ELLIJAY, Ga. – The Gilmer County Sheriff’s Office issued a statement on social media today reporting a single traffic stop. A normal traffic stop is nothing of import except that this stop resulted in the seizure of 1.69 pounds of methamphetamine.
For reference, federal guidelines referencing the United States Sentencing Commission dictate a minimum sentence of 10 years for trafficking in 50 grams of Meth. According to the Sheriff’s report, the driver of the vehicle, Ethan Matthew Leonard, 17, and passenger, Anthony Stephen Ray, 20, were in possession of over 15 times that amount.
According to the Sheriff’s Office, “Corporal F. Parks initiated a traffic stop on a vehicle for failure to maintain lane and a window tint violation. Upon contact with the occupants in the car, Corporal Parks determined the driver was under the influence of marijuana.”
The United States Department of Justice states that Crystal Methamphetamine is a Schedule II substance under the Controlled Substances Act. Schedule II drugs, which include cocaine and PCP, have a high potential for abuse. Gilmer Sheriff Stacy Nicholson has also offered reports on the influx of and arrests made in relation to large amounts of drugs in the county. In July of 2021, he delivered a report to the media indicating a number of arrests made in the first half of the year.
Going from what information the Sheriff’s Office delivered in those arrests, only one comes close. A July 19, 2021, arrest for 628 grams (1.38 pounds) of Meth.
With this arrest, it becomes the largest amount out of those released to the public. The Sheriff’s Office stated that when Parks questioned the two in the vehicle, both occupants had conflicting stories and timelines of their travels.
The office stated, “The passenger provided Corporal Parks with a THC oil vape which gave probable cause to search the vehicle. During the search, approximately 763 grams (1.69 pounds) of methamphetamine was located under the back seat.”
Arrested on September 9, 2021, Ethan Matthew Leonard and Anthony Stephen Ray, both from Franklin, North Carolina, were arrested and charged with Possession with Intent to Distribute, Trafficking Methamphetamine, Possession of Schedule 1 Drug (THC oil), and Georgia window tint violation.