Brothers Charged with Murder in Motor Vehicle Death
Rabun County, Georgia (December 15, 2017) – On Thursday, December 14, 2017, the Georgia Bureau of Investigation, the Georgia State Patrol, and the Rabun County Sheriff’s Office arrested Jesse Reeves Smith, 22 years of age, of 238 Gipson Lane, Lakemont, Rabun County, Georgia and his brother, James Cody Smith, 22 years of age, of 259 Gipson Lane, Lakemont, Rabun County, Georgia, for murder. This case stemmed from a motor vehicle wreck which resulted in the death of Marshall Wayne Turpin, 18 years of age. Jesse Reeves Smith was arrested at the Rabun County Jail where he was incarcerated on unrelated charges. Jesse Reeves Smith was charged with one count of felony murder, four counts of aggravated assault, and one count of making false statements. James Cody Smith was taken into custody by the Rabun County Sheriff’s Office and charged with one count of felony murder and four counts of aggravated assault. The brothers are currently incarcerated at the Rabun County jail awaiting court proceedings.
The charges stem from an incident occurring on July 14, 2017 on East Wolf Creek Road in Rabun County during which a vehicle occupied by the Smith brothers intentionally struck a vehicle occupied by Turpin which resulted in the fatal crash.
The arrests come as a result of a six month investigation conducted by the Georgia Bureau of Investigation, the Georgia State Patrol, the Rabun County Sheriff’s Office, and the Mountain Judicial Circuit District Attorney’s Office. The investigation remains active and ongoing. All parties are presumed innocent until proven guilty in a court of law.
Decatur, GA – On Thursday, June 29, 2017, the Georgia Bureau of Investigation (GBI) conducted an assessment of the fentanyl spill. This assessment has determined that evidence containing a powder of fine furanyl fentanyl leaked through untaped corners and seams of a cardboard box. The furanyl fentanyl came from powder residue within the box. The Crime Lab has modified lab procedures related to repackaging and return of drug evidence to ensure that this situation does not recur. These procedures include enhanced sealing and new containment protocols. Return of drug evidence has resumed.
6/28/17 – The Georgia Bureau of Investigation’s Crime Lab is currently reviewing internal procedures for packaging drug evidence. This follows information received from the Duluth Police Department that evidence containing a fentanyl related drug spilled out of a package that was returned to the agency today. Additionally, the crime lab will be conducting a thorough review of this incident with the goal of establishing what caused the spill. A temporary hold has been placed on the release of all drug evidence during the review. An update will be provided following the full assessment.
Decatur, GA – The Georgia Bureau of Investigation’s Crime Lab has identified counterfeit pills related to the reported overdoses in the Central Georgia area.
Analysis has confirmed that the pills contain a mixture of two synthetic opioids, cyclopropyl fentanyl and U-47700. Cyclopropyl fentanyl is a fentanyl analogue that is chemically similar to fentanyl. It is unknown how the human body will react to this drug since it is not intended for human or veterinary use. Cyclopropyl fentanyl had not previously been seen in Georgia.
U-47700 is a synthetic opioid 7.5 times stronger than morphine.
Both of these drugs are HIGHLY DANGEROUS and should not be handled. They can be inhaled or absorbed through the skin and are extremely toxic in even the smallest quantities.
Legislation was introduced this year to outlaw both cyclopropyl fentanyl and U-47700 in Georgia. The law banning the substances went into effect after passage by the Georgia General Assembly and the Governor’s signature on April 17, 2017.
The Georgia Bureau of Investigation, the Georgia Department of Public Health, Georgia Poison Center, hospitals, local, state, and federal partners are working jointly on this investigation.
Georgia Bureau of Investigation
Contact: Natalie Ammons
For Immediate Release
February 6, 2017
Convoy of Care – South Georgia Tornado Relief
Atlanta, Georgia – The Georgia Bureau of Investigation is once again partnering with state law enforcement agencies, Channel 2 WSB-TV, the Georgia Motor Trucking Association, the Georgia Emergency Management and Homeland Security Agency (GEMA) and Caring for Others, Inc., to help raise funds for South Georgia residents who survived the historic tornado outbreak last month.
“The communities in South Georgia need money to be able to fund specific needs of each individual resident, whether it’s to cut down trees or to restore homes,” said Tim McVay, WSB-TV Vice President and General Manager. “That’s why we are urging our viewers to make cash donations now.”
The Convoy of Care will take a load of supplies to South Georgia on Sunday, February 12th. Mt Zion Baptist Church in Albany will be accepting the donations and distributing supplies on site. Volunteers from Caring for Others and the law firm Stewart, Seay and Felton will load up the tractor trailer truck donated by Holland, Inc. which was part of the first Convoy of Care that saw five tractor trailer trucks go to flood ravaged Baton Rouge, Louisiana in August last year.
Law enforcement organizations including the National Organization of Black Law Enforcement Executives (NOBLE), the Georgia Association of Chiefs of Police, the Georgia Sheriffs’ Association, along with state agencies; Georgia State Board of Pardons & Paroles, Georgia State Patrol, and Georgia Bureau of Investigation, have pledged to use their network to raise the awareness of the Convoy of Care online fundraising effort.
“We’re all One Georgia, and we want to continue to demonstrate how law enforcement serves the very communities we are sworn to protect,” said Clarence
Cox, National Vice President of NOBLE.
