Combining their efforts, the Thomaston Police Department and Upson County Sheriff’s Office conducted a search warrant on September 4 that led to the arrest of four people on drug charges.
According to a news release by Thomaston Police Lieutenant Andrew Pippin, the two law enforcement departments joined forces on the search warrant, served at 131 G Circle in Thomaston in reference to suspected drug activity at the residence. Officers found 5.9 grams of methamphetamine in the house, a street value of $600.
Arrested and charged with Possession of Methamphetamine were Joshua Shane Powell, 24, Jordan Powell, 23, Kevin Booth, 48, and Marilyn Nipp, 53. All were transported to the Upson County Jail. Bond for each of them was set at $10,000.
On September 14 at 5:30 a.m., the Thomaston Police Department responded to a commercial burglary that occurred at 102 Georgia Avenue at the “Georgia Café.” Officers noticed that two windows had been broken and that someone gained entry to the business. Once investigators arrived and observed the surveillance cameras, it showed a white female enter the business around 10 p.m. on Sept. 13, who had her face concealed with a red blanket, going in the registers and other areas of the business and taking approximately $350 in currency.
The female was apprehended at 400 Denim Street in Thomaston around noon on September 14, 2015 and identified as Amanda Elliot, 31, of Thomaston. According to a release by Lt. Pippin, Elliot was a former employee of this business and was attempting to leave town when she was arrested. Also recovered during the arrest was a stolen laptop and suspected methamphetamine.
Lt. Pippin stated in his report that the department would like to commend both Sgt. Tim Ledbetter and Officer Jeremy Blount on their swift actions in making the arrest on this commercial burglary. Elliot was charged with Commercial Burglary, Theft by Taking, and Possession of an Imitation Substance with the Intent to Distribute.
Depending on what happens when their cases come to court, five Gordon College students may be doing their learning from behind bars. All five were arrested and charged with possession of marijuana and possession of a weapon in the commission of a crime following a traffic stop in Barnesville on September 12, 2015.
According to a report by Lamar County Sheriff’s Deputy Anthony Thompson, he was on patrol about 11 p.m. traveling south on Highway 7 when he observed a vehicle in front of him failing to maintain its lane at least twice, crossing the middle divider. He turned on his emergency lights and made a traffic stop just north of Grove Street.
Approaching the vehicle, he reported noticing a strong smell of a masking agent and odor of raw marijuana coming from the rear passenger window, which was rolled down. There were five males inside, two in the front and three in the back. He also allegedly saw a Sprite bottle behind the backseat passengers’ feet, with what appeared to be an orange/brown liquid inside it. Dep. Thompson noted in his report that in his training he has learned that some people put Jolly Ranchers hard candy in Sprite, along with narcotics. He said it turns the liquid orange/brown and on the street it is called “Lean.”
The driver was identified as Christopher Pettis, age 19, by his Gordon College Identification Card. Pettis allegedly admitted he did not have his driver’s license on him. He asked Pettis to step to the rear of the vehicle, and he complied. He did a pat search on Pettis for weapons. Pettis said they were from Atlanta and headed back to school at Gordon College. He said the vehicle belonged to Terrison J. Taylor, 18, who was one of the backseat passengers. He said his friends had been yelling at him because he missed his turn.
Dep. Thompson said he smelled marijuana in the vehicle and said Pettis denied knowing anything about it. He also asked if the bottle contained “Lean” and said Pettis denied knowing about that, too. The deputy said based on the odor of marijuana coming from the vehicle, he was going to conduct a probably cause search.
As other officers arrived, Thompson had the other occupants exit the vehicles and did a pat search on them for weapons. He asked Taylor if the bottle contained “Lean,” and Taylor allegedly said no. The deputy found a black book bag on the backseat floorboard with a strong odor of marijuana coming from it. In the side pocket he found a black digital scale with a green leafy residue believed to be marijuana on it. In the main pocket he allegedly found a clear cylinder with a green lid which contained five small plastic baggies, one clear sandwich bag and a larger sandwich bag, all that contained a green leafy substance believed to be marijuana. He asked all five who the bag belonged to, but no one claimed the book bag. Thompson then handcuffed all five and told them he was placing them under arrest because he could not determine who the book bag belonged to, and it was in a position where all five could easily reach it.
He continued his search and allegedly found a loaded Taurus 45 caliber handgun in the center console. He again asked who the gun belonged to, and no one claimed it. Nothing else was found in the vehicle, which was then towed from the scene. All five were transported to the Lamar County Jail. The suspected marijuana was weighed and had an approximate weight of 37 grams.
In addition to Pettis and Taylor, the other three students arrested were identified as Hassan M. Shaw, 18, James D. Jackson, 18, and Lavarus M. Peterkin, 18. All five were charged with Purchase and Possession of Marijuana, Possession of a Firearm or Knife During the Commission of a Crime, and Possession and Use of Drug-Related Objects. In addition, Pettis was charged with Failure to Maintain Lane.
Larry Stanford may be reached at 706-647-5414 or on Twitter @LarryStanford7.