HIAWASSEE, GA. – Two suspects were taken into custody by Hiawassee Police Department on methamphetamine charges outside of Towns County Fire Station 1 on Sims Circle during the early morning hours of Saturday, Sept. 14. Towns County 911 received a call from one of the subjects who stated concern for the second subject’s safety. Hiawassee Police Department was dispatched to the location of the complaint. Towns County Sheriff’s Office assisted the city police agency on scene.
Upon arrival at the Towns County Fire Station, officers questioned the subjects who, according to the police report, willfully turned over a small quantity of methamphetamine to law enforcement without incident.
The subjects were identified as Alexander Raymond Ide, 20, and Jonathan Mathis Groundwater, 32, both of Hiawassee.
Ide was charged with possession of methamphetamine and drug-related objects. Groundwater was charged with possession of methamphetamine. The suspects were transported to the Towns County Detention Center. The case will be forwarded to Enotah Circuit District Attorney’s Office for prosecution. Ide and Groundwater are presumed innocent until proven guilty in a court of law.
According to the police report, officers had earlier encountered Ide and Groundwater at the nearby Valero gas station. The duo were asked by law enforcement to vacate the property to avoid loitering. Following their arrests, a criminal trespass warning was issued to the suspects by a Towns County deputy, advising Ide and Groundwater not to return to the fire department property in the future.
Following request for documentation on the above incident, Hiawassee Police Chief Paul Smith informed FetchYourNews (FYN) that three additional methamphetamine arrests had occurred in recent days within the city limits. FYN will follow-up on the subsequent arrests once the newly-requested reports are completed by the department.
HIAWASSEE, Ga. – Towns County Sheriff’s Office deputies responded to a residence on State Highway 76 in Hiawassee Wednesday, Sept. 11 in reference to a reported burglary. Upon arrival, deputies met with the homeowners who advised a white male had entered the residence, leaving the area on foot. A lookoiut was placed on the subject and a perimeter was formed by law enforcement. A deputy located the suspect at a Hiawassee restaurant shorthy thereafter. The items reported as stolen from the residence were recovered with the exception of a cellular phone.
Hubert Gibson, 54, of Blue Ridge, GA was identified as the suspect involved.
Gibson was arrested without incident and charged with burglary, theft by taking, and criminal trespass.
Towns County Sheriff’s Offiice extends appreciation to Hiawassee Police Department for their assistance in seachung the area for the suspect. The case will be forwarded to the Enotah Circuit District Attorney’s Office for prosecution. Gibson is presumed innocent until proven guilty in a court of law.
Fetch Your News is a hyper local news outlet that covers Dawson, Lumpkin, White, Fannin, Gilmer, Pickens, Rabun, Union, Towns and Murray counties as well as Clay and Cherokee counties in N.C. FYN attracts 300,000+ page views per month, 3.5 million impressions per month and approximately 15,000 viewers per week on FYNTV.com and up to 60,000 Facebook page reach.
If you would like to follow up-to-date local events in any of those counties, please visit us at FetchYourNews.com
HIAWASSEE, Ga. – Patti Diane Moon, 60, a billing clerk for the City of Hiawassee, was arrested Sunday morning, Aug. 25, by Hiawassee Police Department on multiple charges.
Moon was allegedly driving on the wrong side of the road when the traffic stop was conducted. Upon investigation by Hiawassee Police Department, Moon was arrested and charged with the following crimes:
- Possession of Methamphetamine
- Possession of Drug-Related Objects
- Driving Under the Influence
- Drugs not in Original Container
- Failure to Drive in Single Lane
- Driving on Wrong Side of Road
Hiawassee City Council went into executive session following last night’s monthly work session to discuss a personnel matter, possibly in connection with Moon’s arrest.
Moon is presumed innocent until proven guilty in a court of law.
HIAWASSEE, Ga. – Hiawassee Police Chief Paul Smith is encouraging citizens to install a cellphone application to report suspicious activity to authorities.
