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.
ELLIJAY, Ga. – Recent highlights have shown major steps in our county by the Sheriff’s Office and cooperating agencies and agents with cases like the recent arrest of a wanted member of the Ghost Face gang to arrests made after Gilmer Deputies uncovered the murder of a woman in Cherry Log.
Today, the Gilmer County Sheriff’s Office and Sheriff Stacy Nicholson released information pertaining towards the seizure of illegal drugs, guns, and operations in the county. Totaling a quarter of a million dollars, this number is only made more alarming to know that it is only the total amount captured in the first half of 2021.
Sheriff’s deputies and agents of the Appalachian Regional Drug Enforcement Operation have reported the majority of captures as Methamphetamines, a drug that has been a problem for Gilmer County for years. Along with the information, they listed many of their seizures and the dates of occurrence:
Jan. 7 – 3.5 gr Meth
Jan. 13 – 3.5 gr Meth
Feb. 21 – 6.8 gr Meth
Feb. 24 – 22 gr Meth
Feb. 24 – 1 oz. Marijuana
Mar. 1 – Meth
Mar 11 – 10 gr Heroin
Mar. 17 – 8 gr Heroin, Meth, Ecstacy
Mar. 23 – 32 gr Meth, 31 gr Marijuana, 25 Schedule IV pills, $1,800 Cash
Mar. 30 – Dismantled “chop shop” operation
Apr. 1 – 1 gr Meth, 30 oz. Marijuana
Apr. 17 – 3.5 gr Meth, 28 Schedule IV pills
May 20 – 14 gr Heroin 4 gr Meth, firearms, 4 gr Meth, 20 THC vapes
May 28 – 40 Ecstasy pills
May 29 – 7 gr Heroin
June 3 – 8 Ecstasy pills, Firearms
June 8 – 3 oz. Meth, 1 oz. Heroin (along with West Metro/Fulton Co.)
June 11 – 167.1 gr Meth, 94.2 gr Heroin (along with GSP/Fannin Co.)
June 12 – 3.5 gr Meth, 5 gr Heroin
June 21 – 3.5 gr Meth
June 28 – 1 kilo Meth, 3 gr Heroin
July 7 – 1 lb. Marijuana, 1 kilo Meth
July 16 – 1.38 lb Meth, 6 gr Heroin
According to the Sheriff, this is not an exhaustive list. During their release “from the desk of the Sheriff,” Nicholson states, “This post highlights some of the more significant drug cases that GCSO Detectives, Crime Suppression Unit (CSU), K9 Deputies and Appalachian Regional Drug Enforcement (ARDEO) Agents have made for the first half of 2021. This doesn’t include all cases made, however it does highlight the more significant ones.”
Another point to think about is that this is the amount they seized, continuing operations still have more and more drugs circulating through the streets.
During these operations alone, 33 people have been arrested. According to the National Institute of Drug Abuse, a study in 2018 showed 67,367 deaths by overdose in Georgia alone. According to the Georgia Department of Public Health, 2020, a year with most people at home in isolation and quarantine, Gilmer County alone saw 534 Emergency Department visits over the year related to Drug Overdose specifically. That number is only those who made it to the Emergency Room to be treated.
Many others offer alternative stories. Stories like a boy who overdosed on his own couch, and rather than call 911 to get help, his friend leaves him to die so he doesn’t get caught with the drugs.
ELLIJAY, Ga. – An official statement from the Gilmer County Sheriff’s Office has confirmed that Dillon Andrew Godfrey has been taken into custody over the weekend.
Godfrey, 28, fled from authorities in the area of Gunstock Creek Road according to the Sheriff’s Office. Now captured, he faces charges including Aggravated Child Molestation, 2 counts of Child Molestation, Cruelty to Children, Probation Violation, 3 counts of Obstruction.
The office thanked citizens for tips and help in spreading information, but did not comment on exactly how he was taken into custody. They have been seeking Godfrey’s whereabouts since Monday, June 7, 2021, and asking for information and help in locating him. Several comments on their Social Media post mentioned possible location, but the Sheriff’s Office also encouraged people to call in at the Sheriff’s Criminal Investigation Division.
