HEPHZIBAH, Ga, (WJBF) - More than 20 people were rescued out of 3 personal care homes in Hephzibah Thursday. District Attorney Natalie Paine told us it's case unlike any other she has ever seen: "It was flawless yesterday. I can't say enough about the C.A.V.E. team."
More than a dozen local and state agencies joined forces to bring justice to some of the most vulnerable people in our community.
The personal care home raid, "Operation UNITY" required weeks of planning. The CAVE taskforce found 5 disabled people living in a trailer in Hephzibah back in May. The living condition: cock-roach infested, no air conditioning and unsanitary.
The question-- who would pay to live in this state? "It's like a screening process where they bring them to the licensed facility to number one, maximize their benefits," Paine described.
In other words, make sure they are getting as much money from the state as possible. Then the second step: See how involved the families are. "They'll move them to the unlicensed facility," Paine explained. ..."the people who will cause the least amount of problems for them."
And that's the chess game Gaynell Hymel and David Fulcher played-- and got paid to do it.
Investigator William Loomer took out arrest warrants against the two and searched the licensed homes located off of Moseley Road. Investigators said those houses were bait to attract new residents.
But the elderly and disabled were not the only ones living there-- Hal Gaddis and Robert Hymel also called it home... Hymel caught with methamphetamine, while Gaddis arrested for trafficking the drug.
More than 10 of the victims living there... veterans. "They fought for us and now we are fighting for them.," Paine said. "We even found one of their purple hearts in the house."
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