“See Something, Send Something” provides a platform to capture a photo of suspicious activity or send in information with written text, the Georgia Department of Safety website explains. Information received in the app is sent directly to the Georgia Information Sharing and Analysis Center (GISAC) where the tips can be evaluated and provided to law enforcement across the state as needed. The application is available at no cost for iPhone and Android phone users, as well as iPad users.
“They now have a crime analyst on duty 24 hours a day, and if anybody sees something suspicious or hears about something suspicious going on, they can get on that app – and they can do it anonymously- and it will be looked at by a crime analyst,” Chief Smith said. “If it’s something that needs to be handled on a local level, they’ll send it on to us. If it’s something more toward the level of domestic terrorism, then they have the resources there to work with it. They just launched the app and they want everybody to have it.”
The Department of Homeland Security lists the following as examples of suspicious activity:
- Unusual items or situations: A vehicle is parked in an odd location, a package/luggage is unattended, a window/door is open that is usually closed, or other out-of-the-ordinary situations occur.
- Eliciting information: A person questions individuals at a level beyond curiosity about a building’s purpose, operations, security procedures and/or personnel, shift changes, etc.
- Observation/surveillance: Someone pays unusual attention to facilities or buildings beyond a casual or professional interest. This includes extended loitering without explanation (particularly in concealed locations); unusual, repeated, and/or prolonged observation of a building (e.g., with binoculars or video camera); taking notes or measurements; counting paces; sketching floor plans, etc.
Some of these activities could be innocent—it’s important to consider the context of the situation. It’s then up to law enforcement to determine whether the behavior warrants an investigation.
HIAWASSEE, Ga. – Members of five Towns County veteran organizations recently rallied behind supporting local
law enforcement. Hiawassee Police Chief Paul Smith was approached by a member of the VFW who expressed a desire to help the city police department.
“We have been in need of an additional Taser, but have had to put funds toward other projects,” Chief Smith explained. “For the past two years, we have been sharing Tasers between officers, which leaves some of us without the option of an effective midrange less-lethal weapon.”
Tasers are a brand of conducted electrical weapon that uses an electric current to disrupt voluntary control of muscles, causing temporary neuromuscular incapacitation. The use of conducted electrical weapons by law enforcement agencies has resulted in fewer injuries for both the officers and suspects. “Without the option of a Taser, an officer may be required to use hands-on physical force or an impact weapon like an expandable baton,” Chief Smith said. “These force-options can result in serious injuries to the suspect and officer. We are incredibly
grateful for the support and the donation made by our veteran organizations.”
“We feel a Taser is more effective and safer in apprehending a criminal,” said Mel Halfon, VFW Post 7807 Commander. “We expect a safe community where we can go about our daily activities in an environment without fear, risk of harm, or injury. Our veterans’ family is happy to support the Hiawassee Police Department and provide funding to purchase a Taser.”
Donations for the Taser were made by VFW Post 7807, VFW Auxiliary, The American Legion Post 23, The American Legion Auxiliary, and Sons of the American Legion.
“Our veterans are such an integral part of our community,” Mayor Liz Ordiales said. “We thank them for their service then, now, and always.”
HIAWASSEE, Ga, – On Tuesday afternoon, August 13, an officer with Hiawassee Police Department reported to Towns County Sheriff’s deputies a possible domestic incident on the northbound shoulder of State Route 75 South. The officer observed a vehicle pulled over on the shoulder of the roadway, occupied by a male and female whom appeared to be engaged in a domestic dispute.
Towns County deputies responded to meet with the city officer. According to law enforcement, the female subject appeared and behaved as if under the influence of some type of drugs. Upon further investigation, the female was identified as Anna Damewood, 20, of Gainesville, Georgia. Damewood was arrested and charged with:
- 1 Count Violation of the Georgia Controlled Substance Act (Possession of Methamphetamine)
- 1 Count of Drug-Related Objects
The male subject was identified as Anthony David Stephenson, 37, of Dacula, Georgia. Stephenson was
arrested and charged with:
- 1 Count of Obstruction of a Law Enforcement Officer
Authorities determined that Stephenson was wanted on charges out of Gwinnett County for a probation violation warrant and Cobb County on a bench warrant for failure to appear on a charge of possession of a controlled substance.
