Two men were arrested on drug charges on October 20 after methamphetamine was found at a store in
According to a press release issued by Sheriff Dan Kilgore, officers were conducting a drug investigation at Wilson’s Store on Highway 74 West. A clear plastic band that had approximately 28.6 grams of methamphetamine was recovered during the investigation.
Arrested were Zachary Ryan Spraggins, 23, of Thomaston, and Drell Donald Goodman, 34, of Barnesville. Both have been charged with possession of methamphetamine and trafficking methamphetamine and are being held in the Upson County Jail without bond.
A Thomaston man arrested during a mass raid targeting people trading child pornography will be spending the next 10 years in jail. Devin Michael Lewis, 43, accepted a plea deal in Upson County Superior Court on Oct. 23. On Count 1: Possession of Methamphetamine, he received three years to serve in jail. On Count 2: Sexual Exploitation of Children, he received 20 years, 10 to serve in jail and 10 on probation, plus a fine of $3,000. On Count 3: Sexual Exploitation of Children, he received 20 years, 10 to serve and 10 on probation, and on Count 4: Sexual Exploitation of Children, he received 5 years probation.
Lewis was one of 18 people arrested October 21, 2014 in “Operation MasqueRAID,” a GBI investigation targeting people trading in child pornography. Law enforcement officers executed 44 search warrants in 31 counties. They were looking for evidence of the distribution of child pornography using the internet. A total of 535 digital devices were seized during the raids.
Upson County Sheriff Dan Kilgore said both his office and the Thomaston Police Department were involved in the investigation and the arrest of Lewis.
“They did two search warrants,” said Kilgore, “one at a boarding house on Sixth Avenue and one at another house on one of the mill streets. I think he was staying between the two places. They took his computer.”
According to a news release from the GBI, the arrests were the result of a three-month proactive investigation coordinated by the Georgia Bureau of Investigation’s Child Exploitation and Computer Crimes Unit (CEACC) and the Georgia Internet Crimes Against Children (ICAC) Task Force. This state-wide endeavor, known as Operation MasqueRAID, began in July 2014 and centered on GBI agents, along with local and federal Georgia ICAC Task Force investigators, detecting child pornography images being shared using the internet. The purpose of the operation was to arrest persons who possessed, produced, or distributed images of child pornography using the internet. The targets of Operation MasqueRAID were the most prolific offenders of child pornography laws.
Upson County Sheriff Dan Kilgore issued the following press release on Nov. 3, 2015:
During the week of October 26, 2015 the Upson County Sheriff’s Office, assisted by the Thomaston Police Department and the State Department of Community Supervision, conducted a sex offender compliance check for all sex offenders registered as residing in Upson County. State law requires all sex offenders to register with the Sheriff of the county in which they reside.
There are 133 total sex offenders listed as residents of Upson County. Fifteen are in state prison.
Eight are in county jail.
There are 110 sex offenders who are not in custody and are currently registered as residents of Upson County. All offenders were checked and their residency, employment and other information was verified. Seven offenders were found to be out of compliance with state law. Five were arrested and charged with the following:
1) Kenneth William Carson, 58, 171 Pallet Mill Rd. – Charged with Failure to Register Address.
2) Fredrick M. Webb,45, 2180 Logtown Rd. – Charged with Failure to Register Address.
3) Lemarcus D. Jackson,25, 6325 Indian Trail – Charged with Failure to Register Address.
4) Michael S. Florence,42 Edgewood Ave. – Charged with Failure to Register Employment.
5) Franklin Wayne Easter, 67, 1891 Logtown Rd. – Charged with Possession of Firearm by Convicted Felon.
Arrest warrants were secured for the remaining two offenders. They have not been located and are currently being sought for arrest.
All of the above cases are felonies.
Larry Stanford may be reached at 706-647-5414 or on Twitter @LarryStanford7.