Tweakers shake and bake
By Faye Ellison
“I will not tolerate anybody doing or bringing drugs into our community,” Glascock County Sheriff Dean Couch said after the fourth methamphetamine incident in his county in five months.
Since July, the Glascock County Sheriff’s Office has arrested several suspects in methamphetamine related cases. Sheriff Couch noted that it seems methamphetamine is on the rise in the area again.
Deputy Jeremy Kelley said much of the methamphetamine manufacturing they are seeing now is a process called, “shake and bake.”
“It is a cheaper and quicker way to do it,” Kelley said. “Law enforcement across Georgia and the nation have a big problem with this way to manufacture meth, because it is so mobile and can be transported in a duffle bag or be heated easier than with the previous elaborate labs you would find. This presents a more inherent danger to law enforcement, first responders and EMS because it is more readily accessible.”
The method “shake and bake,” uses many items readily available to drug users, such as lamp fuel, lithium batteries, pseudo ephedrine and more, that they combine in a common plastic drink bottle.
“The lithium from the batteries makes the reaction happen,” Kelley said. “They combine everything in the bottle, and shake the bottle for a while to make the reaction. If they stop, the bottle could catch on fire. Once it has reached a certain point, they pour the contents through a coffee filter. Then the liquid is placed in a plastic bottle with a tube, which acts as a gas generator to evaporate the liquid. What is left is the meth.”
On July 2, Deputy Kelley received two phone calls that Dustin Tarr, 24, of Gibson had been arrested by Deputy Brian Adams about an hour prior to the phone calls, but further revealed that Tarr had a camouflage backpack at his house with ingredients to make methamphetamine and a Skoal can containing some pills.
“I talked to Deputy Adams about the traffic stop,” Kelley said. “He stated that he had arrested Brandon Clark and Dustin Tarr and that they had some suspected marijuana and Mr. Tarr had a broken pen in the crack of his butt that had a white powdery substance believed to be methamphetamine. Deputy Adams also stated that he had a person come to him and tell him that Mr. Tarr had the same items at his residence.”
Kelley met with Adams and Deputy Brian Prichett at the sheriff’s office, then they went to Tarr’s home on Dean Street in Gibson, where they spoke to his mother.
“We advised her that we suspected Dustin of using and selling drugs at her residence and that we have been told that he had the ingredients to manufacture methamphetamine in her house,” Kelley said.
The mother said she was told of Clark’s and Tarr’s arrests and she was also told about the ingredients in a backpack to make meth. The mother told her daughter to look for the backpack, which was found in the bathroom closet.
“She stated to us that the backpack belonged to Dustin and that she had taken items out of the backpack prior to our arrival,” the report said. “She stated to us that she removed a can of Coleman camp fuel, two boxes of ice compresses and a bottle of drain opener lye and placed them in the proper place in the house due to the danger of the chemicals mixing and harming her other children in the home.”
After giving officers the backpack and the materials she found inside, Kelley and Adams asked the mother if she consented to a search of the house, which she signed a consent form.
“While we were searching the residence, we found a blue Skoal can containing 19 round tablets red in color, later identified to be pseudo ephedrine tablets in the bottom drawer of a plastic drawer tower in the bathroom closet,” Kelley said.
The mother confirmed that those items also belonged to Tarr. Tarr was charged with manufacturing of methamphetamine.
On July 12, a worker found the products to produce methamphetamine in a duffle bag near the entrance of a property on Beechtree Acres.
“He stated that he unloaded his tractor and started onto the property when he noticed a black duffle bag near the entrance to the property,” Kelley said. “He stated that the items located in the bag were what he suspected to be the ingredients of making methamphetamines.”
Kelley said the bag contained a can of Coleman camping fuel, a Powerade bottle with a plastic tube coming out of the top, two bottles of drain cleaner, a green in color bottle, a set of scales, an electric hot plate and other various items. The case was turned over to the Georgia Bureau of Investigation at that time.
In an Oct. 27 incident, three people were charged with possession and manufacturing of methamphetamines in Glascock County.
Kelley was running radar on Hwy 102, when he saw a white Mercury Mountaineer traveling west, and observed the driver to be Jason Cash, 32, of Gibson. Kelley said Cash had civil papers that needed to be served. After following the vehicle, Cash was stopped on Mitchell-Warrenton Road. After telling Cash of the papers, officers questioned Cash and the two other occupants in his vehicle, William Eugene Wiggins, 30, of Gibson and Tiffany Hope Hinton, 28, of Gibson.
“I had prior knowledge that Mr. Cash had a history of using methamphetamines,” Kelley said. “I asked Mr. Cash if there was anything in the vehicle that I needed to know about and he stated that not to his knowledge was there anything in there.”
Kelley asked Cash if he could search the vehicle, to which Cash agreed. The first finding in the vehicle was a small metal cylinder between the front passenger seat and the center console, which contained several other baggies, two of which contained suspected methamphetamine.
