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2013 PRESS RELEASES:


 

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE...

Tuesday, February 19, 2013

Two Arrested in Seperate Child Molestation Cases

Sheriff Mitch Ralston Reports:

On November 4, 2012, a report of a child molestation against a 15 year old female victim was received by the Sheriff's Office. An investigation was initiated and electronic communications evidence was gathered by detectives and analyzed. On February 15, 2013, detectives arrested Francisco Flores III, age 38, of 309 Circle Drive, Calhoun, and charged him with Criminal Attempt to Commit Child Molestation. The offense is alleged to have taken place at a private residence near Calhoun in November, 2012. Flores remains in the county jail pending bond procedings.

 

 

 

 

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE...

Thursday, February 7th, 2013

Curfew Lifted in Storm Affected Areas of Gordon County

Sheriff Mitch Ralston Reports:

The curfew during hours of darkness for the areas of Gordon County which were impacted by the tornado on January 30th has been lifted. Normal travel has resumed in the areas. Concentrated patrols in these areas will continue however, and extra deputy sheriffs remain deployed in those communities. Persons in thes areas needing any type of assistance from the Sheriff's Office should call 911 or 706.629.1244.

______________________________________________________________________________________________ 

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE...

8:30am, Friday, February 1st, 2013 State-of-Emergency in Storm Affected Areas of Gordon County Sheriff Mitch Ralston Advises:

A state of emergency remains in effect for the storm affected areas of Gordon County, particularly in the Sonoraville/Farmville/Plainview communities, Cash, Lewis' Corner, McGill Mountain, and Trimble Hollow locations.

The following roadways are still closed due to either storm debris, downed trees and/or utility lines, or flooding:

  • Watertank Road near Sugar Valley
  • Covington Bridge Road near Cash
  • Sam Hunt Road near Fairmount
  • Knight Road near Red Bud
  • Langford Road near Red Bud
  • Meadowlark Drive near Cash
  • Whipporwill Drive near Cash
  • Cardinal Road near Cash
  • Cardinal Boulevard near Cash
  • Stone Mill Subdivision (all roadways) near Farmville
  • Farmington Subdivision (all roadways) near Farmville

None emergency vehicle traffic will be restricted. Residents of these areas will be allowed to go to and from thier own homes. Travel is not restricted in areas unaffected by the storm, and people may go about their business, but citizens are urged to not attempt to drive in or through restricted areas. A curfew will remain in effect during the hours of darkness in the storm affected areas.   No contractors will be allowed into the restricted areas without a County Government - issued 'Temporary Contractors Permit'. These permits may be obtained at Fire Department Headquarters at 400 Belwood Road in Calhoun. Contractors must show a business license and proof of insurance to obtain a temporary permit. Law enforcement officers will inspect permits in the storm affected areas.   The Sheriff has deployed state and local law enforcement officers throughout all of the communities affected by the storm, and these officers will maintain a concentrated presence as long as is necessary.   Sheriff Ralston will issue further updates and announcements as needed.



    FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE...   Wednesday, January 30, 2013   State of Emergency Declared Following Tornado in Gordon County   Gordon County was struck by at least 1 large-path tornado before noon today. There is widespread and very serious damage. Many structures have been damaged and destroyed, power lines are down along with trees, and many roadways are closed. Utilities have been interrupted. A state of emergency has been declared for Gordon County beginning at 3pm today which will continue until safety and services have been restored. The affected areas include: FarmVille, Sonoraville" Boone Ford, Trimble Hollow, Erwin Hill, and Plainview. Non-emergency traffic in these areas will be prohibited. There is still real and significant danger from downed power lines and debris. State and local emergency services and have been deployed in all of the affacted areas for the duration of the emergency. Citizens SHOULD NOTattempt to travel into the affected areas, and avoid areas with debris and damaged power lines.   Eight people are known to have suffered injuries, two of which are believed to be very serious. As of 3pm, no fatalities have been reported.  



 

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE...

Wednesday, January 23rd, 2013 Deputies Arrest Dalton Man For Residential Burglary Sheriff Mitch Ralston Reports: On Friday evening, January 18th, deputy sheriffs were dispatched to a private residence on Roland Hayes Parkway in response to a report of a suspicious vehicle. Upon arrival, the deputies found a van stuck in the mud in the front yard. Detectives questioned the driver of the van, one Justin L. Shutley, age 24, of 402 Arrowhead Road, Dalton, Georgia, and arrested him for Burglary of the residence. Items taken from within the home were found inside the van and returned to the owner. Shutley was booked into the county jail and later released on $10,000.00 bond.

