FORSYTH COUNTY, Ga. — Ryan Dennis Coker, 38, a Business Education teacher at Dawson County High School, was arrested Tuesday (Dec. 8) and charged with six felony counts of sexual exploitation of children and unlawful eavesdropping/surveillance.
Following Coker’s arrest the Dawson County School System released a statement stating that they are cooperating fully with the sheriff’s office investigation, and that Coker has been placed on administrative leave.
Coker is accused of having possession of photographs depicting minors engaged in sexually explicit conduct. He is being held in the Dawson County Detention Center. Dawson County Sheriff’s Office is investigating along with the Georgia Bureau of Investigation.
The Georgia Bureau of Investigation Medical Examiner has ruled the 18-year-old Dawson County inmate found dead in a cell on June 2, died due to a combined drug intoxication.
Jonathan Sanford who had just graduated from high school and was planning to attend college in the Fall, was arrested on a DUI charge and possession of marijuana. He was found dead in his cell the next day by a Dawson County jailer.
Although the cause of death has been established, the GBI is continuing its investigation. The Sanford family wants to know if their son was given a medical examination and placed on watch. Dawson County Sheriff’s Office Policy and Procedures requires inmates believed to be under the influence of drugs be “kept under close observation.”
The family has hired attorney AJ Richman to conduct a separate investigation to determine whether jail personnel failures contributed to his death.
“Georgia’s sheriffs are responsible for every aspect of a detainee’s health and welfare,” said Richman. “Our local government needs to be transparent, and we are calling upon the sheriff to share with us how Jonathan died in their custody.”
Fetch Your News is a hyper local news outlet that covers Dawson, Lumpkin, White, Fannin, Gilmer, Pickens, Union, Towns and Murray counties as well as Cherokee County in N.C. FYN attracts 300,000+ page views per month, 3.5 million impressions per month and approximately 15,000 viewers per week on FYNTV.com and up to 60,000 Facebook page reach. If you would like to follow up-to-date local events in any of those counties, please visit us at FetchYourNews.com
North GA (July 10, 2020) – After an extensive 11- month local, state, and federal joint investigation, 48 men and women have been arrested on the Violation of the Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations (RICO) Act and will be charged on numerous drugs and weapons offenses, spanning the Northern District of Georgia into the metro Atlanta area.
From August 2019 to the present, the Georgia Bureau of Investigation’s Appalachian Regional Drug Enforcement Office (ARDEO), the Federal Bureau of Investigation’s Major Offender’s Task Force in conjunction with the Hall County District Attorney’s Office has been conducting an investigation into the drug trafficking organization of Luther Troy Summerfield, age 43, Alejandro Ceja-Solano, age 40, and others. During the course of the investigation, agents in coordination with local deputies from the Habersham County Sheriff’s Office, the Banks County Sheriff’s Office, the White County Sheriff’s Office, Lumpkin County Sheriff’s Office, Stephens County Sheriff’s Office, Franklin County Sheriff’s Office, the Cleveland Police Department, Gilmer County Sheriff’s Office, and the Hall County Sheriff’s Office learned that Summerfield purchased and distributed kilograms of methamphetamine from Ceja-Solano. Information obtained from numerous hours of investigation also revealed that Summerfield traveled to Ceja-Solano’s residence to obtain drugs and traveled to the metro Atlanta area to obtain heroin and methamphetamine, either facilitated by Ceja-Solano, or another source of supply.
Throughout the investigation, police executed approximately 12 search warrants yielding the following:
- Approximately 50 kilograms of methamphetamine
- Approximately ½ kilogram of heroin
- Approximately 20 firearms
- Approximately $70,000 in cash
- Approximately 6 vehicles
The following individuals were arrested:
- Tanya Lynn Allison, age 48-arrested
- Katlynn Marie Beaucaire-arrested
- Richard Daniel Burkett-arrested
- Dulcey Burton, age 51-arrested
- Alejandro Ceja-Solano-arrested
- Jose Alfredo Miranda Chavez-already in custody
- Jessica Marie Clark, age 28-arrested
- Noah Coker-in prison
- Mark Coker-arrested
- Joshua Collins- already in custody
- Kevin Cosper-arrested
- Robyn Samantha Dost, age 27-arrested
- Chelsea Dover, age 30-arrested
- Shelbi Eanes, age 25-arrested
- Juan Antonio Flores-custody in Gwinnett
- Brandi Nicole Freeman-arrested
- Jory Gee, age 33-arrested
- Roger Dale Gerrin, age 62-arrested
- Robert Green- already in custody in Lumpkin
- Dexter Grier, age 40-arrested
- Nucoma Grindle, age 42-arrested
- Dustin Floyd Groves- arrested
- Terry Harris, -arrested
- Christy Deresia Hedden-arrested
- Jerry Lee Helton-arrested
- Crystal Marie Herrin-arrested
- Brooke Barron Hicks-arrested
- Christopher Jackson, age 33-arrested
- Kimberly Ann Kennedy-arrested
- Richard Jason Maddox-arrested
- Marinela Romeiro Marquez-arrested
- Pablo Martinez-already in custody
- Shayna Millwood-arrested
- Allie Murray-arrested
- William Harrison Nicely-arrested
- Ashley Parker- already in custody
- Joshua Ray Phillips- custody already
- Kirstie Purvis-arrested
- Brianne Ross Rummell-already in custody
- Michael Rummel-arrested
- Coty Anthony Sanders-arrested
- Jeffrey Shane Seabolt—arrested
- Erin Sexton-arrested
- Jessie Elaine Smith-arrested
- Seantal Tiffany Smith-arrested
- Luther Troy Summerfield-arrested
- Delores Thomas –arrested
- Anthony Williams-in custody
The street value associated with all the drugs seized is approximately $705,000.00.
The Appalachian Regional Drug Enforcement Office is a multi-agency unit that consists of the following agencies: White County Sheriff’s Office, Lumpkin County Sheriff’s Office, Towns County Sheriff’s Office, Banks County Sheriff’s Office, Habersham County Sheriff’s Office, Stephens County Sheriff’s Office, Rabun County Sheriff’s Office, Jackson County Sheriff’s Office Franklin County Sheriff’s Office, Fannin County Sheriff’s Office, Gilmer County Sheriff’s Office, Cleveland Police Department, Lavonia Police Department, Toccoa Police Department, the Georgia National Guard Counter Drug Task Force, the Department of Public Safety, and the Georgia Bureau of Investigation.
The FBI’S Major Offender’s Task Force consists of the Gainseville Police Department, the Georgia State Patrol, the Forsyth County Sheriff’s Office, the Lumpkin County Sheriff’s Office the Georgia Department of Corrections, the GBI, the Georgia Department of Community Supervision, Winder Police Department, and the Stephens County Sheriff’s Office.
The Alto Police Department assisted with this investigation as well.
This investigation is an example of the value of interagency cooperation. Because of the strong, existing relationships between the participating agencies, agents were able to share intelligence and coordinate the dismantling of a complex drug trafficking organization. Although numerous arrests have been made and evidence seized, the investigation continues, and additional arrests are expected.
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.
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.
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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