At that time Wiggins stated to Kelley that he was the owner of the meth and that Cash and Hinton did not know of drugs in the vehicle. Both Cash and Hinton agreed with Wiggins’ statement. Wiggins was placed in the rear of Kelley’s patrol car while he continued searching, when he found a black duffle bag sitting in the floor board area of the front passenger seat, which contained a trash bag with three clear plastic bottles, with one containing a clear liquid with a plastic tube coming out of the top. One other bottle contained a clear liquid, while the last bottle contained a clear liquid containing a powder type substance in the bottom that was blue in color and what appeared to be metal shavings.
“Due to my knowledge, training and experience, I recognized these items to be used in manufacturing methamphetamines,” Kelley said.
Kelley ended his search and contacted the Georgia Bureau of Investigation.
“While waiting for the GBI agents to arrive, Deputy Adams and I noticed the contents of the duffle bag begin to smoke,” Kelley said.
The fire department was contacted and held on the scene until clean up of the materials was completed.
Kelley also discovered that Wiggins and Hinton both lived on Morgan Lane, where a search warrant was obtained to search the residence. Ingredients and devices used in the manufacturing of methamphetamine were found. The GBI agents also found more items in the vehicle which were given to a hazardous material clean-up crew from Atlanta, who disposed of the chemicals that were found.
Wiggins, Hinton and Cash were all charged with possession of methamphetamine, manufacturing methamphetamine, possession of drug related objects and possession of substances containing pseudo ephedrine, having over a certain amount or if you have it with the other stuff to manufacture methamphetamine.
In the last incident on Nov. 14, Kelley said the sheriff’s office has received information of a residence on Hadden Street in Gibson being used to cook methamphetamines.
“We had enough information for a search warrant,” Kelley said.
The warrant was executed at 1:15 a.m., where two white males were found and secured. Keith May, 43, and Ricky Hadden, 45, both of Gibson, were both charged with manufacturing methamphetamine, after plastic bottles with the clear liquid and blue substance in the bottom were found. Kelley said after a plastic bottle with a tube coming out of the top was found, the Georgia Bureau of Investigation was called and the hazardous materials team from Atlanta for further inspection and clean-up.
“We’re not going to tolerate this,” Kelley said. “If people want to come to Glascock County to make or sale methamphetamines or any other drugs, we will find them, prosecute them and put them in prison. We have zero tolerance for drugs.”
Singing in the season
By Bonnie K. Sargent
This week, December officially begins, and with the start of the month comes the start of the holiday season activities for Jefferson and Glascock counties.
On Sunday, Nov. 28, the Rolling Hills Garden Club in Glascock County held the lighting of the square in downtown Gibson, with around 100 citizens, young and old, enjoying holiday music, doughnut holes and hot chocolate. The square lights were turned on after prayer, followed by music by the Mt. Zion Choir.
The city of Wadley will hold its tree lighting on Thursday, Dec. 2, at 6 p.m. in the municipal parking lot. There will be holiday music, speakers, memorials and Santa Claus. Refreshments will be served in the lobby of Queensborough National Bank and Trust.
The Wrens-North Jefferson Optimist Club is sponsoring the annual Wrens Christmas Parade on Saturday, Dec. 4, at 2 p.m. This year’s theme is, “A Storybook Christmas.” Vendors are being accepted for arts, crafts and food. Parade entries are also being accepted. Entry fees are $25. Applications are available at Wrens City Hall.
Wadley will hold its annual Christmas parade on Dec. 4 at 11 a.m. Booth rentals are $15 and $20. Applications to participate in the parade or rent a space are available at Wadley City Hall.
The sixth annual Glascock County WinterFest and Christmas Parade will be held Dec. 4, from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m., in downtown Gibson. The parade will be at 3 p.m. There will be arts and crafts vendors, food, games and entertainment. Parking and admission is free. Craft vendor and parade participant applications are available at www.glascockcountyga.com.
The annual Louisville Christmas Parade, sponsored by the Louisville Lions Club, will be held on Saturday, Dec. 11, at 1 p.m. The parade starts at Louisville Academy on Mimosa Drive. The lineup for floats starts at noon. Floats to be judged must be there no later than noon. For applications for arts and crafts or food vendors, contact Reggie Morgan at (478) 625-3319.
In search of holiday music? The Wrens Community Choir began rehearsals Wednesday, Oct. 6, in preparation for a Christmas Concert on Sunday, Dec. 12. Any choir director who is interested in having his or her church participate or anyone who is interested in singing with the choir is asked to leave his or her name and number with Gayle Swan at Wrens Baptist Church at (706) 547-6596. Rehearsals are held Wednesday evenings at Wrens Baptist Church at 8 p.m., Wrens Church of God from 8 p.m. to 9 p.m. and Wrens United Methodist Church from 7 p.m. to 9 p.m. This event is sponsored by the North Jefferson Ministerial Association and involves many choirs and people from many of the churches in the association.
