Towns County Sheriff’s Office deems “Operation Trial Run” a success

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Operation Trial Run

HIAWASSEE, Ga. – Towns County Sheriff’s Office conducted a drug operation dubbed “Operation Trial Run” consisting of a seven month drug investigation in which undercover agents, along with uniformed patrol officers, arrested suspects throughout the county on various drug and other related offenses. The operation was a seven month evaluation, beginning in May of 2018, running through January, 2019, with the department using an in-house drug agent to aid in the investigations.

Towns Sheriff’s Office reached out to District Attorney Jeff Langley and Union County Sheriff Mack Mason, along with Union’s Drug Unit Supervisor Chad Deyton and other drug agents, for initial assistance in casting the operation off to a productive start. The sheriff’s office stated that Deyton, along with the other agents, provided guidance and direction as to how the unit operated, additionally assisting with some of the early investigations.

DA Jeff Langley

Sheriff Chris Clinton with District Attorney Jeff Langley

During the seven month “Operation Trial Run” investigation, 37 suspects were arrested on over 150 drug and additional various charges. Numerous search warrants were acquired and executed throughout Towns County during the operation.  A total of more than $81,000 worth of illegal drugs were taken off the streets and from residences throughout the county.    

Operation Trial Run” resulted in the seizures of a residential home, vehicles, cash, and firearms valued at more than $322,000.  Once the seizures have been successfully completed and awarded back to the sheriff’s office, the funds can be used for law enforcement purposes to combat illegal activity within the county.     

According to Towns County Sheriff’s Office, “Operation Trial Run” proved to be “very successful.” The agency stated that it has and will continue to operate with an in-house drug agent, and additional suspects have since been arrested and more seizures made, with other arrests and seizures forthcoming in the near future.

“In combatting the drugs activity in our communities, our job is staying focused on getting the bad guy off the street at the end of the day, and not worrying about who gets the credit. This is what makes for truly successful investigations,” Towns County Sheriff’s Chief Deputy Terry Connor said. “The Towns County Sheriff’s Office would like to express their sincere appreciation to all departments and law enforcement agencies that has assisted in ‘Operation Trial Run’ which has made it a success: Enotah Circuit District Attorney’s Office, Towns County Commissioner’s Office, Union County Sheriff’s Office, Appalachian Drug Task Force, Hiawassee Police Department, and Clay County (North Carolina) Sheriff’s Office.”

   

Author

Robin H. Webb

Robin can be reached by dialing 706-487-9027 or contacted via email at Robin@FetchYourNews.com --- News tips will be held in strict confidence upon request.

Deputy’s administration of Narcan prevents overdose death

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Cpl. Lisa Joseph

HIAWASSEE, Ga. – Opioid abuse is a far-reaching epidemic in the United States, and Towns County is no stranger to the adverse affects. Opioids are a class of drugs which include prescription painkillers, such as OxyContin, in addition to illicit heroin. An opioid overdose can be deadly, and the primary signs that death may be imminent includes slowed or ceased breathing, pinpoint pupils, and unconsciousness or non-responsiveness. In some cases, symptoms of an opioid overdose involves limpness, pale or clammy skin, a purple or blue tint to fingernails and lips, and vomiting.

On April 4, Towns County Sheriff Chris Clinton awarded a local deputy for her actions in preventing the death of an overdose victim with the use of naloxone, a medication also known as Narcan, which reverses the effects of an opioid overdose.

“On January 26, 2019, Corporal  (Lisa) Joseph was dispatched to an overdose call at a residence in northwest Towns County,” Towns County Sheriff’s Captain Jim Couch stated. “Upon arriving, she was greeted by the home owner and a small child, the owner stated that a friend had come to the residence while he was away and was found inside the residence, sitting in a chair and was in a comatose condition. He believed the friend had overdosed on a narcotic. He further stated he was aware that the friend was a drug user and stated he may have taken an overdose of heroin or some other type of narcotic drug.
“Corporal Joseph located the person, a 26 year old male, who was seated inside and appeared to have low signs of life. She found that he had an excessive pulse and she could not awaken him. The dispatched emergency medical personnel had not arrived yet, so she performed s sternum rub with no response. Corporal Joseph, fearing that the male was in immediate danger, administered a single dose of the agency-supplied Narcan by injection into a nostril. Corporal Joseph continued to try to awaken the male and after approximately thirty 30 seconds, the male opened his eyes and appeared to be coming out of the comatose state. Upon the arrival of emergency medical personnel, Corporal Joseph notified those personnel of her actions relating to the administering of the Narcan product. After speaking with emergency medical personnel that were on the incident scene it was determined that the actions of Corporal Joseph did in fact cause an immediate change in the male and did halt further damage that the drug ingested would have caused, including death. In their words, ‘She save that man’s life’.”

