Washington County Sheriff Thomas H. Smith tells WJBF News Channel 6 that two men have been arrested in Washington County after a multi-county investigation into a drug distribution network.
Read the text of the press release Sheriff Smith sent us below:
Sheriff's Offices in numerous Middle Georgia counties recently cooperated with each other to extend a drug investigation throughout twelve counties, ranging from middle Georgia to the metro Atlanta area. The investigation identified a drug distribution organization operating in middle Georgia, which obtained methamphetamine from the metro Atlanta area.
The investigation began in June of 2013, by the Sheriff's Offices in Jones, Putnam, and Baldwin Counties, but quickly extended to Washington County and other surrounding areas. Individuals were traveling to Griffin, Georgia, and the metro Atlanta area to obtain the methamphetamine and returning to distribute the drugs in Washington, Jones, Baldwin, Putnam, and Wilkinson Counties. As the investigation progressed, it reached Jasper, Bibb, Butts, Monroe, Clayton, and Cobb Counties.
Offenders were often making multiple trips in a week's time, with several of those trips being monitored by law enforcement. One such surveillance monitored a three hundred mile round trip from Washington County to Cobb County by way of Spalding County. On that occasion, Investigators intercepted and seized approximately a quarter pound of methamphetamine in Washington County. The surveillance required the assistance of several Sheriff's Offices along the route.
The investigation also led to the discovery of cellular telephones inside two Georgia prison facilities, and to the identification of one offender who was arranging drug transactions from inside the prison, through the use of a cellular telephone.
On October 22, 2013, the investigation culminated in search warrants being conducted in Washington, Jones, Baldwin, Putnam, Wilkinson, and Spalding Counties. The Washington County operation was conducted by the Washington County Sheriff's Office Investigations Division and Road Patrol, the Ocmulgee Drug Task Force, and a deputy with Jones County Sheriff's Office, resulting in two subjects being arrested. Several firearms, vehicles, a quantity of marijuana, and a quantity of methamphetamine were located in two Washington County search warrants. Additionally, Washington County deputies conducted a traffic stop in relation to the investigation was conducted in September, yielding approximately four ounces of methamphetamine.
Arrested and charged in Washington County were Karl Smith of Tennille, Georgia, and Bennie Aycock of Oconee, Georgia. Karl Smith, 41 years of age, was charged with Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations Act, and Trafficking in Methamphetamine. Bennie Aycock, 65 years of age, was charged with Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations Act, Possession of Methamphetamine with Intent to Distribute, and Possession of a Firearm During the Commission of a Crime.
The investigation is continuing, and additional arrests are expected.
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