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April 16, 2014

Drug task force nabs 22-time offender, prison employee

MILLEDGEVILLE — A six-month operation culminated in two arrests Tuesday for the Ocmulgee Drug Task Force (ODTF).

Two search warrants executed simultaneously by the drug agents and the Milledgeville Police Department turned up $4,128 in cash, 16 grams of crack cocaine valued near $500, a stolen Glock pistol, ammunition, gun magazines, around $350 of marijuana, multiple hydrocodone pills worth $20 apiece and several digital scales.

Authorities searched 32-year-old Arturo Lee Marshall’s North Jackson Street apartment and 29-year-old Tiffany Shanai Cheely’s West Charlton Court apartment.

Marshall has been arrested 22 times and is currently on federal probation out of the Middle District of Georgia for a Dec. 19, 2006 conviction of possession with intent to distribute cocaine and firearm possession in the furtherance of a crime.

Cheely worked as a guard at the Geo Group Riverbend Correctional Facility.

ODTF commander Wesley Nunn said the action happened at 11 a.m. Tuesday in Marshall’s main residence and Cheely’s apartment, where agents previously purchased drugs.

The West End apartment was empty except for the “dope,” and law enforcement did locate Marshall at North Jackson Street with allegedly more than $4,000 on his person. Officials arrested Cheely at the prison.

Nunn said the cocaine, pills and marijuana allegedly sat near the toilet at the female’s apartment.

“That tells me they were ready for the police to come in the door to be able to destroy the evidence before we got to them,” Nunn said. “Luckily, no one was home.”

The ODTF even found pills in the coffee maker.

Nunn said the ODTF has two old cases on Marshall and that federal probation authorities presented a complaint to a federal judge Wednesday that “would hopefully put a hold on (Marshall) before he could get out of the Baldwin County Jail.”

“We’ve been in contact with U.S. Attorney’s office out of Macon, and they are interested in picking this case up to continue with the probation and the new charges,” the task force commander said.

This operation took months to complete because ODTF received vague anonymous information about drug activity on North Jackson Street. They had “no names to go on.”

Agents didn’t identify Marshall until a week or so ago.

Since 2001, Marshall has numerous criminal convictions in Baldwin, Jones and DeKalb counties ranging from simple battery to felony drug possession and intent to distribute.

The two share a combined 17 charges from the Tuesday search warrants.

Marshall’s booking sheet from this arrest includes two felony counts sale of cocaine, two felony counts sale of Schedule III drug, two felony counts use of a communication device to facilitate a drug transaction, possession of drug-related objects (digital scales) felony, drug not kept in original container misdemeanor and felony possession of a controlled substance within a 1,000 feet of a housing project.

Cheely faces single counts of felony possession of marijuana with intent to distribute, felony possession of cocaine with intent to distribute, felony possession of a controlled substance, felony possession of a controlled substance with intent to distribute within a 1,000 feet of a housing project, felony possession of firearm during certain crimes, felony theft by receiving stolen property (firearm), misdemeanor possession of drug related objects (digital scales) and misdemeanor drug not kept in original container.

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