When administered, opioids bind to the brain’s receptors, affecting the functionality of the central nervous system as a result. More specifically, they depress or slow the functions of the central nervous system, decreasing respiration. An overdose occurs when the dose of opioids is higher than what the body and brain can tolerate, and breathing slows to a dangerous level or stops altogether. According to medical professionals, it is important, even with the use of Narcan, for people who experience an opioid overdose to receive immediate, emergency treatment. Opioid overdoses can lead to not only death, but can result in permanent mental and physical damage.

Feature Photo: (L-R) Towns County Sheriff Chris Clinton, Cpl. Lisa Joseph, Capt. Jim Couch

Author

Robin H. Webb

Robin can be reached by dialing 706-487-9027 or contacted via email at Robin@FetchYourNews.com --- News tips will be held in strict confidence upon request.

Reward offered for information on Georgia Mountain Fairgrounds’ truck theft

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Towns County reward

HIAWASSEE, Ga. – Towns County Sheriff’s Office is offering a $500 cash reward for information leading to the arrest and conviction of those responsible for the theft and criminal damage which occurred at the Georgia Mountain Fairgrounds. Anyone with information is asked to call the Towns County Sheriff’s Office at 706-896-4444.  Any and all information will be kept confidential, the agency said.

Clay County EMS

Recovery of stolen fairgrounds’ truck in Lake Chatuge 

On Saturday, April 6, Towns County Sheriff’s deputies responded to the Georgia Mountain Fairgrounds in reference to a reported theft and criminal damage which had occurred the night prior. Upon arrival, deputies found the front gate to the Georgia Mountain Fairgrounds had sustained major damage, appearing to have been caused by a vehicle driving through the locked gate.
Furthermore, the suspects attempted to steal an ATM machine located on the property. A Georgia Mountain Fairgrounds’ pickup truck was discovered stolen, and the vehicle was believed to have been used to crash through the front gate of the fairgrounds. While the deputies were on-scene, taking the initial report and processing evidence, the stolen truck was located in Lake Chatuge by Towns County Fire and Rescue Water Recovery Team in Clay County, NC.
The investigation is active and ongoing at this time.

Author

Robin H. Webb

Robin can be reached by dialing 706-487-9027 or contacted via email at Robin@FetchYourNews.com --- News tips will be held in strict confidence upon request.

Methamphetamine arrests continue in Towns County

Arrest Reports, News

HIAWASSEE, Ga. – Substance abuse casts a dark shadow over far too many lives, and law enforcement officers continue the battle to combat the epidemic from a legal standpoint.

Kristy McGaha

Kristy Lynn McGaha

On Monday, April 1, Towns County Sheriff’s Office arrested Kristy Lynn McGaha, 38, charging McGaha with the following offenses:

  • Two counts sale of methamphetamine
  • Purchase/possession/manufacture/distribution/sale of methamphetamine
  • Possession of methamphetamine
  • Purchase/possession/manufacture/distribution/sale of marijuana
  • Possession/use of marijuana

On Sunday, April 7, Yonah Peppers, 44, was arrested by Georgia State Patrol, charging Peppers with the following violations:

  • Possession of methamphetamine
  • Possession of Schedule 1 controlled substance
  • Possession of marijuana – less than one ounce
  • Driving under the influence of alcohol

McGaha and Peppers are being held at the Towns County Detention Center without bond.

Yonah Peppers

Yonah Peppers

While circumstances surrounding individual drug use differ, statistics reveal that the proportion of Americans who use methamphetamine on a monthly basis has hovered in the range of .02 to .03 percent since 1999.

According to the National Institute on Drug Abuse, methamphetamine is highly addictive due to its potent action on the brain’s “feel-good” chemicals: dopamine and serotonin. Dopamine induces feelings of pleasure, reward, and motivation. Because methamphetamine significantly increases the brain’s levels of dopamine, the substance creates a euphoric rush when users ingest, inhale, or inject the drug.

Methamphetamine impacts the brain’s levels of serotonin, which is responsible for regulating mood, appetite, and memory. When the effects of methamphetamine subside, the brain is depleted of both dopamine and serotonin, creating feelings of depression and anxiety. Repeated use of methamphetamine leads to increased tolerance, causing users to require a higher dose to receive the same effect.

In 2018, Georgia Bureau of Investigation listed methamphetamine as the lead substance tested in the state crime lab.

 

Author

Robin H. Webb

Robin can be reached by dialing 706-487-9027 or contacted via email at Robin@FetchYourNews.com --- News tips will be held in strict confidence upon request.

Towns County Sheriff’s Office warns of scam

News

YOUNG HARRIS, Ga. – A circulating scam targeted toward Towns County residents was brought to FYN’s attention. Towns County Sheriff’s Office said the agency has recently received several complaints of attempted phone scams. The caller identified themselves as Towns County Sheriff’s Office personnel, trying to acquire funds or cash via telephone.

Towns County Sheriff’s Office informed that personnel does not call residents by phone in an attempt to obtain funds or cash for any reason whatsoever. If you receive a phone call from a person who identifies him or herself as an employee of the Sheriff’s Office, and you have caller ID, note the number which the call came from.

