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MACE blotter from October

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POSTED: November 15, 2008 5:00 a.m.
According to Multi Agency Crack Enforcement Drug Task Force Commander Al Cato, tips received by individuals in the community are routinely checked out by agents. Cato said he encourages members of the community to call if they suspect drug or other illegal activities are taking place in their neighborhoods. Four of the incidents in this report came from vigilant community members.

Oct. 1
Al Cato said agents were asked to check out the Dollar General store on Highway 84 around 3 p.m. Agents spotted two teenagers allegedly inhaling (huffing) dust remover. The agents found an empty can of dust remover where the teens were first spotted. Cato said the juveniles were charged with violation of intentional inhalation of fumes, a misdemeanor offense. Their parents were notified.

Oct. 7.
MACE conducted a scheduled and routine search at 9 a.m. at Liberty County High School and arrested a teenager when they reportedly found he had a small quantity of what appeared to be marijuana in his car parked on school grounds. He was charged with misdemeanor possession. They also reported a teenage girl was taken to the administration office for having prescription pills without the school’s knowledge.
“They were her prescriptions,” Cato said. “But the administration is supposed to be aware when a student has the prescription, what they are for and how often the student should be taking them.”  Cato said MACE was assisted by Chatham and Long counties canine units and school resource officer Deputy Donald Moody during the search.

Oct. 9
Some Liberty County residents informed agents of frequent high traffic and suspicious activity at 740 Strickland Road, lot 7. Agents began surveillance of the area and gathered enough evidence to obtain a search warrant, which they produced at around 8:45 p.m. Oct. 9. Agents seized two ounces of suspected marijuana, a digital scale and several pills classified as controlled substance. Dewight Holland, 40, and Angela Johnson, 30, were arrested and charged with possession of marijuana, possesion with intent to distribut marijuana within 1,000 feet of a public park, sale of marijuana, possession with intent to distribute a controlled substance and possession of items with an altered ID.

Oct. 9
MACE was called to assist the Liberty County Sheriff's Office after deputies found what appeared to be marijuana on a driver and passenger during a routine traffic stop on a car driven north on I-95 from Florida. Agents reportedly confiscated 13.7 and 8.2 grams of the suspected drug from Donald Amsterdam and Neive Clark. Amsterdam also had a false New York driver's license, which is a felony.
They face misdemeanor possession of marijuana charges and Amsterdam also was charged with  possession of false doucuments.

Oct. 9
Cato said LCSO deputies asked for MACE assistance when they stopped a car for loud music violation and the driver and passenger appeared to be under the influence. The driver, Dave Wyckoff, and passenger, Louis Sanchez, both current officers of the 549 MP Company and the 385 MP Company, were found in possession of a misdemeanor quantity of suspected marijuana. Wyckoff was charged with DUI refusal, misdemeanor possession of marijuana, loud music and no insurance. Sanchez was charged with misdemeanor possesion of marijuana and open container.

Oct. 16
Information from Liberty County residents led MACE agents to place Joshua Hicks, a current soldier from Fort Stewart who allegedly was dabbling in stolen property and sales of ecstasy, under surveillance for a few days. Around 4 p.m. Oct. 16, he was observed by agents leaving a house in Walthourville and was approcahed when he stopped in front of a mobile home in the Twin Oaks community in Long County. Agents searched his car and found 47 ecstacy pills in the center console of his Ford Explorer. They also found a civilian version of a military M4, bushmaster AR-15 rifle, which was traced to a recent burglary in Hinesville. According to Cato the rifle still had the serial numbers on it and was in the gun case along with a few magazine clips. Hicks also had $2,300 cash in his pocket.
He was charged with possesssion with intent to distribute MDMA, possesion of stolen property and possession of a firearm during the commission of a crime. Hicks reportedly gave agents consent to search his house where they found other property they think may be from other burglaries in the area. The case is still under investigation and other charges against Hicks are pending.
Hicks was taken to jail on the initial charges. Warrants and bond were set and he returned to Fort Stewart.

Oct. 16
While working the Hicks case, agents received a tip about a black Chevy Blazer parked at Regency Apartments. Agents were told the vehicle and the people inside were part of a drug distribution scheme allegedly transporting marijuana from Atlanta to Hinesville and several stops in between.
MACE requested the assistance of HPD who spotted the car in the area. HPD pulled the vehicle over for a window tint violation. The officer requested a MACE agent when he approached the Blazer and smelled what he suspected was marijuana. He also spotted several open containers. They searched the car and reportedly found 2.5 pound of marijuanan in the back section of the SUV. Earnest Cook, 42, and Rodrigues Burke, 39, both of Atlanta, were arrested and charged with possession with intent to distribute marijuana, possesssion within 1,000 feet of a park and possesssion within 1,000 feet of public housing.
Cook also was charged with tint violation and open container violation. Agents said they thought it was not the first trip the duo has made to distribute suspected drugs. They allegedly left Atlanta with 50 pounds of marijuana.
 

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