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December 2, 2013

Sheriffs' offices attack major drug ring

MILLEDGEVILLE — Sheriffs' offices throughout middle Georgia and the Atlanta area have identified a widespread drug distribution network operating within the region. 

According to J. Terry Norris, executive director of the Georgia Sheriffs' Association (GSA), sheriffs' offices in Jones, Baldwin and Putnam counties combined resources during June of this year to target methamphetamine distribution within the Ocmulgee Judicial Circuit, which includes eight counties in middle Georgia.  

The investigation quickly reached Washington, Wilkinson and Spalding counties and eventually extended to Bibb, Butts, Clayton, Cobb, Jasper and Monroe counties.

According to Sheriff R. N. “Butch” Reece of Jones County, the initial investigation revealed that Robert Olin Rosser, 52, of Jones County and other individuals from Jones, Baldwin and Washington counties routinely traveled to the Atlanta area, where they purchased methamphetamine to be returned to the middle Georgia area for distribution. 

Offenders would obtain as much as seven or eight ounces of methamphetamines each trip that often took place multiple times per week. 

Deputies learned that Rosser and others from Putnam, Baldwin and Washington counties used a source in Spalding County to approach Hispanic methamphetamine dealers in the Atlanta area. The Spalding County Sheriff's Office and Washington County Sheriff's Office became closely involved in the investigation once the ongoing contact between the Spalding source and metro-Atlanta distributors was established.

Investigators conducted surveillance of several of those trips, including a 300-mile round-trip from Washington to Cobb County by way of Spalding County.

Reece said that intercepted shipment yielding a quarter pound of meth.

The widespread investigation also led to the discovery of cell phones inside two Georgia prison facilities. One incarcerated offender arranged drug transactions from the correctional facility.

The operation eventually recorded surveillance and arrest activity in 12 counties and as of Oct. 25, 48 suspects were arrested and charged with multiple offenses including violation of the Georgia Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organization (RICO) Act.  

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