 



 

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE...

Tuesday, January 22, 2013

Jailor Among Three Arrested For Animal Cruelty

Sheriff Mitch Ralston Reports:

A Gordon County jailor was arrested for Animal Cruelty today after testifying in a hearing in Magistrate Court. Donna Asherbranner, age 49, was taken into custody along with James M. Asherbranner, age 55, both of Nickelsville Highway, Resaca, and Monique Headrick, age 50, of Hufstetler Road, Resaca. All three were charged 1 count of Animal Cruelty. An investigation was initiated several days ago by the County Animal Shelter and the state Department of Agriculture's Equine Division regarding allegations of the mistreatment of horses. The offense is alleged to have taken place at 4320 Nickelsville Highway on January 11, 2013. The three defendants were booked into the jail and released on their own recognizance on instructions from the Magistrate Court. The allegations are not related to Asherbranner's official duties. Asherbranner, who has been employed as a jailor since 2009, was suspended pending the outcome of an internal investigation.



 

 FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE...

 

Friday, January 18, 2013

 

Deputies Arrest 2  Men For Drug Violations, Outstanding Warrants

 

 

Sheriff Mitch Ralston Reports:

 

On Wednesday afternoon, January 16th, deputy sheriffs from the Community Crimes Prevention Unit stopped a suspicious automobile on US Highway 41 in Resaca. The deputies questioned the driver and passenger, subsequently searched the car, and found a variety of illegal drugs, including marijuana, methamphetamine, and LSD. Both the driver, Billy Lee Talley, age 48, of Dalton, Georgia, and the passenger, Alexander Thompson Hill, age 20, of LaFayette, Georgia were arrested without incident. Hill already had outstanding warrants for his arrest from Whitfield County at the time. Both men were charged with Possession of Marijuana, Possession of Methamphetamine With Intent to Distribute, and Possession of LSD With Intent to Distribute. Both are lodged in the county jail pending bond proceedings.



 

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE...

 

Thursday, January 17th, 2013

 

Deputies Arrest 2 Local Men For Residential Burglary

 

 

Sheriff Mitch Ralston Reports:

 

At approximately 1:45pm, January 15th, deputy sheriffs responded to the report of a residential burglary at a private residence on the Rome Road near Plainville. The perpetrators had fled the scene, but deputies were able to locate a witness who gave a good description of the pick-up truck which was involved. A few minutes later, other deputies located the truck at a residence on Moore's Ferry Road. They also found stolen property from the burglary nearby. Detectives subsequently arrested Johnny Gravitt, age 61, of 1788 Moore's Ferry Road, and Terry M. Bishop, age55, of 1755 Moore's Ferry Road and charged them both with Burglary in the First Degree. The pick-up truck was seized as well. Both defendants were lodged in the county jail pending bond proceedings. The stolen property was all returned to the rightful owner.


 


 

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE...

 

Wednesday, January 16th, 2013

 

Man Who Threatened Deputies With a Rifle Shot

 

 

Sheriff Mitch Ralston Reports:

 

At approximately 3:50pm today (January 16th), deputy sheriffs were dispatched to a private residence on Dews Pond Road near Calhoun, in response to a request from authorities in Floyd County, Georgia, concerning the report of an armed man threatening to kill his wife. Upon their arrival, deputies saw the man in question in a pick-up truck, which had been reported stolen. This man, subsequently identified as one Allen Eugene Ott, age 48, of 781 Flowery Branch, Kingston, Georgia, was approached by the deputies and ignored repeated commands to put down a large caliber rifle with which he was armed. Ott pointed his rifle at a deputy who shot him. Ott then pointed his rifle at a second deputy and was shot again. He was removed from the scene by ambulance and pronounced dead.

 

Sheriff Mitch Ralston said, "This was an unfortunate incident where an individual threatened the deputies, placing them in fear for their lives and forced them to take action. It is a reminder of the dangers in such cases that our courageous officers face every day. The deputies involved in this event will be on paid, administrative leave until the completion of the GBI investigation, which is in keeping with our standard policy and procedures."

 




 

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE...

 

Tuesday, January 15, 2013

 

Deputies Arrest Local Man For Possession of Schedule II Drugs With Intent to Distribute

 

 

Sheriff Mitch Ralston Reports:

 

At about 8pm Monday evening (January 14), deputy sheriffs assigned to the Community Crime Prevention Unit stopped an automobile driven by Salvatore S. Alawat, age 28, of 52 Brackett Ridge Road, Resaca, Georgia, on Interstate 75 near Resaca. A subsequent search of the automobile revealed a large quantity of oxycodone tablets. Alawat had been the subject of a Major Crimes Unit (MCU) investigation for several weeks. He was arrested without incident and charged with Possession of Schedule II Controlled Substances, and Possession With Intent to Distribute Schedule II Controlled Substances. From information gathered during this investigation, more arrests and prosecutions are expected. Alawat is being held in jail pending bond proceedings.

