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HPD blotters for Oct. 13
crime map 10/13
Crime map for Oct. 13, 2021

Long County seek suspect 

On Oct. 8, at approximately 6:30 p.m., the Long County Sheriff’s Office received a call for assistance in the Elim Community. The 911 call contained information that two (2) adult women had been tied up and assaulted by an adult male. Deputies arrived on scene, interviewed the victims and other witnesses in the vicinity of Country Lane.

The preliminary investigation indicated that the female victims were struck multiple times in the face and head with a garden hoe and other objects. The victims received serious facial / head injuries and were transported to Liberty Regional Medical Center by ambulance. The investigation also revealed that the victims and suspect both live at the residence where the assault occurred. The Long County Sheriff ’s Office has obtained arrest warrants and is seeking assistance from the public to locate Willie Joe Liddell. Liddell is a black male, 6’1” tall, weighing approximately 175 pounds. Anyone with information about the whereabouts of Willie Joe Liddell, is asked to contact the Long County Sheriff ’s Office at 912-545-2118, 911, or to your local Law Enforcement Agency. Anonymous information can also be submitted to:

Tractor Trailer slams into bridge in Liberty County 

A tractor trailer driver was trapped inside his vehicle and was trapped for several hours after slamming into a bridge on I-95 in Liberty County. The accident occurred around 11 a.m. Thursday Oct. 7.

According to Georgia State Patrol Trooper Markus White, the driver of the vehicle veered onto the right shoulder of the interstate and struck an embankment wedging him under the bridge.

Crews from Liberty County Fire Services, Savannah Fire, and the Pooler Fire Department worked to free the driver from the cab of the vehicle which was mangled in the accident.

Liberty County Sheriff, William Bowman said the driver was alert and talking to first responders.

The driver was flown to Memorial Health University Medical Center in Savannah once he was removed from the wreckage.

Instate 95 southbound was shut down from Exit 76 and possibly at exit 87. Traffic was diverted to exit 67 in South Newport.

HPD nabs murder suspect 

On Oct. 6, the Hinesville Police Department announced that Stephon Whitaker, who was wanted for murder in connection to the death of Janarick Reed, had been arrested.

The victim who was gunned down on Aug. 25, in the parking lot of a Hinesville convenience store and died of his wounds a short time later. Reed who had a Hinesville address was shot while he was in his park in a parking lot at the intersection of E.G. Miles Parkway and Palm Drive shortly after 2 p.m.

HPD arrests juveniles for entering autos

The Hinesville Police Department arrested a juvenile on Oct. 6 who may be tied to a sharp increase in items reported stolen from vehicles. The juvenile that was arrested is allegedly involved in 19 of those reported incidents. The juvenile male was charged with a combined 22 counts of entering auto and financial transaction card fraud. This juvenile male was also charged for stealing two vehicles. There is additional evidence this juvenile male was checking doors of homes but did not make entry because they were locked.

HPD wants to remind everyone that the best way to prevent yourself from becoming a victim of these crimes is to remove items from your vehicle and lock your doors. All of the cases that were reported involved unlocked vehicles and/or had no signs of forced entry. If the suspect encounters a locked vehicle, he/she moves on.

HPD would like to publicly recognize our Criminal Investigative Division on a job well done. These cases involve a lot of time and effort to investigate and bring to a resolution. We would also like to thank the Liberty County Sheriff ’s Office and the Long County Sherriff ’s Office for their assistance with this investigation. HPD reported it appears this juvenile male is involved in similar crimes within their jurisdictions as well. This is an ongoing and active investigation. If anyone has any information should call Det. Cruz at 912-368-8105 or email him at:

Two McIntosh County men sentenced in drug sting

Two McIntosh County men indicted as part of a major drug trafficking operation have been sentenced to federal prison for charges including armed robbery.

John Hope Jr., 28, of Townsend, Ga., was sentenced to 111 months in prison followed by three years of supervised release and ordered to pay $677 in restitution after pleading guilty to Interference with Commerce by Robbery and Brandishing a Firearm During and in Relation to a Crime of Violence, said David H. Estes, Acting U.S. Attorney for the Southern District of Georgia.

Hope’s co-defendant in the robbery, Tyler Marshall, 27, also of Townsend, was sentenced to 93 months in prison followed by three years of supervised release and ordered to pay $677 in restitution after pleading guilty to Conspiracy to Possess with Intent to Distribute and to Distribute Methamphetamine, Heroin, and Cocaine, and Interference with Commerce by Robbery. There is no parole in the federal system.

Hope and Marshall were among 17 defendants indicted in July 2020 in Operation Krack Down, an Organized Crime Drug Trafficking Task Forces (OCDETF) investigation that targeted a drug trafficking organization in Liberty, Bryan, McIntosh, and Wayne counties with ties to the Ghost Face Gangsters criminal street gang. At the time of the indictment, Hope and Marshall were in custody for the Jan. 3, 2020, armed robbery of a Liberty County gas station.

Three other defendants in Operation Krack Down have been sentenced to federal prison terms of up to 181 months after pleading guilty to drug trafficking charges, while six defendants await sentencing after pleading guilty. Five others are awaiting trail and are presumed innocent unless or until proven guilty, and one defendant, Cruz Lawson, 33, of Jesup, Ga., is a fugitive.

Operation Krack Down was investigated under the Organized Crime Drug Enforcement Task Forces. OCDETF identifies, disrupts, and dismantles the highest-level criminal organizations that threaten the United States using a prosecutor-led, intelligence- driven, multi-agency approach.

Agencies investigating the case include the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF), the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA), the U.S. Marshals Service, the Georgia Bureau of Investigation (GBI), the McIntosh County Sheriff ’s Office, the Bryan County Sheriff ’s Office, the Liberty County Sheriff ’s Office, and the Richmond Hill Police Department, and prosecuted for the United States by OCDETF Coordinator and Assistant U.S. Attorney Marcela C. Mateo.

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