GBI: Dawson County inmate death due to combined drug intoxication

News

The Georgia Bureau of Investigation Medical Examiner has ruled the 18-year-old Dawson County inmate found dead in a cell on June 2, died due to a combined drug intoxication.

Jonathan Sanford who had just graduated from high school and was planning to attend college in the Fall, was arrested on a DUI charge and possession of marijuana. He was found dead in his cell the next day by a Dawson County jailer.

Although the cause of death has been established, the GBI is continuing its investigation. The Sanford family wants to know if their son was given a medical examination and placed on watch. Dawson County Sheriff’s Office Policy and Procedures requires inmates believed to be under the influence of drugs be “kept under close observation.”

The family has hired attorney AJ Richman to conduct a separate investigation to determine whether jail personnel failures contributed to his death.

“Georgia’s sheriffs are responsible for every aspect of a detainee’s health and welfare,” said Richman. “Our local government needs to be transparent, and we are calling upon the sheriff to share with us how Jonathan died in their custody.”

Fetch Your News is a hyper local news outlet that covers Dawson, Lumpkin, White, Fannin, Gilmer, Pickens, Union, Towns and Murray counties as well as Cherokee County 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

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Agents seize $705,000 in drugs, arrest 48 in year-long, multi-jurisdictional drug bust

News

North GA (July 10, 2020) – After an extensive 11- month local, state, and federal joint investigation, 48 men and women have been arrested on the Violation of the Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations (RICO) Act and will be charged on numerous drugs and weapons offenses, spanning the Northern District of Georgia into the metro Atlanta area.

From August 2019 to the present, the Georgia Bureau of Investigation’s Appalachian Regional Drug Enforcement Office (ARDEO), the Federal Bureau of Investigation’s Major Offender’s Task Force in conjunction with the Hall County District Attorney’s Office has been conducting an investigation into the drug trafficking organization of Luther Troy Summerfield, age 43, Alejandro Ceja-Solano, age 40, and others. During the course of the investigation, agents in coordination with local deputies from the Habersham County Sheriff’s Office, the Banks County Sheriff’s Office, the White County Sheriff’s Office, Lumpkin County Sheriff’s Office, Stephens County Sheriff’s Office, Franklin County Sheriff’s Office, the Cleveland Police Department, Gilmer County Sheriff’s Office, and the Hall County Sheriff’s Office learned that Summerfield purchased and distributed kilograms of methamphetamine from Ceja-Solano. Information obtained from numerous hours of investigation also revealed that Summerfield traveled to Ceja-Solano’s residence to obtain drugs and traveled to the metro Atlanta area to obtain heroin and methamphetamine, either facilitated by Ceja-Solano, or another source of supply.

Throughout the investigation, police executed approximately 12 search warrants yielding the following:

  • Approximately 50 kilograms of methamphetamine
  • Approximately ½ kilogram of heroin
  • Approximately 20 firearms
  • Approximately $70,000 in cash
  • Approximately 6 vehicles

The following individuals were arrested:

  1. Tanya Lynn Allison, age 48-arrested
  2. Katlynn Marie Beaucaire-arrested
  3. Richard Daniel Burkett-arrested
  4. Dulcey Burton, age 51-arrested
  5. Alejandro Ceja-Solano-arrested
  6. Jose Alfredo Miranda Chavez-already in custody
  7. Jessica Marie Clark, age 28-arrested
  8. Noah Coker-in prison
  9. Mark Coker-arrested
  10. Joshua Collins- already in custody
  11. Kevin Cosper-arrested
  12. Robyn Samantha Dost, age 27-arrested
  13. Chelsea Dover, age 30-arrested
  14. Shelbi Eanes, age 25-arrested
  15. Juan Antonio Flores-custody in Gwinnett
  16. Brandi Nicole Freeman-arrested
  17. Jory Gee, age 33-arrested
  18. Roger Dale Gerrin, age 62-arrested
  19. Robert Green- already in custody in Lumpkin
  20. Dexter Grier, age 40-arrested
  21. Nucoma Grindle, age 42-arrested
  22. Dustin Floyd Groves- arrested
  23. Terry Harris, -arrested
  24. Christy Deresia Hedden-arrested
  25. Jerry Lee Helton-arrested
  26. Crystal Marie Herrin-arrested
  27. Brooke Barron Hicks-arrested
  28. Christopher Jackson, age 33-arrested
  29. Kimberly Ann Kennedy-arrested
  30. Richard Jason Maddox-arrested
  31. Marinela Romeiro Marquez-arrested
  32. Pablo Martinez-already in custody
  33. Shayna Millwood-arrested
  34. Allie Murray-arrested
  35. William Harrison Nicely-arrested
  36. Ashley Parker- already in custody
  37. Joshua Ray Phillips- custody already
  38. Kirstie Purvis-arrested
  39. Brianne Ross Rummell-already in custody
  40. Michael Rummel-arrested
  41.  Coty Anthony Sanders-arrested
  42. Jeffrey Shane Seabolt—arrested
  43. Erin Sexton-arrested
  44. Jessie Elaine Smith-arrested
  45. Seantal Tiffany Smith-arrested
  46. Luther Troy Summerfield-arrested
  47. Delores Thomas –arrested
  48. Anthony Williams-in custody