 

 

Sheriff Mitch Ralston said, " We realize the increasing popularity of dangerous prescription medication as recreational drugs, especially with some of our younger people. To combat this serious problem, we will dedicate investigative resources and continue to work in partnership with our colleagues on the state and federal level."

 

 

 



 

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:

 

Friday, January 4th, 2013

 

Sheriff Mitch Ralston Reports:

 

On Friday morning (January 4), deputy sheriffs responded to a report of a theft of a wheelchair from a private residence in the Sugar Valley community. After completing the report from the wheelchair-bound victim, deputies initiated a canvass of the neighborhood which resulted in locating a witness who'd observed a suspicious person in the neighborhood. Acting on this information, the deputies went to a second home in Sugar Valley, where a large amount of stolen property was located, including bicycles, a riding lawnmower, electronic sound equipment, power tools, a gasoline generator, and the wheelchair. Detectives reponded to the scene where the stolen property was identified and returned to the respective victims. Detectives arrested Tommy Lee Holt Jr. age 23, of 3219 Sugar Valley Road and charged him with Burglary in the 1st Degree involving Hall Memorial Church, Burglary in the 1st Degree involving a private home on Fairview Road, and  an assortment of misdemeanor theft charges. Holt remains in the County Jail pending bond proceedings. Sheriff Ralston said, "It is very unfortunate that an individual would choose to steal from a wheelchair bound victim, as well as burglarizing a church, and I hope that a jury of his peers here in our county will hold him responsible for these despicable acts".

         

 


 

 

2012 PRESS RELEASES:

 

 




 

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE...

 

Thursday, December 6, 2012

 

Sheriff Acquires 2 Patrol Motorcycles Through Forfeited Drug Assets

 

 

Sheriff Mitch Ralston Reports:

 

In March, 2012, a uniformed deputy sheriff initiated a traffic stop of a suspicious motorcycle near Dews Pond after receiving a complaint from a concerned citizen. Upon stopping this motorcycle, the deputy discovered both methamphetamine and several thousand dollars of cash used in drug transactions. The motorcyclist was arrested and the money and motorcycle seized. A  request for condemnation was filed in Superior Court which was granted in mid June, giving the Sheriff's Office both motorcycle and cash.The motorcycle was in excellent condition, with low mileage.

With the help of Mr. Johnny Martin of 'USA Cycles', both the seized cycle, and an identical second cycle purchased with condemned money, were converted from 'street bikes' into law enforcement patrol motorcycles. Two deputies on staff who had already undergone motor officer training as former municipal policemen, were assigned the motorcyles. The motorcycles were first used on patrol in late October. They will be used in the future for patrolling special events, escorts, and patrolling neighborhoods throughout the county.

 

Sheriff Ralston said, "Although the standard law enforcement motorcycles are usually Harley-Davidson or BMW, the cost to the taxpayers for these motorcycles was nothing, making this a very cost effective measure. It will allow us to be more diverse in our patrol techniques, and more effective in making our community safer."

 


 

 

 FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE...

 

Wednesday, December 5, 2012

 

Deputies Apprehend One of Gordon County's "10 Most Wanted", Other Fugitives

 

 

Sheriff Mitch Ralston Reports:

 

On Friday, November 30, acting on a tip from a concerned citizen, Gordon County deputy sheriffs travelled to Lower Dug Gap Road in Whitfield County in search of a defendant on the Sheriff's "10 Most Wanted" list. Along with Whitfield County deputies, they located and approached a private residence where the fugitive was believed to be hiding. LISA BRACKETT, age 36, of 4374 Nance Springs Road, Dalton, Georgia was found inside and arrested without incident. She had been wanted since April, 2012 in connection with a drug-related investigation by the State Patrol. She was released on bond on December 1st.

On Friday, November 30, 2012, Gordon County deputy sheriffs travelled to Bartow County in search of a fugitive wanted since November 26, when he'd escaped from deputies during a traffic stop on Interstate 75 near the Gordon-Bartow County line. Along with Bartow County deputies in an unmarked vehicle, they aproached a private residence in northern Bartow County near Adairsville where EMERY BLAKE GULLEDGE, age 31, of 109 May Street, Adairsville, Georgia was located and apprehended. Gulledge was booked into the Gordon County Jail on charges of Escape, and Battery. He is awaiting judicial proceedings.