FYN will follow the arrest as more details become available.
CHERRY LOG, Ga. – Today the GBI released a video pointing out a specific person of interest that they are searching for.
The GBI is requesting the public’s assistance in identifying and locating the woman in this video.
According to the GBI’s Press Release, the woman is one of the last people to interact with the victim, Rossana Delgado. This video was noted in other reports and was taken on April 16, 2021. As one of the final people to see Delgado, GBI are seeking more information. The GBI has identified four suspects and has already released information seeking the identity of an unknown fifth suspect.
Now, this person of interest could have vital information on the case, the GBI is asking that anyone with information call the GBI Tipline at 1-800-597-TIPS(8477), report the information online at https://gbi.georgia.gov/submit-tips-online, or by downloading the mobile app, See Something Send Something.
GILMER, Ga – Last seen in Doraville, Georgia, on April 17, Rossana Delgado was discovered as the victim of a murder in Cherry Log on April 20, 2021.
The Gilmer County Sheriff’s Department continued investigations and offered a report on the activity clarifying, “We DO NOT feel that there is a current threat to our citizens in the area.” The Sheriff’s Office was working alongside the Georgia Bureau of Investigation (GBI) in the death investigation.
Since then, FYN has confirmed with authorities that the victim was Rossana Delgado. A mother of two has been missing from the Barrow County area since last Friday. The GBI now has four suspects with a possible fifth. Pictured are those suspects.
According to other reports, Delgado’s last known location was in Doraville, Ga. on April 17. They also indicate that she spoke to her husband at about 7 p.m. last Friday night. This was before picking up a person for her job. Reports say she drove a red 2017 Ford Focus as part of a job with a taxi service. However, it is unclear whether it was with Lyft, Uber, or another similar service.
While her husband did track her through her phone for a while, he and authorities did not find Delgado as her phone was discovered in public storage on Covington Highway. Unfortunately, that search ends today as Gilmer County Sheriff’s Deputies identified the victim of a murder in Cherry Log.
Since Thursday, April 22, 2021, social media has been covered in theories, reports, and rumors that citizens have spread about the crime while authorities have tracked evidence and worked with the GBI in the investigation. Now, they are releasing more information on their discoveries. As with most police investigations, details are limited due to the ongoing investigation and other duties like notifying family members first.
The GBI has officially issued murder warrants for suspects in the Gilmer County murder of Delgado.
The GBI stated, “The suspects that are wanted in connection with this murder are Megan Alyssa Colone, 30, of Stone Mountain, GA, Juan Ayala-Rodriguez, 35, of Gainesville, GA, Oscar Manuel Garcia, 26, of Austell, GA, and Mario Alberto Barbosa-Juarez, 29, of Oklahoma City, OK. It is believed that the four suspects plus a fifth suspect, that has yet to be identified, may no longer be in Georgia.”
It is also noted that Colone may be traveling under the alias, Grace Beda. Colone is believed to be traveling with her minor children. Authorities nationwide have been alerted about these individuals.
According to the GBI’s press release, “On Tuesday, April 20, 2021, at approximately 7 a.m., the Gilmer County Sheriff’s Office conducted a welfare check at a residence in Cherry Log, Georgia.”
Concerted efforts to identify the fifth suspect are ongoing.
The GBI asks anyone with information about the whereabouts of Colone, Ayala-Rodriguez, Garcia, or Barbosa-Juarez are asked to call the GBI Tipline at 1-800-597-TIPS(8477), report the information online at https://gbi.georgia.gov/submit-tips-online or by downloading the mobile app, See Something Send Something. If you see any of these individuals do not approach them, call 911 immediately.
The Gilmer County Sheriff’s Office has asked for patience and understanding with this case. The GBI echoed the sentiment saying that this investigation is still very active. The GBI and the Gilmer County Sheriff’s Office continue to coordinate with the Barrow County Sheriff’s Office, the DeKalb County Police Department, and the Chamblee Police Department, as well as multiple state, local, and Federal agencies to locate and hold the responsible parties accountable.