The Towns County charges will be forwarded to the Enotah Circuit District Attorney’s Office for prosecution. Both suspects are presumed innocent until proven guilty in a court of law.
HIAWASSEE, Ga. – Two additional drug dealers were recently taken off the streets of Hiawassee. On June 30, Richard Deaton of Flowery Branch, GA was stopped by the Hiawassee Police Department for a vehicle equipment violation. A probable cause search of Deaton revealed 18 grams of methamphetamine and 4 grams of marijuana. Deaton was arrested and charged with: Turn Signal Requirements, Possession of Marijuana, Possession of Methamphetamine, and Possession of Methamphetamine with Intent to Distribute.
On Sunday, July 28, Hiawassee Police Department stopped a vehicle for a violation of Georgia’s hands-free law. The driver was arrested for driving with a suspended driver’s license. An inventory of the vehicle revealed 98 grams of methamphetamine and 28 grams of marijuana. Joseph Llorens of Cleveland, GA was charged with: Driver to Exercise Due Care, Driving While License Suspended, Possession and Use of Drug Related Objects, Possession of Marijuana, Possession of Marijuana with Intent to Distribute, Possession of Methamphetamine, Possession of Methamphetamine with Intent to Distribute, and Trafficking Methamphetamine.
“While it is unfortunate that people are bringing these drugs into our community, our officers are doing a fantastic job in detecting and arresting those who are responsible,” Chief Paul Smith stated. “Arresting the drug dealers is a very important step in combating the drug problem. I’m proud of the work we’re doing in Hiawassee.”
The discovery of 98 grams of methamphetamine is one of the largest drug seizures by the Hiawassee Police Department, Smith said.
All suspects are innocent until proven guilty in a court of law.
HIAWASSEE, Ga. – As part of continuing education and training in the administration of law enforcement, Hiawassee Police Chief Paul Smith recently attended the 2019 Annual Summer Training conference sponsored by the Georgia Association of Chiefs of Police. Heads of law enforcement agencies from throughout the state participated in the four-day conference. The Georgia Association of Chiefs of Police is responsible for the delivery of training to the chiefs of Georgia’s police departments and law enforcement agencies. Smith described the annual conference to FetchYourNews as “enlightening.”
The Summer Training Conference was held at the Savannah International Trade & Convention Center July 21 through July 24. This year’s conference covered a variety of topics such as: “Advancing Officer Health & Wellness”, “Leadership Strategies for the 21st Century Police Administrator”, “Las Vegas Route 91 Harvest Festival 1 October Debrief”, “DDS Card Security for Law Enforcement”, “Next Generation of Identification (NGI) Overview”, “The Impact of Legalized Marijuana and Law Enforcement Leadership in Traffic Safety”, and “Reset The Clock: Replace Liability With Credibility – Practical Employee Relations For Leaders in Law Enforcement.”
Chief Smith was among more than 550 heads of law enforcement agencies attending the 51st Annual Georgia Association of Chiefs of Police Summer Training Conference. Chief Wesley Walker of Lyons Police Department, President of the Georgia Association of Chiefs of Police, stated, “In this new era of law enforcement, Chiefs are constantly finding new ways to manage their departments. From the type of officer we are hiring today, to the concerns of the public we serve, to the way we police has changed ever so drastically. This change has brought about new standards that are required of law enforcement. The GACP has done an excellent job in keeping up with the times and providing the necessary training and direction for the Police Chiefs of this state.
“Our Summer training conference leads the country in the caliber of instructors and material delivered to the attendees. Each one of us takes away something new and useful to complement our management styles as we return to our respective departments. The networking and knowledge of the approximately 550 attendees in those classrooms is unprecedented. The GACP continues to strive to provide the best training possible to the members of the association and be the standard for other Chief’s Associations across the country.”