Funds being collected through Caring for Others will be disbursed directly to Long Term Recovery Committees being established in the Berrien, Cook, Crisp, Dougherty, Thomas, Turner, Wilcox, and Worth counties in coordination with GEMA, Caring for Others is accepting online cash donations at http://caring4others.org – click on “South Georgia Disaster Relief” at the top of the page or checks may be mailed to Caring for Others, Inc., 3537 Browns Mill Road, SE, Atlanta, Georgia 30354. Please indicate that you are donating to South Georgia Tornado Relief.
“The men and women of the GBI are honored to partner with Channel 2 WSB and our law enforcement counterparts n raising money for the tornado victims in South Georgia. This money is desperately needed so that they can begin to rebuild their lives,” said GBI Director Vernon Keenan.
Seventeen Georgians were killed by tornadoes that blew through South Georgia in January and caused more than $100 million worth of damage. State Insurance Commissioner Ralph Hudgens says much of the damage was to structures and properties that were uninsured.
Commercial Gambling Search Warrants across Georgia
Macon, GA. – On Wednesday, October 28, 2015, the GBI’s Commercial Gambling Unit, along with local law enforcement agencies across the State, and in cooperation with the Georgia Lottery Corporation and the Georgia Department of Revenue executed sixteen (16) search warrants in Troup, Houston, Bibb, Chatham, Terrell, and Henry Counties for violations of Georgia’s commercial gambling laws.
Search warrants were served at fifteen (15) convenience stores and one (1) residence. While searching the locations, agents collected evidence related to crimes of commercial gambling and seized monetary assets gained from the illegal use of gaming machines.
All of the locations are currently licensed to operate Coin Operated Amusement Machines under the master license of Sudama Resorts, Inc. However, during the course of the investigation, agents discovered customers were receiving cash payouts for winning credits. In Georgia, credits may only be redeemed for lottery tickets and/or store merchandise.
Search warrants were executed at the following business locations:
- 6230 Zebulon Road, Macon
- 1477 Pio Nono Road, Macon
- 2017 Millerfield Road, Macon
- 2545 New Clinton Road, Macon
- 415 S. Greenwood Street, LaGrange
- 426 S. Greenwood Street, LaGrange
- 1312 Hamilton Road, LaGrange
- 801 D Whiteville Street, LaGrange
- 1602 W. Bay Street, Savannah
- 2203 Skidaway Road, Savannah
- 9137 Whitebluff Road, Savannah
- 1210 E. Derenne Ave., Savannah
- 508 Watson Blvd., Warner Robins
- 516 Feagin Mill Road, Warner Robins
- 8125 Albany Highway, Sasser
Sudama Resorts, Inc. is the master license holder for all of the stores where illegal cash payouts were received and search warrants were executed. Undercover operations revealed cash payouts were taking place at over 25% of locations statewide where Sudama Resorts, Inc. is contracted to place COAM machines.
Multiple arrests are pending.
In total, more than 75 Agents, Investigators and Police Officers launched the raids in a simultaneous and coordinated fashion.
Macon Judicial Circuit District Attorney David Cooke is coordinating a press conference planned for later today. Please contact the Office of the District Attorney at 478-746-9441 for additional information.
Decatur, GA – Please be advised that the Georgia Bureau of Investigation’s main line (404-244-2600) has been compromised as a result of telephone spoofing. This is a scam that the GBI has been dealing with for approximately one month. When a telephone number is spoofed, the Caller ID of the caller will appear to be coming from a valid number. In the cases specifically related to the GBI, the individual being called will see telephone number 404-244-2600.
In many of the phone calls, the caller has called home phones and cell phones stating that they are with the GBI collecting a debt with the IRS or collecting a debt for college and that there would be a warrant out for their arrest if they didn’t pay the fine.
The GBI does not contact individuals for debt collection. If you get a call from anyone claiming to represent the GBI in this manner, you are urged not to conduct any business over the phone if you did not initiate the call. Additionally, do not give credit card information out to someone who has called you.
The GBI is currently investigating this matter.
Georgia Bureau of Investigation
GBI Conducting an Investigation into an Officer Involved Shooting in Pickens County
Talking Rock, GA – On Saturday October 24, 2015, the GBI’s Cleveland Regional Office was requested by the Pickens County Sheriff’s Office to investigate an officer involved shooting by Pickens County Deputies and Georgia State Troopers that resulted in the death of John Harley Turner, 36, in Talking Rock, Georgia. Initial information provided to the GBI indicates that at approximately 8:30 p.m., Pickens County Sheriff’s deputies were dispatched to 1607 Carver Mill Road in Talking Rock, Georgia concerning a dispute between two hunters and Turner who is reportedly a neighboring land owner. Turner had reportedly threatened the hunters with a pistol for being near his property. The hunters contacted 911 and deputies responded to the Carver Mill Road address where they encountered John Harley Turner who was armed with a pistol.
As deputies attempted to make contact with Turner, he began screaming at the deputies and pointing his pistol at them. The deputies shouted multiple verbal commands for Turner to put down the pistol. The deputies called for backup assistance and additional Pickens County deputies and Georgia State Troopers arrived on the scene. Officers attempted to disarm and arrest Turner with less lethal beanbag rounds fired from a shotgun. The less lethal rounds struck Turner but did not stop him from firing his pistol at the officers. The deputies and troopers returned fire striking and killing Turner. Two Pickens County deputies were shot during the exchange of gunfire. Both deputies were transported from the scene to local hospitals with non-life threatening injuries.
Turner will be transported to the GBI’s Medical Examiner’s Office in Decatur, GA where an autopsy will be conducted. The GBI is conducting an independent investigation to determine what occurred during the incident. Once the GBI completes the investigation, the results will be forwarded to the Appalachian Judicial Circuit District Attorney’s Office for any action that they deem appropriate.
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