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August 14, 2003 Issue

A mid-afternoon raid at a Bartow residence Monday results in the seizure of $1,885 in cash and more than an ounce of suspected cocaine taken into evidence.

Sheriff's deputies and investigators retrieve 33.3 grams of suspected cocaine from a residential water drain after bags were flushed down the toilet.

Deputies recover flushed drugs, arrest trafficker

More than an ounce recovered after being flushed down the toilet

By Ben Nelms
Staff Writer

A Bartow man was charged Monday with trafficking in cocaine following a raid of his residence where more than an ounce of suspected cocaine was retrieved after being flushed down the toilet.

Teddy Kitchens, 36, was charged with trafficking after sheriff's deputies and investigators retrieved a total of 33.3 grams of suspected cocaine, including 22.5 grams of suspected crack cocaine and 10.8 grams of suspected powered cocaine, according to a spokesman for the Jefferson County Sheriff's Office.

Investigators said the street value of that amount of cocaine was approximately $3,000.

Also seized in the raid was $1,885 in cash and a set of scales.

Investigators had executed a search warrant prior to the raid in which Kitchens was the main target, investigators said. Another male was inside the residence at the time of the raid but was not arrested.

Deputies converged on the residence at 3 p.m., with one group entering the front door and another entering through the back door.

As they entered, Kitchens ran down the hall of the single-wide manufactured home and into the bathroom, followed immediately by deputies.

Kitchens threw two bags into the toilet and flushed it, investigators said. Deputies apprehended Kitchens in the bathroom as he flushed the toilet. Once contained, deputies found $1,475 in his pants pocket.

Two plastic bags of suspected crack and powered cocaine were retrieved minutes later outside the residence.

One officer had remained outside during the initial seconds of the raid to disconnect the drainpipe in case any items might have been flushed.

The bags of suspected cocaine emerged from the pipe after a deputy used a plunger to unclog the toilet.

Once the residence was secured the county K-9 unit searched the wooded area around the house. No other drugs were found.

Prison guard arrested for stealing gravel

Guard allegedly used county dumptruck, gravel and prison labor to work on his driveway

By Ben Nelms
Staff Writer

A correction officer at Jefferson County Correctional Institute resigned Friday after being arrested earlier in the day on charges of theft by taking after an investigation alleged that gravel owned by the county had been dumped at his residence by a prison camp inmate driving a county dump truck.

The incident was reported to county administrator Paul Bryan, who in turn contacted Georgia Bureau of Investigation (GBI) requesting that the agency conduct the investigation.

George Sims, 34, of Wadley, was arrested by GBI Friday and charged with theft by taking.

Both Bryan and prison camp Warden William Evans said the matter is still under investigation.

An Aug. 4 complaint was made to the county marshal by a private citizen who noticed county dump truck No. 33 on private property. The complaint also included a description of the driver.

An investigation by Marshal Alan Wasden revealed two dump truck loads of gravel had been unloaded behind the residence, according to a marshal's report obtained under the state Open Records Law.

"I traveled to the residence in question and did observe two large piles of rock behind the residence. I noticed one pile of rock had been dumped several days prior to the other because of the moisture on the material and the fresh tire tracks observed," the report said.

County Roads Department supervisor Ken Thomas was contacted regarding the truck and driver. He confirmed that the driver of the county dump truck was an inmate at the county prison camp.

Wasden commended the individual who observed and reported the incident.

"This is a good example of how citizens can assist law enforcement in minimizing loss of property that occurs through crime," he said.

Economic Development update breakfast Thursday

Meeting planned to provide facts to public in an open forum

By Ben Nelms
Staff Writer

Anyone in Jefferson County with questions about the future of local business has the opportunity Thursday morning to have their questions answered at the Economic Development Update Breakfast at Pansy's Restaurant.

The breakfast is intended to be a venue for residents from around Jefferson County to obtain current information on the status of economic development, said economic developer Brad Day.

"The purpose of the breakfast is to better communicate the ongoing activities of the development authority to the public," said Day.

The breakfast will begin with a presentation by Jefferson Energy Cooperative, sponsor of the event. The presentation will be followed by an overview of the development authority's past accomplishments and current plans for economic development, including progress on development in the county's three larger cities as well as non-traditional development efforts, such as tourism, that exist countywide.

Current efforts to be presented include business retention and expansion efforts and recruitment of new industry, including the types of businesses targeted and the anticipated number of employees needed. Also included will be an update on the ongoing expansion at Glit, Inc. in Wrens.

Day said the most important feature of the breakfast is to answer any and all questions from the public on matters relating to the development authority and its activities.

"In economic development there are always a lot of opinions and rumors," he said. "This informal setting will provide a way for the development authority to answer questions so that folks can have the facts."

Day said the development authority considers it important for any resident interested in economic development to attend the breakfast. Hence, the breakfast is open to everyone regardless if they made advanced reservations.

The Economic Development Update Breakfast will be held Aug. 14 at 8 a.m. at Pansy's Restaurant in Louisville.

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