The street value associated with all the drugs seized is approximately $705,000.00.

The Appalachian Regional Drug Enforcement Office is a multi-agency unit that consists of the following agencies: White County Sheriff’s Office, Lumpkin County Sheriff’s Office, Towns County Sheriff’s Office, Banks County Sheriff’s Office, Habersham County Sheriff’s Office, Stephens County Sheriff’s Office, Rabun County Sheriff’s Office, Jackson County Sheriff’s Office Franklin County Sheriff’s Office, Fannin County Sheriff’s Office, Gilmer County Sheriff’s Office, Cleveland Police Department, Lavonia Police Department, Toccoa Police Department, the Georgia National Guard Counter Drug Task Force, the Department of Public Safety, and the Georgia Bureau of Investigation.

The FBI’S Major Offender’s Task Force consists of the Gainseville Police Department, the Georgia State Patrol, the Forsyth County Sheriff’s Office, the Lumpkin County Sheriff’s Office the Georgia Department of Corrections, the GBI, the Georgia Department of Community Supervision, Winder Police Department, and the Stephens County Sheriff’s Office.

The Alto Police Department assisted with this investigation as well.

This investigation is an example of the value of interagency cooperation.  Because of the strong, existing relationships between the participating agencies, agents were able to share intelligence and coordinate the dismantling of a complex drug trafficking organization.  Although numerous arrests have been made and evidence seized, the investigation continues, and additional arrests are expected.

Dawsonville man caught in undercover child sex sting

News

WOODSTOCK, Ga.  — A Dawsonville man is one of six people arrested during an undercover child sting that targeted online sexual predators. The arrests are the result of a three-day investigation conducted by Woodstock police and the Georgia Bureau of Investigation’s Internet Crimes Against Children Task Force.

Jason Bryan Major, 33, of Dawsonville, faces charges of attempting to solicit sex from minors along with Robert Jones, 37, of Atlanta; Garrett Hick, 21, of Atlanta; Bryan Gomez, 24, of Canton; and Mark Shin, 38, of Newnan.

David Nelson, 63, of Gadsden AL was arrested on warrants for computer/electronic pornography, child exploitation and criminal attempt to commit child molestation. A seventh individual who has not been identified is being sought on active warrants.

The men believed they were communicating online with girls under the age of 16, according to a Facebook post by Brittany Page, police spokeswoman. The men arrived at various locations to meet the girls, but investigators were waiting instead.

Page said a sixth man, David Nelson, 63, of Gadsden, Ala. was arrested and charged with computer pornography, child exploitation and criminal attempt to commit child molestation, Page said.

Arrested on scene:

Jason Bryan Major, 33, of Dawsonville, charged with child exploitation, criminal attempt to commit child molestation, criminal attempt to commit sodomy and criminal attempt to entice a child for indecent purposes;

Robert Jones, 37, of Atlanta, charged with child exploitation, criminal attempt to commit child molestation, criminal attempt to entice a child for indecent purposes;

Garrett Hick, 21, of Atlanta, charged with child exploitation, criminal attempt to commit child molestation, criminal attempt to entice a child for indecent purposes;

Bryan Gomez, 24, of Canton, charged with child exploitation, criminal attempt to commit child molestation, criminal attempt to entice a child for indecent purposes;

Mark Shin, 38, of Newnan, charged with child exploitation, Criminal Attempt of child molestation, criminal attempt to entice a child for indecent purposes.

