11 people facing charges tonight in what’s being called the largest single meth bust in Chatham County history.
An operation that reached from Effingham and Chatham County to Brunswick, Atlanta… even Mexico.
A drug ring that stretched from the streets to cells in Georgia State Prisons.
“We seized a kilo of meth and it was picked up in Metro Atlanta area.”
“We received roughly 8 pounds of cocaine still packaged together in kilos.”
“We retrieved whole pound of crystal meth before any of it had a chance to be distributed in the streets.”
Savannah-Chatham CNT Sgt Gene Harley details the large amount of Crystal Meth and powder cocaine taken from dealers throughout South Georgia.
As undercover CNT agents found out, many of those connected are “Ghostface Gangsters”, a group with nearly 3000 members around the Southeast, including some who run drugs from Georgia prisons.
“They were arranging drug deals using smuggled cell phones in prison, to make drug dealers here to go to Atlanta area and meet a third party to pick up drugs at a dramatically reduced price,” explains Harley.
While its important to keep them off the streets, investigators actually say the “Gangsters” like being in jail, because it earns them a higher status, quicker, in the gang.
Steve Blunt of the Effingham County Sheriff’s drug task force says the operation was outed when they found one of their local prisoners making deals from a cell.
The numbers they heard and saw that after were staggering.
“When i started 13 years ago you heard someone had an ounce of ice it was a big deal and you chased them,” explained Blunt. “You looked all over the county for them until they were caught. Now seeing 2,3, 4 ounces of ice is nothing. A pound is a lot.”
Those pounds collected were worth $1.7 million. Drugs and money which could be coming straight from Mexican drug cartels to the Gangsters in or out of jail.
“When you are a criminal you continue to be a criminal even while serving your time, you can continue to create crime and disobey the law. These criminals will not stop and will continue to try and benefit from drug sales while in prison,” said Sgt Harley.
“We are very aware of you and have no problem investigating you whether you are out or in prison. We will continue to pursue you and will not tolerate this type of activity in Chatham County.”
Sgt Harley says more arrests in connection with this case could be coming.
CHATHAM COUNTY, Ga. – The Chatham-Savannah Narcotics Team along with the Effingham County Sheriff’s Office took down a massive meth ring operating between Chatham and Effingham Counties and Metro Atlanta.
In June of this year, CNT Agents and Effingham deputies identified several people suspected of trafficking large amounts of crystal methamphetamine. Some of them were traveling to Metro Atlanta to purchase the drug at wholesale prices to sell locally.
On June 12tth, one pound of crystal meth was seized along with two guns and a security officer badge. 39-year-old Charles Tillman Jr. of Effingham and 31-year-old Courtney Jones of Savannah were arrested near interstate 95 and Highway 204. Investigators say Tillman was wearing a security badge at the time.
The investigation revealed the pound of drugs was purchased in the metro Atlanta area and members of the gang “Ghost Face Gangsters” or “GFG” were involved. GFG is a prison based gang that’s heavily involved in drug trafficking.
With help from the Georgia Department of Corrections, CNT agents identified 28-eyar-old Charlie “Charlie-Boi” Turbow Jr. of Port Wentworth and 31-year-old Donald “Crash” Miles of Fulton County as the men orchestrating the drug deals from prison. Both were identified as GFG members.
Multiple drug seizures followed with several pounds of crystal meth being confiscated. On August 4th, 18 pounds of crystal meth and eight pounds of cocaine were seized in searches of three homes and two traffic stops in Smyrna Georgia.
In all, 22 pounds of crystal meth was taken off the streets, along with eight pounds of cocaine. 11 people (listed below) were indicted in the drug operation.
Along with CNT, ECSO, MCS, GA DOC, Dunwoody Police Department and Federal Bureau of Investigation Southeast Georgia Violent Crimes Task Force assisted in the investigation.