A female student at Bradwell Institute was arrested when a teacher discovered she had a knife in her pocket. The same student was later found in possession of Xanax pills without a prescription. According to Multi Agency Crack Enforcement (MACE) Drug Task Force Commander Al Cato, the incident occurred during the first block of class.
"It was first thing in the morning, and one of her teachers saw what looked like the back of a knife hanging out of her pocket," Cato said. "So he took her to the office, and they searched her property and found an unmarked bottle with seven Xanax pills."
Amber Patterson, 17, was charged with possession of a knife on school property and possession of a controlled substance.
Patterson never threatened anyone with the knife but authorities think she brought the knife to school because she was being picked on by other students because she is pregnant. She will face charges as an adult. She is out of jail on bond.
Cato said his agency received requests from concerned citizens regarding the Rain Tree Apartments complex, and his group decided to stage a sweep and clear the neighborhood of potential bad influence. Working a 6 p.m.-to-3 a.m. shift, agents patrolled the surrounding area and approached a man acted suspicious.
“The guy was fidgeting around with his hand at his waistband and suddenly a gun dropped down the leg of his pants,” Cato said. “It turned out to be a High Point 380, usually called a Saturday night special.”
He said his agents were familiar with the suspect, Jamaal Garrett, 17, because they had made previous undercover purchases, roughly 18.4 grams of marijuana, and Garrett still had pending cases on those arrests.
When they searched him, they found 21.4 grams of suspected marijuana.
Garrett faces new charges of possession with intent to distribute marijuana, possession with intent to distribute marijuana within 1,000 feet of public housing, and possession of a firearm during a crime.
Agents seized Garrett’s cell phone, and Cato said it was ringing off the hook all night. They decided to use the opportunity to set up undercover buys and replied to calls and text messages to set up the meeting destination.
Cato said agents first met with Kelsey Cauley, who attempted to run when he spotted the agents. He was apprehended in the parking lot of McDonald’s.
Cauley, 29, was charged with misdemeanor obstruction, open container, criminal attempt to purchase marijuana, and use of a communication device for a crime.
“While Cauley was being arrested, agents walked over to the opposite end of McDonald’s and made another bust involving four men and a woman,” Cato said. “They had set up a text message meeting earlier, also using Garrett’s phone.”
Agents found a rolled-up beanie cap on the floor of the car the five people were in. Inside the cap was a bag containing what they thought was 36.5 grams of marijuana and a digital scale.
Jason Patterson, 21, Archie Patterson 21, Archie Thomas 21, Dominique Taylor 21 and Amber Jeffrey, 19, were arrested, and all face possession charges.
During the sweep at Rain Tree Apartments, agents saw another known offender, Allen Golden 21, and discovered he had a failure to appear warrant from the city of Hinesville on a traffic violation. He was taken into custody.
On Way Street, agents spotted and spoke with Kendrick McKinnon, 28. After a brief conversation, agents discovered he allegedly had five Promethazine pills in his possession without a valid prescription He was charged with possession of a dangerous drug and a traffic violation.
Continuing their sweep into the next morning, agents went to St. Catherine’s Street in Midway around 5 a.m.
“We went there with a parole officer who had a warrant for Kenneth Williams for a parole violation in Chatham County,” Cato said “We found a little Tic Tac container with 5 grams of crack cocaine in it and a digital scale. They found he had cut off his ankle monitor and turned it off. They found it in his car. He is also a registered sex offender in Chatham County.”
Cato said the Chatham County Counter Narcotics Team had four counts of sale of a controlled substance charge pending to add to his current charges. He will go in front of a judge in Chatham County to face parole revocation. In Liberty County, he was charged with possession of cocaine and possession of tools of the crime.
While patrolling the streets in Walthourville, agents stopped James Walthour for a traffic stop. He had a juvenile passenger with him, and both were arrested after agents reported they found 1.2 grams of crack in the car. They were both charged with possession with intent to distribute cocaine. The juvenile was eventually released to his parents. Walthour was booked at the Liberty County Jail.
An agent patrolled the Midway area and noticed a car weaving across the roadway. He called for police assistance and stopped the car at a gas station just across the Bryan County/Liberty County line. Officers noticed the couple in the car appeared to be a little off and discovered the two had nine Xanax pills. Cato said his agents think the couple purchased the pills from a house in Midway, where they were first spotted driving erratically.
Brittany Sahlberg, 18, and Craig George, 26, both residents of Richmond Hill, face charges of possession of a controlled substance and possession of marijuana less than an ounce. Sahlberg was also charged with DUI. Agents are still investigating where they purchased the pills.
A woman was arrested at Hinesville’s Wal-Mart when the store pharmacist suspected something amiss about prescription pills called in her name. Agents think the woman, a Hinesville resident, called in the prescriptions herself, acting like she was the prescribing physician. The order was for 90 Lorcets pills, 43 Premarin and 30 Meloxican. Jessica Crews, 28, faces charges of fraudulently obtaining the controlled substances.
Agents seized four vehicles and a gun during their sweep.