheriff Chuck Smith and Meriwether County Development Authority President Jane Fryer met with Congressman Lynn Westmoreland at Mando #1 in the Meriwether County Industrial Park for a tour of the facility. Prior to viewing the operation of the plant, Congressman Westmoreland presented Sheriff Smith with a United States Flag, with certificate that was previously flown over the Capital. This was made possible through the efforts put forth by Mrs. Jane.

“It was a great opportunity for me and some of my command staff to tour the facility from a safety and operational standpoint. This allowed for us to have a better grasp of the facility layout in the event that calls for service were to arise. It was also a good opportunity for us to talk with Congressman Westmoreland again about issues that affect our agency at the federal level. Congressman Westmoreland’s Office recently helped our agency with a grant processing that was in limbo. I am very appreciative of his office getting that handled for us.” Sheriff Smith said.

05_13_14 Press Release Sheriff Smith tours Mondo 1 Photo

Photo: Meriwether County Development Authority President Jane Fryer, Meriwether County Sheriff Chuck Smith and U.S. Congressman Lynn Westmoreland