 

 

Fetch Your News is a hyper local news outlet that covers Dawson, Lumpkin, White, Fannin, Gilmer, Pickens, Union, Towns and Murray counties as well as Cherokee County 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

 

 

 

 

GBI makes two more arrests in Hannah Bender murder case

News

DAWSONVILLE, Ga – Agents with the Georgia Bureau of Investigation with assistance from Lumpkin County Sheriff’s Office investigators arrested two more suspects in the murder case of Hannah Bender last night (Sept 30).

Lumpkin County Sheriff Stacy Jarrard reported just moments ago that Isaac Huff and Dylan Reid were arrested in Dawson County and are now in the Dawson County Detention Center.

Jarrard said officials with the GBI are meeting today with the District Attorney Lee Darragh to determine what charges to file against both men.

Jarrard also said he expects to make more arrests in the case. One more could come as soon as today.

Bender’s mother Carol Gilreath last saw her daughter on Sept. 14 and reported her missing on Sept. 19. Authorities found her body in a ravine near Parks Road in Forysth County five days later.

The primary suspect in the case is Austin Todd Stryker who is still at large. His fiancee Elizabeth Donaldson and another man, Jerry Harper, were arrested last week.

Fetch Your News will have more details as they become available.

 

 

Fetch Your News is a hyper local news outlet that covers Dawson, Lumpkin, White, Fannin, Gilmer, Pickens, Union, Towns and Murray counties as well as Cherokee County 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

 

GBI investigates officer involved shooting in Hall County

News

GBI PRESS RELEASE

HALL COUNTY, Ga. — On Monday, July 8, the Georgia Bureau of Investigation was requested by the Hall County Sheriff’s Office (HCSO) to investigate an officer involved shooting that resulted in the death of Hall County Sheriff’s Deputy Nicolas Dixon, age 28.

Preliminary information indicates that on Sunday, July 7, 2019, at approximately 11:09 pm, Deputy Dixon attempted to stop a stolen vehicle occupied by four males. A chase ensued and ended with the subjects fleeing on foot.

Deputy Dixon and another deputy made contact with the subject, Hector Garcia Solis, age 19, in the yard of 43 Highland Avenue Gainesville and gunfire was exchanged. Deputy Dixon was shot one time and subsequently died from the wound.

Garcia was struck multiple times and is in critical condition at the Northeast Georgia Medical Center. Another subject was detained, and two other subjects remain at large. Attempts are ongoing to identify and locate them by HCSO, Gainesville Police Department, and the GBI.

The GBI will continue its independent investigation. When the investigation is complete, it will be turned over to the Hall County District Attorney’s Office for review.

Dawsonville man among 82 arrested in child internet sex crimes crackdown

News

DAWSONVILLE, Ga. — Chad Sitzwohl, 35 of Dawsonville, has been arrested along with 30 others in a crackdown on child internet sex crimes conducted by the Internet Crimes Against Children (ICAC) Task Force.

Sitzwohl was arrested April 30 and charged with sexual exploitation of children.

Ten ICAC Task Forces in eight states coordinated the operation. Law enforcement targeted suspects who possess and distribute child pornography. They also focused on those who exploit children in other ways using technology and the internet.

As part of the operation, officers arrested 82 suspects over three days. A spokeswoman for the Georgia Bureau of Investigation says 17 children were rescued or identified as victims.

“The dedicated law enforcement professionals that are part of the Georgia ICAC Task Force will not cease searching for those who are producing, trading and collecting this graphic material,” says state task force commander Debbie Garner.

 

Fetch Your News is a hyper local news outlet that covers Dawson, Lumpkin, White, Fannin, Gilmer, Pickens, Union, Towns and Murray counties as well as Cherokee County 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

 

 

 

GBI investigates death of Dawson County Detention Center inmate

News

Sheriff Jeff Johnson

DAWSONVILLE, Ga. — The Georgia Bureau of Investigation is conducting an investigation into the death of an inmate at the Dawson County Detention Center Monday (April 8).

Dawson County Sheriff Jeff Johnson confirmed via email that Joseph Michael Bishop, 57, of Dawsonville was found unresponsive in his cell at approximately 11:.47 a.m. “Deputies and Emergency Medical Personnel provided first aid, however the resuscitation attempt was unsuccessful,” Johnson said.

GBI Office of Public Affairs Director Nelly Miles said an autopsy has been completed and is pending additional tests.

Fetch Your News will have more details when they become available.