Note the time that the phone call came through as well. Immediately, call Towns County 911 to have a deputy make a report.

Again, Towns County Sheriff’s Office personel never call residents by phone to acquire funds or cash.

Author

Robin H. Webb

Robin can be reached by dialing 706-487-9027 or contacted via email at Robin@FetchYourNews.com --- News tips will be held in strict confidence upon request.

Domestic violence leads to drug warrant arrest

Arrest Reports, News

YOUNG HARRIS, Ga. – Towns County Sheriff’s Office investigators and deputies responded to a residence Thursday, March 28, on Duncan Road in Young Harris in reference to a reported domestic incident involving  physical injuries.

Derick Canup

Derick Randal Canup

Upon the officers’ arrival, a female victim was located at the residence with visible physical injuries. The victim refused medical treatment at the time, although the victim agreed to later allow a family member take her for medical treatment.

Upon further investigation into the incident, officers located the suspect at the residence. Deputies arrested Derick Randal Canup, 28, of Hayesville, NC, on one count of battery under the Family Violence Act (FVA). Canup was arrested at the scene without incident.

Additionally, Canup was arrested on an active warrant out of Clay County, NC, for failure to appear in court on possession of methamphetamine and drug paraphernalia charges.

Canup was released on bond from Towns County Detention Center on the battery FVA charge and turned over to Clay County authorities on the arrest order. 

The battery FVA charge will be forwarded to the Enotah Circuit District Attorney’s Office for prosecution.

Canup is presumed innocent until proven guilty in a court of law.

Author

Robin H. Webb

Robin can be reached by dialing 706-487-9027 or contacted via email at Robin@FetchYourNews.com --- News tips will be held in strict confidence upon request.

Young Harris traffic stop leads to methamphetamine arrest

Arrest Reports, News
Police Department

YOUNG HARRIS, Ga. – On Saturday, March 23, Towns County Sheriff’s Office deputies arrested a suspect on drug charges following a traffic stop in Young Harris.  A Towns County Sheriff’s Office deputy stopped a White Jeep Liberty on Highway 66 on a traffic violation.

Mary Ann Walker

Mary Ann Walker

Upon further investigation into the traffic stop, the deputy arrested Mary Ann Walker, 54, of Calhoun, GA, on the following charges:

 

  • One Count Violation of Georgia Controlled Substance Act

(Possession of Methamphetamine)

  • One Count Violation of Georgia Controlled Substance Act

(Possession of Marijuana)

  • One Count Drug Related Objects
  • One Count Violation of Brake Light Requirement

The investigation is active and ongoing.  The case will be referred to the Enotah Circuit District Attorney’s Office for prosecution. Walker is presumed innocent until proven guilty in a court of law.

Methamphetamine use can easily lead to a serious addiction, and its abuse is a widespread issue in the United States. Use of the drug creates serious health problems and, in some cases, leads to fatal consequences. Data from the National Survey on Drug Use and Health (NSDUH) claimed that approximately 774,000 people were current methamphetamine users in 2017, roughly 0.3 percent of the population. That amount is up starkly from the 667,000 people who were current methamphetamine users in 2016.

 

 

 

 

Author

Robin H. Webb

Robin can be reached by dialing 706-487-9027 or contacted via email at Robin@FetchYourNews.com --- News tips will be held in strict confidence upon request.

Two arrested in Young Harris for possession of methamphetamine

Arrest Reports, News
Towns County crime

YOUNG HARRIS, GA – Deputies and investigators with the Towns County Sheriff’s Office arrested two suspects on drug charges following a March 12 traffic stop.

Andrew Hogsed

Andrew Hogsed

Deputies stopped a white Ford Astro Van on Highway 17 in Young Harris, GA, on a traffic offense. According to the sheriff’s office, the driver provided the deputies with a false name. Upon further investigation into the traffic stop, the following suspects were arrested and charged with the listed offenses:

Emily Silknitter

Emily Silknitter

Emily Ann Silknitter, 35, of Murphy, NC

  • One count Violation of Georgia Controlled Substance Act
    (Possession of Methamphetamine)
  • One count drug Related Objects
  • One count Violation of Tail Light Requirement
  • Two counts Seatbelt Violation (Juvenile)
  • One count Giving False Name to Law Enforcement

 

Andrew Chase Hogsed, 23 ,of Murphy, NC

  • One count Violation of Georgia Controlled Substance Act
    (Possession of Methamphetamine)
  • One count of Drug Related Objects

 

The investigation is active and ongoing. The case will be referred to the Enotah Circuit District Attorney’s Office for prosecution.

All suspects are presumed innocent until proven guilty in a court of law.

Author

Robin H. Webb

Robin can be reached by dialing 706-487-9027 or contacted via email at Robin@FetchYourNews.com --- News tips will be held in strict confidence upon request.

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