Several organizations across the counties are holding food and toy drives for those who need assistance for their children and others during the holiday season.
Lofton Circuit AME Church Young Adult Ministry is requesting letters for financial assistance during the holiday season. Letters should be mailed to Lofton Circuit AME Church, P.O. Box 96 Stapleton, GA 30823, by Dec. 4.
Glascock Action Partners, Inc. along with the Glascock County Department of Family and Children Services is sponsoring “Project Helping Hands” again this year. Anyone who is interested may stop by GAP, Inc. from 8 a.m. to 7 p.m., Monday through Friday, to select a tag that states what a local child has wished for from the Christmas tree. Tags will also be at the Glascock County Sheriff’s Office and Southern Bank in Gibson. After purchasing the gift, turn it in to the GAP, Inc. office and it will be delivered to the children in time for Christmas. Turn in all gifts and tags by Thursday, Dec. 9. Gifts should be unwrapped.
Similarly, the Jefferson County Department of Family and Children Services will operate its Christmas Secret Santa for children in their custody in foster care. Christmas trees will be in area banks with tags that have a gift the children want for Christmas. Take one, purchase and wrap the gift and turn it in to the bank or to the Jefferson County DFCS Office with the tag attached. Also a tax deductible donation may be made to The Jefferson County DFCS, P.O. Box 570, Louisville, GA 30434. Donations need to be made by Friday, Dec. 10, in order to purchase and get the requested item to the foster parents for the children for Christmas.
The Jefferson County Department of Family and Children Services will sponsor Christmas Assistance for Needy Families in Jefferson County. Donations of new toys for children ages 1 to 12 years will be accepted. Monetary donations are also accepted. Donations can be left at the local DFCS office in Louisville by Friday, Dec. 10. Monetary donations may be mailed to Jefferson County DFCS, P.O. Box 570, Louisville, GA 30434.
Man arrested after high speed chase to work
By Faye Ellison and Carol McLeod
Officers chased a 34-year-old Sardis man across three counties Thursday, Nov. 18, after radar showed he was traveling at 82 miles per hour in a 55 mile per hour speed zone.
The man, Alan Shane Newsome, was observed by two Jefferson County deputies, Sgt. Frankie Lampp and Sgt. Barrow Walden, about 7:58 a.m. on Ga. Highway 102 east of Avera, an incident report states.
With his radar Lampp verified the speed of Newsome’s green Chevrolet Camaro and then turned around to make a traffic stop on the vehicle. Newsome accelerated.
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The report states Walden notified dispatch that officers were attempting to catch the vehicle but the driver was refusing to stop and asked dispatch to notify Glascock County. Glascock County Deputy Jeremy Kelly made contact with the vehicle and took over as the lead patrol vehicle in the chase, the report stated.
Kelley said he met Newsome traveling west on Ga. Highway 102 one mile east of Gibson.
“I turned around to pursue the vehicle and initiated all of my emergency equipment,” Kelley said. “When I entered Gibson, the Camaro continued west through town. I caught up to the vehicle on Ga. Highway 102 West near Braswell Road, which at the time was traveling at 111 miles per hour.”
Newsome continued west on Ga. Highway 102 at a high rate of speed through Mitchell where he turned onto Ga. Highway 123, traveling through Warren County into Hancock County on Shoals Road.
“I then decided to back off the vehicle due to knowledge I had of the straightness of the roadway,” Kelley said. “I lost sight of the vehicle for a good distance, but I noticed the vehicle on Hickory Grove Church Road. I turned around and gave pursuit, but never saw the vehicle again.”
Officers lost contact with the vehicle, but continued down Shoals Road and discovered Newsome had tried to turn onto a side road but wrecked his vehicle.
Newsome, still driving his vehicle, continued to elude officers, pulling out of a ditch and traveling down the road.
Officers followed pieces of tire from Newsome’s vehicle to a field where a logging company was working. Hancock County deputies arrived on the scene.
Lampp and Walden made contact with the owner of the logging company who identified the subject as Newsome and said Newsome worked for him.
The owner told officers Newsome had parked his vehicle in the woods and was on the cut down machine at that time.
Officers approached Newsome and determined he was cutting down trees in an attempt to hide the vehicle. When Newsome saw the officers, he tried to elude officers on the machine he was driving. Newsome continued through the wooded area into an open field and attempted to get back onto Shoals Road before Hancock County deputies were able to stop him. Newsome was placed under arrest at this time. Further investigation determined the license plate on the vehicle was stolen.
Jefferson County and Glascock County charged Newsome with speeding, with Glascock County charging him with speeding 123 miles per hour in a 55 mile per hour zone, driving with a suspended or revoked driver’s license, reckless driving, fleeing or attempting to elude police officer and use of license plate to misrepresent vehicle identity.