Palmer commits suicide in jail
• Investigators claim Ezumer "Shorty"
Palmer, 54, of Keysville, was responsible
for bringing in 70 percent of the cocaine
sold in the north end of Jefferson County
By Faye Ellison
A Keysville man committed suicide
Sunday in the Burke County
Jail after being arrested earlier in
the week for drug charges involving
a joint investigation involving the
Jefferson County Sheriff’s Office.
Jefferson County Sheriff’s Office
Investigator Clark Hiebert said Monday
that Ezumer “Shorty” Palmer,
54, hung himself in the jail after his
arrest on Thursday involving more
than 2 kilograms of cocaine, several
ounces of marijuana, over $53,000
and a firearm.
Hiebert said he believes Palmer
was a supplier for around 70 percent
of the cocaine trade in the north end of
Jefferson County. The arrest, he said,
dealt a major blow to the rising drug
business in the county.
Burke County Coroner Betty
White said Palmer was pronounced
dead at 8 a.m. on Sunday, Feb. 4. An
investigation is ongoing.
Hiebert said he contacted Special
Agent Patrick Clayton with the Drug
Enforcement Agency (DEA) about
six to eight months ago in regards to
the Terrell Road resident’s reported
“Patrick Clayton is the lead agent in the Augusta DEA office,” Hiebert said Tuesday. “I was informing him of a problem we are having with a considerable amount of drugs being brought into Jefferson County from that area.”
Hiebert said himself, Special Agent Clayton and investigators with the Richmond County Sheriff’s Office met with Burke County Sheriff’s Office Captain Frankie Parker.
“We informed him of information we had been receiving on Shorty Palmer,” Hiebert said. “Throughout our discussion we were able to come up with plans for an undercover agent to make undercover buys from Shorty Palmer. Through this we were able to obtain several buys from Shorty. Some were on audio and some were on video of Shorty at this residence. This in itself was the probable cause we needed for the search warrant.”
Hiebert said the search warrant was executed on Thursday, Feb. 1, at Palmer’s 402 Terrell Road residence. Officers and investigators found approximately one quarter kilogram of suspected cocaine on top of a .45 semi-automatic pistol in the trunk of a white Pontiac Grand Am parked in the yard of Palmer’s residence. Also located in the same vehicle in a hidden compartment was 1.75 kilograms of suspected cocaine. There were also two other containers found with cocaine packaged in smaller increments in the steps of one of the out buildings located on the grounds.
Hiebert said they also found three ounces of high grade marijuana and two electronic scales. The drug raid netted over $3,000 in U.S. currency inside the residence. A duffle bag containing over $50,000 was also found in what Hiebert described as a van-type truck.
Hiebert said that during the raid officers and investigators seized a 2006 Ford F-250 King Cab pickup, a race car trailer, the 2001 Pontiac Grand Am and a brand new, two-seater golf cart.
“We took him to the Burke County facility and on Sunday morning, I was notified by Patrick Clayton that he had taken his own life,” Hiebert said. “I believe he felt like he would never see daylight again. Like he felt he had no purpose in living. It was a sad day and a sad way to go and the final outcome will be sad. It was beyond the law enforcement’s control.”
Hiebert said that Palmer was charged by the state with trafficking cocaine, which is a felony. It was unclear at press time what federal charges were brought against Palmer.
Hiebert said that Palmer was sentenced in 1990 on drug related racketeering charges.
“He was originally sentenced on federal charges in 1990, but then the sentence was amended and he was released in 2001,” Hiebert said. “I think he was very familiar with what he could receive the second time around with a gun enhancement with the amount of drug charges. I think he knew he was looking at some hard time in prison and not in a state prison.”
Hiebert went on to say that the investigation is continuing in the drug case.
“We expect more arrests to be made,” Hiebert said. “Palmer had made some admissions at the time of the interview at his residence before being transported. He also had given some statements that are valuable in the ongoing investigation.”
During the execution of the search warrant, DEA was the lead Agent, Hiebert said. Also assisting were the Richmond County Investigation Team, Burke County Sheriff’s Office investigators and deputies, Jefferson County Sheriff’s Office investigators and deputies and several agents with the Georgia Bureau of Investigations.
“We had superb cooperation between all agencies,” Hiebert said. “Jefferson County has been relieved of a major drug supplier. He supplied about 70 percent of the upper part of the county. This investigation has really helped to clean up Jefferson County.”
Hiebert went on to say that he does expect more arrests stemming from this investigation.
• Students face
drug and weapon
charges for pot,
pills and knives
found in vehicles
By Faye Ellison
Two Jefferson County High School
students were arrested on drug and
weapon charges last Wednesday,
A male juvenile was arrested for
possessing prescription pain medication
on school grounds and another
student, John Paul “J.P.” Balser was
arrested on a misdemeanor possession
of drugs and possession of
weapons charge, which is a felony.
Officer detained but did not charge
a female juvenile.