On Monday, December 3rd, 2012, Gordon County Deputy Sheriffs received a tip from a concerned citizen that an inmate who'd left a work detail assignment and failed to report to the Jail was hiding at an apartment complex on Newtown Road. Deputy sheriffs went to the complex and conducted a general canvass of the area. When deputies peered through an open window into one of the apartments, they noticed a video game which had been paused. They also saw JOSH HANLEY, age 23, of 107 Newtown Road, wanted for escape, inside. HANLEY was apprehended without incident and returned to the County Jail where he awaits judicial proceedings. 


 

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE...

 

Friday, November 30, 2012

Deputies Capture Burglary Suspects After High Speed Chase

 

Sheriff Mitch Ralston Reports:

 

 

Friday, November 30, 2012, around noon, deputy sheriffs responded to the report of a residential burglary at a private residence on Highway 225 near the Nickelsville community. A witness who observed the burglars fleeing the scene provided a description to the deputies. This information was broadcast to other Sheriff's Office personnel, and a plainclothed deputy saw a vehicle fitting the description travelling south on US 41 between Calhoun and Resaca. When the deputy attempted to stop this vehicle, a red Jeep, a chase ensued. The plainclothed deputy pursued the Jeep for about 2 miles when until other deputies in marked patrol cars took over the chase, which involved high speeds and dangerous manouvers in and about the north area of Calhoun and the Newtown community. Several deputies responded quickly to the area, cutting office escape routes. The pursuit ended when the suspect drove into a dead end street in an apartment complex on Newtown Road, crashing into a parked car. The driver and passenger both attempted to run from the deputies on foot. The driver, Justin Lee Charles, age 18, of 152 Forest Heights Circle, Calhoun, actually knocked his female accomplice, Tiffany Nichole Scoggins, age 18, of 325 Clyde Drive, Cedartown, Georgia, down to the ground as he ran away. Both were quickly apprehended however, without further incident. A deputy sheriff was slightly injured while pursuing the suspects on foot, and was treated and released from Gordon Hospital. The Jeep was badly damaged, and was found to contain methamphetamine, illegal prescription drugs, and electronic appliances believed to have been taken in the burglary. Charles was charged with Burglary, Possession of Methamphetamine With Intent to Distribute, Possession of Hydrocodone, Felony Fleeing and Attempting to Elude Officers, and a number of other traffic-related offenses. Scoggins was charged with Burglary, Possession of Methamphetamine With Intent to Distribute, Possession of Hydrocodone, and Obstructing Peace Officers. Both are lodged in the county jail. Sheriff Mitch Ralston said: "I'm pleased that my deputies swiftly resolved this case, without injury to any innocent bystanders, and recovered the stolen property. These two defendants will now face a jury of Gordon County citizens and answer for their actions". 

 


 

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE...

 

Thursday, November 29, 2012

"Propane Bandit" Captured

 

Sheriff Mitch Ralston Reports:

 

On November 13, 2012, deputy sheriffs responded to a report of the theft of several propane cylinders at the 'Martin's Corner' store in the Dews Pond community. Detectives reviewed surveillance videos and determined that the vehicle involved was a small blue sedan driven by a white/male individual. This information was broadcast to all deputy sheriffs and to the local State Patrol post.

On November 29th, a state trooper on routine patrol on Highway 53 west near Calhoun stopped a small blue sedan for a traffic violation. The observant trooper noticed that the automobile's trunk was secured by a rope, and also saw a number of propane cylinders in the trunk, and also in the back seat.

After questioning the driver, Sean Dwight Collins, age 24, of 21 South Blanche Avenue, Rome, Georgia, and the occupant, the trooper summoned detectives to the scene. Collins was arrested and charged with Theft by Taking in connection with the theft at Martin's Corner, and Receiving Stolen Property. Detectives believe that the propane cannisters found by the trooper were stolen from Floyd County. Collins was serving a probation sentence for a previous theft conviction.


 

 

 

 

 

 

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE...