 

Fetch Your News is a hyper local news outlet that covers Dawson, Lumpkin, White, Fannin, Gilmer, Pickens, Union, Towns and Murray counties as well as Cherokee County 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

 

 

Dawson County Sheriff’s Office, GBI investigate possible murder-suicide

News

DAWSONVILLE, Ga. — The Georgia Bureau of Investigation was called to assist with crime scene processing at what is believed to be a murder-suicide on Crane Road in Dawson County today.
At approximately 5:45 a.m. Wednesday, the Dawson County 911 center received a call about a shooting at that location. When Dawson County Sheriff’s Office deputies arrived, they discovered two deceased persons.

The investigation is ongoing. No other details are available at this time.
Fetch Your News will post additional information as it becomes available.

Fetch Your News is a hyper local news outlet that covers Dawson, Lumpkin, White, Fannin, Gilmer, Pickens, Union, Towns and Murray counties as well as Cherokee County 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

Bodies identified in suspected murder-suicide

News

DAWSONVILLE, Ga. — The Dawson County Sheriff’s Office and Georgia Bureau of Investigation are investigating what appears to have been a murder-suicide at 111 Crane Road in Dawson County Wednesday.

The deceased were identified today as Stacy and Ralph Mathews.

The Dawson County 911 center received a call about a shooting at that location at approximately 5:45 a.m. Wednesday

No other details are available at this time. Fetch Your News will post additional information as it becomes available.

 

Fetch Your News is a hyper local news outlet that covers Dawson, Lumpkin, White, Fannin, Gilmer, Pickens, Union, Towns and Murray counties as well as Cherokee County 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

GBI Crime Lab Identifies Central Georgia Counterfeit Pills

News

Decatur, GA – The Georgia Bureau of Investigation’s Crime Lab has identified counterfeit pills related to the reported overdoses in the Central Georgia area.

Analysis has confirmed that the pills contain a mixture of two synthetic opioids, cyclopropyl fentanyl and U-47700.  Cyclopropyl fentanyl is a fentanyl analogue that is chemically similar to fentanyl.  It is unknown how the human body will react to this drug since it is not intended for human or veterinary use.  Cyclopropyl fentanyl had not previously been seen in Georgia.

U-47700 is a synthetic opioid 7.5 times stronger than morphine.

Both of these drugs are HIGHLY DANGEROUS and should not be handled.  They can be inhaled or absorbed through the skin and are extremely toxic in even the smallest quantities.

Legislation was introduced this year to outlaw both cyclopropyl fentanyl and U-47700 in Georgia.  The law banning the substances went into effect after passage by the Georgia General Assembly and the Governor’s signature on April 17, 2017.

The Georgia Bureau of Investigation, the Georgia Department of Public Health, Georgia Poison Center, hospitals, local, state, and federal partners are working jointly on this investigation.

GBI Assessment of Fentanyl Spill

State & National

Decatur, GA – On Thursday, June 29, 2017, the Georgia Bureau of Investigation (GBI) conducted an assessment of the fentanyl spill.  This assessment has determined that evidence containing a powder of fine furanyl fentanyl leaked through untaped corners and seams of a cardboard box.  The furanyl fentanyl came from powder residue within the box.  The Crime Lab has modified lab procedures related to repackaging and return of drug evidence to ensure that this situation does not recur.  These procedures include enhanced sealing and new containment protocols.  Return of drug evidence has resumed.

6/28/17 – The Georgia Bureau of Investigation’s Crime Lab is currently reviewing internal procedures for packaging drug evidence.  This follows information received from the Duluth Police Department that evidence containing a fentanyl related drug spilled out of a package that was returned to the agency today.  Additionally, the crime lab will be conducting a thorough review of this incident with the goal of establishing what caused the spill.  A temporary hold has been placed on the release of all drug evidence during the review.  An update will be provided following the full assessment.

Press Release: GBI Crime Lab Identifies Counterfeit Pills

Press Release

Body Found Near Amicalola Falls State Park is that of a 54-Year-old Kentucky Man

News

DAWSON COUNTY, Ga. — Dawson County Coroner Ted Bearden today identified the body found Tuesday just off the Appalachian Trail near the Amicalola Falls State Park as that of 54-year-old Michael Johnson of Liberty, Kentucky.

Bearden said foul play is not suspected. The body has been sent to the Georgia Bureau of Investigation for autopsy.