Jefferson County High School
Principal Molly Howard acknowledged
the arrests in a phone conversation
“There was a juvenile arrested
for possession of prescription pills,”
Howard said. “The juvenile had one
on him in the school and officers
found he had five pills in the car of
Jefferson County Sheriff’s Office
Investigator Clark Hiebert said that
they arrested the male juvenile after
it was reported that he had brought
percocet, a schedule II drug, to Jefferson
County High School.
“He had, according to himself,
dispensed two pills to two different
individuals,” Hiebert said of the
The juvenile told officers he had
received the percocet from Balser.
“We learned through the investigation
that that information was not accurate,”
Hiebert explained. “The girl
was detained because the juvenile had
stashed his bottle of pills that he had
not brought into the school in her car.
Upon interviewing him, we were able
to obtain information on where the
rest of the pills were. The investigation
didn’t reveal that she was a part
of the crime as far as bringing them
According to Hiebert, after searching
Balser’s vehicle which was located
on campus, officers located three
knives. One knife was approximately
18 inches long by 2.5 inches wide.
One of the other weapons was a box
cutter. Also in the vehicle was a misdemeanor
amount of marijuana.
Hiebert said that the male juvenile
was charged with the possession of a
schedule II drug, which is the same
schedule as cocaine, and distribution
of a schedule II drug. Both are felony
Balser was officially charged with
misdemeanor possession of marijuana
and felony possession of a weapon on
Hiebert went on to say that Howard
and other faculty and staff at the
school have been very helpful in
cleaning up the halls of Jefferson
County High School.
“I do want to say that Molly
Howard and her staff have been allegedly
accused of hindering law
enforcement and not really wanting
the problem revealed in the school
as far as the extent of drugs in the
school for publicity reasons, but they
hav not,” Hiebert said. “They have
bent over backwards in assisting in
investigations and calling investigators
to the school when there are any
suspicion of drug use or drugs being
“Molly Howard has even
requested that they not even
be notified when drug dogs
are coming to the school. We
have not received anything but
complete cooperation from
Molly and her staff. Even the
Richmond County Narcotics
Team has seen the cooperation
that we receive and they stand
apalled by the lack cooperation
they have received in their
own school system.
“Parents have heard things
that are negative and the law
enforcement knows the facts
and together we are working
to make JCHS a better place to
send their children to school.
We couldn’t ask for a better
team. The Board of Education
has to support them for them to
give us the support they do.”
new Louisville parks
By Faye Ellison
Throughout February one local
group is hoping to collect enough
old cell phones at Louisville City
Hall to fund new playground
equipment for the city’s parks.
Paula Sizeland, Wendy Davis,
Ashley Wren and Lisa and Tony
Otis are members of a new committee
aimed at beautifying Louisville.
But while the new Louisville
Beautification Committee is currently
being established they are
looking for 100 volunteers to sign
up for upcoming projects in the city
for 2007, including the cell phone
drop. All ages are encouraged to
sign up including individuals,
families, youth groups and businesses.
This page has been accessed times.
The funds raised from this and
other fundraisers will go towards
the new Helen Clark Memorial
Park and renovations of the Price
Memorial Park, which are both
located on Peachtree Street in
“This is a wonderful way to offer
the people of Louisville ways
they can contribute to keeping
Louisville beautiful and improving
the quality of family life through
fellowship in our parks and neighborhoods,”
Sizeland said that the money
through the cell phones will
assist specifically in the cost
of picnic tables, grills for the
pavilions, bike racks and park
Each cell phone that is
donated at City Hall will be
shipped to a company that
recycles them, Sizeland explained.
The city is reimbursed
funds anywhere from $1 to $8
per phone. The goal for the
fundraiser is $2,000.
“The Helen Clark Memorial
Park and Price Memorial
Park will both also have
wonderful new play structures
for the children among other
things,” Sizeland said.
The next fundraiser the
committee will undertake will
be a ceramic tile sale.
“This is a creative and fun
way to help by purchasing
these ceramic tiles from us
to be painted by yourselves,
children, adults, businesses,
teams, churches, whomever
and they will be installed at the
parks for viewing for years to
come,” Sizeland said.
In the past, the city of
Louisville has attempted to
find ways and volunteers to
help cleanup the community.
Sizeland said Rhodes told her
his last attempt at a community
cleanup brought in three
“I was astonished,” Sizeland
said. “I think we all agree
this is an amazing little town
full of big hearts. But we need
help and we need volunteers to
make this work."
Not only is the committee
trying to raise money for the
parks, but it is also interested
in the general upkeep of the
community. The committee
will organize quarterly community
curb appeal cleanups
throughout 2007, one in
March, June, September and
“We are hoping that everyone
will (set aside) one day per
year to help,” Sizeland said.
“Our goal is 100 volunteers
for 2007, which will be 25
individuals for each quarterly
“We want what most families
want, a safe fun, beautiful
environment to play and
congregate with our friends
and family. We want to stroll
the sidewalks of downtown
Louisville and in our neighborhoods
with pride. We
need to maintain its historical
beauty yet clean up the areas
that are in obvious disarray
Anyone interested is encouraged
to contact Paula
Sizeland 478-625-3628 or
Don Rhodes with the City of