MILLEDGEVILLE — In cooperation with Gordon area law enforcement, the Ocmulgee Drug Task Force (ODTF) arrested six individuals early Thursday morning seizing a record amount of methamphetamines, while also ruining a warm Thanksgiving meal for the suspects.
ODTF Commander Wesley Nunn said this was probably the largest meth seizure in Gordon history.
Approximately, 50 grams of methamphetamines with a street value just more than $5,000, 15 grams of marijuana, two guns (7mm rifle and .22 handgun) three glass pipes, two digital scales, a spoon and just more than $200 in cash were confiscated from the residence.
The task force received a tip from Gordon police at 11:30 p.m. Wednesday, Nov. 27 that the 201 Gray Highway Apt. E residence was a suspected meth house.
The lead ODTF agent quickly wrote up a warrant and corralled the Gordon area agencies involved.
Agents executed the search warrant around 2:30 a.m. Thursday.
With holiday dishes still steaming, Joanie Leigh Ratcliff, 30, Richard Paul Crisp, 41, Sonia Porter English, 48, Tamatha Dianne Pack, 40, Timothy Allen Ratcliff Sr., 52, and Timothy Allen Ratcliff Jr., 30 were arrested for a total of 21 charges.
Other than apartment owners Ratcliff Jr. and wife Joanie, the other four individuals are from the Dalton area.
According to Nunn, Crisp was a major catch, who now finds himself on the federal radar. He is a convicted felon with a 14-page rap sheet.
The charges spread among members of the group ranged from possession of meth, possession of methamphetamine with intent to distribute, possession of marijuana with intent to distribute, possession of drug-related objects, disorderly house, possession of firearm by convicted felon and firearm possession during certain crimes charges.
Methamphetamines are synthetic stimulants produced and sold illegally in pill form, capsules, powder and chunks. Ingredients can come from a local hardware store.
The meth confiscated came from Whitfield County and is high quality “Ice”, according to the ODTF. Its crystal clear chunks far outrank the homemade stuff agents are getting, which is often discolored and nasty looking.
“This is off the charts here,” Nunn said. “That’s high grade meth.”
“Ice” is a large crystal form of high-purity methamphetamine hydrochloride. Ice derives its name from its large, clear crystals that resemble chunks of ice or shards of broken glass.
The meth market has turned up the heat lately, quickly becoming a statewide nuisance.
“People are getting into the meth game. That’s where the money is,” Nunn said.
Meth dealers and abusers in the local area range from 60-year-olds to even some as young as 15, according to one agent.
Nunn said the recent bust goes hand in hand with the large October RICO bust led by the Jones County Sheriff’s Office, where 48 individuals were connected with a 12-county methamphetamine trail.
The ODTF gives special thanks to the Wilkinson County Sheriff’s Office, the Gordon Police Department, Ivey Police Department and McIntyre Police Department for their assistance in making the arrests.
Any anonymous drug tips can call the Wilkinson County Sheriffs at 478 946-2411 or the Ocmulgee Drug Task Force at 478 414-5997.
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