As the investigation continues and authorities continue to release information, FYN will continue to update this story and new articles as it becomes available. The GBI stated that the autopsy results are pending, but upon completion of this investigation, the file will be provided to the Appalachian Judicial Circuit District Attorney for prosecution.
Full press release from GBI below:
Ellijay, Georgia (April 24, 2020) – Murder warrants have been issued for suspects in the Gilmer County murder of Rossana Delgado, 37, of Bethlehem, GA, that occurred on April 20, 2021. The suspects that are wanted in connection with this murder are Megan Alyssa Colone, 30, of Stone Mountain, GA, Juan Ayala-Rodriguez, 35, of Gainesville, GA, Oscar Manuel Garcia, 26, of Austell, GA, and Mario Alberto Barbosa-Juarez, 29, of Oklahoma City, OK. It is believed that the four suspects plus a fifth suspect, that has yet to be identified, may no longer be in Georgia. Colone may be traveling under the alias, Grace Beda. Colone is believed to be traveling with her minor children. Authorities nationwide have been alerted about these individuals.
On Tuesday, April 20, 2021, at approximately 7 a.m., the Gilmer County Sheriff’s Office conducted a welfare check at a residence in Cherry Log, Georgia. Gilmer County deputies responded and then requested the assistance of the Georgia Bureau of Investigation’s (GBI) Regional Investigative Office in Cleveland, GA. The victim found at the scene was later identified as Delgado. Delgado was reported as a missing person in Barrow County, Georgia on April 16, 2021. She was last seen in DeKalb County on April 16, 2021.
Concerted efforts to identify the fifth suspect in this case are ongoing. Anyone with information about the whereabouts of Colone, Ayala-Rodriguez, Garcia or Barbosa-Juarez are asked to call the GBI Tipline at 1-800-597-TIPS(8477), report the information online at https://gbi.georgia.gov/submit-tips-online or by downloading the mobile app, See Something Send Something. If you see any of these individuals do not approach them, call 911 immediately.
This investigation is still very active. The GBI and the Gilmer County Sheriff’s Office continue to coordinate with the Barrow County Sheriff’s Office, the DeKalb County Police Department, and the Chamblee Police Department, as well as multiple state, local and Federal agencies to locate and hold the responsible parties accountable.
The autopsy results are pending.
Upon completion of this investigation, the file will be provided to the Appalachian Judicial Circuit District Attorney for prosecution.
See more press releases and updates as the GBI and Gilmer Sheriff’s Office continue the investigation with updates about the fifth suspect and asking for citizens help in identifying another person of interest.
ELLIJAY, Ga. – Despite spreading rumors on social media, Gilmer County’s Sheriff’s Office has released a statement “from the desk of the Sheriff” saying that there was not and is not an active shooter in a Gilmer School.
The lockdown has been lifted on both the Larry Walker Education Center and Gilmer High School at this time. The official statement said, “On December 10, 2020, Sheriff’s Office personnel responded to a lockdown event at the Larry Walker Center at approximately 9:30 a.m.”
The Sheriff stated, “Deputies responded to assist School Resource Officers who were already on scene. Following a thorough investigation into the noise, which included a search of the school properties nearby and including the Larry Walker Center, the source of the noise was determined not to have been a gunshot. A school administrator reviewed video footage from the location where the noise was reported, and in doing so, he saw that a piece of furniture had been moved by maintenance personnel causing it to strike a wall adjacent to the office where the noise was heard. The staff in that office mistook it for a gunshot. The noise was re-enacted for the staff who confirmed the noise was what they had previously heard.”
The Sheriff’s Office asserted that, despite the speculations made on social media, nobody has been arrested and nobody was injured during this event as there was no gunshot and no shooter.
According to Superintendent Dr. Shanna Downs, there has been no threats on the schools recently that she is aware of.
Gilmer has dealt with threats in the past, but no officials are reporting any indications of such an occurrence today.
Despite this, rumors and allegations are continuing across social media along with speculations of the noise’s source. FYN’s current understanding is that the only threat the school system has dealt with recently is a self-harm threat isolated to a specific student in a situation completely unrelated to today’s events.
As authorities continue to update with new details, FYN will continue to post new articles with such information.