Johnson was believed to have been hiking Tuesday. His body was found by another hiker near the Len Foote Hike Inn.

Bearden said the result of the GBI autopsy will not  be available for six months.

Four Indicted for Distributing Heroin

News

Convoy of Care – South Georgia Tornado Relief

Featured, News

 

 

Georgia Bureau

 

 

 

Georgia Bureau of Investigation

News Release

 

Contact: Natalie Ammons

natalie.ammons@gbi.ga.gov

 

For Immediate Release

February 6, 2017

Convoy of Care – South Georgia Tornado Relief

 

Atlanta, Georgia – The Georgia Bureau of Investigation is once again partnering with state law enforcement agencies,  Channel 2 WSB-TV, the Georgia Motor Trucking Association, the Georgia Emergency Management and Homeland Security Agency (GEMA) and Caring for Others, Inc., to help raise funds for South Georgia residents who survived the  historic tornado outbreak last month.

“The communities in South Georgia need money to be able to fund specific needs of each individual resident, whether it’s to cut down trees or to restore homes,” said Tim McVay, WSB-TV Vice President and General Manager. “That’s why we are urging our viewers to make cash donations now.”

The Convoy of Care will take a load of supplies to South Georgia on Sunday, February 12th.  Mt Zion Baptist Church  in Albany will be accepting the donations and distributing supplies on site. Volunteers from Caring for Others and the law firm Stewart, Seay and Felton will load up the tractor trailer truck donated by Holland, Inc. which was part of the first Convoy of Care that saw five tractor trailer trucks go to flood ravaged Baton Rouge, Louisiana in August last year.

Law enforcement organizations including the National Organization of Black Law Enforcement Executives (NOBLE), the Georgia Association of Chiefs of Police, the Georgia Sheriffs’ Association, along with state agencies; Georgia State Board of Pardons & Paroles, Georgia State Patrol, and Georgia Bureau of Investigation, have pledged to use their network to raise the awareness of the Convoy of Care online fundraising effort.

“We’re all One Georgia, and we want to continue to demonstrate how law enforcement serves the very communities we are sworn to protect,” said Clarence

Cox, National Vice President of NOBLE.

Funds being collected through Caring for Others will be disbursed directly to Long Term Recovery Committees being established in the Berrien, Cook, Crisp, Dougherty, Thomas, Turner, Wilcox, and Worth counties in coordination with GEMA, Caring for Others is accepting online cash donations at http://caring4others.org – click on “South Georgia Disaster Relief” at the top of the page or checks may be mailed to Caring for Others, Inc., 3537 Browns Mill Road, SE, Atlanta, Georgia 30354.  Please indicate that you are donating to South Georgia Tornado Relief.

“The men and women of the GBI are honored to partner with Channel 2 WSB and our law enforcement counterparts n raising money for the tornado victims in South Georgia. This money is desperately needed so that they can begin to rebuild their lives,” said GBI Director Vernon Keenan.

Seventeen Georgians were killed by tornadoes that blew through South Georgia in January and caused more than $100 million worth of damage. State Insurance Commissioner Ralph Hudgens says much of the damage was to structures and properties that were uninsured.

 

 

 

Suspect Tried to Drown State Trooper Before Being Shot and Killed

News

GAINESVILLE — Georgia State Patrol’s Operation Thunder was suspended over the weekend following a violent confrontation that ended when a suspect was shot to death and three troopers injured in Gainesville.

Rodrigo Guardiola, 36, of Gainesville was shot and killed after he fled a road check on Highway 53 designed to take impaired drivers off the highways. After a brief chase, Guardiola and his passenger Epitacio Gudino-Almazan, 31, also from the Gainesville area, exited a Ford Explorer and fled on foot.

A press release from the Georgia Bureau of Investigation states, “As one of the pursuing troopers caught up to Guardiola at a run-off creek, a struggle ensued at which point Guardiola was fighting the trooper and attempting to submerge him underwater.The trooper that was submerged and beaten fired his Taser at Guardiola with no effective impact, at which point the trooper fired his pistol striking and killing Guardiola,” according to the release.

Gudino-Almazan was captured nearby about 45 minutes later and taken to the Hall County Jail.

GBI spokesman Scott Dutton said it was not known why Guardiola and Gudino-Almazan ran and that neither was wanted by authorities.

The troopers were taken to Northeast Georgia Medical Center in Gainesville for treatment of injuries that were not life-threatening, and they have since been released.

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