By STAFF REPORTS

CAROLLTON — On Friday, the Georgia Bureau of Investigation announced several drug arrests that were made in December.

On Wednesday, Dec. 16, 2020, the GBI West Metro Regional Drug Enforcement Office — along with the Henry County Sheriff’s Office, the Spalding County Sheriff’s Office, and the Clayton County Police Department — executed a series of search warrants.

The search warrants were executed at 310 Robin Hood Lane, Hampton; 75 Little John Trail, Hampton, 11550 Turner Road, Hampton; and 341 Wood Road, Apartment A, Hampton.

The GBI investigation began in October of 2020 and resulted in the seizure of more than 1.5 kilograms of methamphetamine with a street value of about $12,000, a stolen motorcycle, nine firearms, five vehicles, and about $41,436.70 in U.S. currency from drug proceeds.

The investigation was conducted with the assistance of the Butts County Sheriff’s Office, Spalding County Sheriff’s Office, Clayton County Police Department, Henry County Sheriff’s Office, Fayette County Sheriff’s Office, Upson County Sheriff’s Office, Upson County Drug Task Force, Haralson-Paulding Drug Task Force, and the Griffin Judicial Circuit District Attorney’s Office.

“This is what happens when agencies work together to rid our communities of this kind of trash,” Spalding County Sheriff Darrell Dix said on the SCSO Facebook page Friday. “This effort was successful because of the ability of the agencies represented and officers involved in this investigation, to work together. They communicated, shared information, and identified and tracked down suspects in multiple jurisdictions because they worked together to reach this goal. It was a large operation that will have an even larger impact on methamphetamine distribution in middle Georgia.”

Dix said that as the investigation into this organization continues and branches out, more arrests and warrants will be forthcoming that hopefully will include more RICO charges and Violations of the Georgia Criminal Street Gang Act.

“These are not addicts, they were dealers and traffickers, and now they are inmates,” Dix said.

The following suspects have been arrested (name, age, residence, charges, and jail they are housed in):

• Joshua Harrison, 38, Hampton, Georgia. Trafficking methamphetamine, using a communication facility to commit a felony, Racketeering Influenced Corrupt Organization, possession of a firearm by a convicted felon. Butts County Jail.

• James Phillips, 48, Lee State Prison. Conspiracy trafficking methamphetamine and RICO. Lee State Prison.

• Brittany Mobley, 31, Hampton. Trafficking methamphetamine. Butts County Jail.

• Kimberly Chapman, 53, Gay. Trafficking methamphetamine. Butts County Jail.

• Jimmy Rogers, 61, Thomaston. Trafficking methamphetamine. Upson County Jail.

• Xavier Banfield, 36, Helen. Trafficking methamphetamine. Butts County Jail.

• Shaquilla Jones, 25, Hazlehurst. Trafficking methamphetamine. Butts County Jail.

• Steve Yancey, 57, Williamson. Conspiracy to possess methamphetamine, and using a communication facility to commit a felony. Spalding County Jail.

• Terry Williams, 61, Hampton. Possession/conspiracy to distribute methamphetamine, RICO, and using a communication facility to commit a felony. Spalding County Jail.

• Roderic Smith, 42, Jonesboro. Conspiracy to trafficking of methamphetamine, and using a communication facility to commit a felony. Spalding County Jail.

• Misty Jones, 33, Forest Park. Possession of Schedule II controlled substances. Henry County Jail.

• Brandon Hilton, 35, Hampton. Trafficking of methamphetamine. Henry County Jail.

• William Davis, 62, Hampton. Possession of methamphetamine. Henry County Jail.

• Nicholas Fountain, 27, Hampton. Possession with the intent to distribute methamphetamine. Spalding County Jail.

The following suspects have arrest warrants and are wanted:

• Heather Lipps, 40, Jackson. Conspiracy to trafficking methamphetamine, RICO, and using a communication facility to commit a felony.

• Frank Sliker, 47, Thomaston. Conspiracy to possess methamphetamine and using a communication facility to commit a felony.

• Edward Williams, 63, The Rock. Conspiracy to trafficking methamphetamine, RICO, and using a communication facility to commit a felony.

• Tondrea Avans, 39, Hampton. Conspiracy to trafficking methamphetamine, RICO, and using a communication facility to commit a felony.

• Amy Pitts, 37, Barnesville. Conspiracy to purchase/possess methamphetamine, and using a communication facility to commit a felony.

The GBI noted that this is a spin-off case from a much larger case led by the Butts County Sheriff’s Office.

“My office will continue to identify the entire organization and will work with any and all agencies to stop the destruction they cause,” Butts County Sheriff Gary Long said Friday on the BSCO Facebook page. “Let it be known, Butts County is not and will not be a place that lowlife drug dealers will ever be comfortable distributing their poison.”

According to Long, in August 2020, the Butts County Sheriff’s Office Counter-Narcotics Division initiated an investigation targeting a methamphetamine distribution organization that was supplying dealers and users inside Butts County.

“Early into the investigation, my agents discovered that the distribution ring was operating from Gwinnett County, Georgia, to Telfair County, Georgia and numerous counties in between,” he said. “I made the determination to partner with numerous other local, state and federal agencies in order to dismantle this drug dealing organization and stop the destruction it causes.”

Long said as a result of the investigation, the BCSO identified the main drug suppliers being Joshua Harrison from Spalding County, Kimberly Chapman (aka Kimbo) from Meriwether County, Jimmie Evans from Henry County, and Drexel Harris (aka Dirk) from Dublin.

“I want to send a very loud message to anyone distributing illegal narcotics anywhere in the state of Georgia,” Long said. “If your poisonous drugs make it into Butts County, or any other county in Georgia, the law enforcement in this state, including your local sheriffs, the Georgia Bureau of Investigation, the Drug Enforcement Administration, The Federal Bureau of Investigation, and my office will utilize every legal resource to identify, arrest and prosecute you.”

The West Metro Regional Drug Enforcement Office is comprised of GBI Special Agents and GBI Task Force Agents from the Carrollton Police Department, Carroll County Sheriff’s Office, Villa Rica Police Department, Heard County Sheriff’s Office, LaGrange Police Department, Fayette County Sheriff’s Office, Atlanta Police Department, Fairburn Police Department, Newnan Police Department, and Bowdon Police Department.

The Haralson-Paulding Drug Task Force is led by a GBI Assistant Special Agent in Charge and Task Force Agents from the Paulding County Sheriff’s Office, Haralson County Sheriff’s Office, Tallapoosa Police Department, and Dallas Police Department.