 

Friday, November 16th, 2012

 

Two Ranger Community Men Arrested For Trafficking in Methamphetamine

 

 

Sheriff Mitch Ralston Reports:

 

A Sheriff's Office investigation spanning several months culminated last week (Friday, November 9th) with the arrests of two men for methamphetamine trafficking in the Ranger Community in eastern Gordon County. Detectives from the Sheriff's Major Crimes Unit executed a search warrant at the home of Sammy Cronan, age 57, of 865 US Highway 411, as well as searching two (other) residences nearby. As a result of the operation, Cronan and Dennis D. Glover, age 59, of 863 US Highway 411 were both arrested and charged with Trafficking in Methamphetamine, Possession of Methamphetamine With Intent to Distribute, and Possession of Methamphetamine. Glover faces additional parole violation charges. Parole Officers accompanied Sheriff's Office personnel to make the arrests. Detectives seized several pounds of processed methamphetamine, valued at over $75,000.00, as well as cash and a pistol. Glover is being held in the county jail without bond. Cronan subsequently appeared in Superior Court and was released on  a $75,000.00 property bond.

 

Sheriff Ralston said, "This is an ongoing investigation, and I expect additional arrests and indictments in this case before we're through. The deputies and state parole officers did a fine job in executing these warrants, collecting the evidence, and preparing a good case to forward to the prosecuting attorneys."

 



 

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE...

 

 

Wednesday, October 24th, 2012

 

 

Sheriff Hosts Delegation of Senior Israeli Police Officials, Showcases Gordon County Sheriff's Office

 

 

Sheriff Mitch Ralston Reports:

 

On Tuesday, October 23rd, Sheriff Mitch Ralston hosted a delegation of senior Israeli Police officials, showcasing the Sheriff's Office. The event was part of a broader program, the Georgia International Law Enforcement Exchange, a joint project of Georgia State University, and local, state, federal, and international police officials. "In partnership with the corporate sector and civic groups, it offers law enforcement executive development programs by focusing on peer-to-peer on-site training." The delegation of 16 Israeli police officials, consisting of Chief Superintendents, Commanders, and a Brigadier General, spent the day in Gordon County. They were treated to a lunch sponsored by the Sheriff and Sheriff's Auxiliary at the property of Mr. Joel Ostuw, '2400 On The River', near the Ranger community. After the luncheon, the Israelis were escorted by deputy sheriffs and GBI agents to the Sheriff's Office where they were greeted by the Sheriff's Honor Guard and then received a classroom presentation on "Community Policing by the Gordon County Sheriff's Office" from Sheriff's staff instructors. The presentation placed a special emphasis on the Auxiliary and their role in Sheriff's operations and in the community. This was followed by a tour of the entire Sheriff's Office/Jail Complex. After demonstrations, and questions & answers with the Sheriff and his command personnel, the group toured Engineered Floors in Calhoun for an up-close example of the local textile industry. "This was the first time in history that the Gordon County Sheriff's Office was selected to participate in this wonderful program, and I am very proud that we were recommended for this honor by our partners at the GBI. We have made friends in the GILEE program, and we will never forget meeting and hosting our Israeli colleagues. I am assured that we gave a strong, positive impression to our guests not only of my Office and staff, but of the warmth and hospitality of all of the people in our community. I am very proud of the staff and Auxiliary members who made the day a success, and want to especially thank Mr. Joel Ostuw, and also the people at Engineered Floors for their hospitality and kindness", said Sheriff Mitch Ralston. .




 

M  E  D  I  A     R  E  L  E  A  S  E

 

Thursday, October 11th, 2012

 

 

FOR  IMMEDIATE  RELEASE…

 

 

 

 

 

Sheriff Mitch Ralston Reports:

 

 

 

 

 

In July, 2012, the Sheriff’s Office Major Crimes Unit (MCU) initiated an investigation into allegations of the distribution of illicit drugs at a local convenience store in an unincorporated area in Calhoun. The information was corroborated by detectives, who spent hundreds of man-hours conducting surveillance, undercover work, and gathering other evidence.

 

 

 

 

 

At approximately 8:30pm, Wednesday night, October 10th, Sheriff’s detectives and uniformed deputy sheriffs executed search and arrest warrants at the Food Mart convenience store at the intersection of State Route 53 & US Highway 41 in Calhoun. Deputies closed down the store and conducted a search which resulted in the collection of methamphetamine, packaged synthetic marijuana, financial records, electronic video records, US currency, and other physical evidence. The Sheriff’s Crime Scene Unit and K9 Units were also deployed.  Detectives were on the scene until the early morning hours today.

 

 

 

 

 

During the course of this investigation, dubbed ‘MARKET-FORK’, detectives seized over a quarter pound of methamphetamine, approximately $10,000.00 in cash, and three (3) automobiles.

 

 

 

 

 

Charges of commercial gambling involve cash payoffs in connection with electronic gaming machines.

 

 

 

 

 

The Sheriff’s Office will provide the pertinent information in the form of official reports to the County Board of Commissioners to allow for the disposition of county-issued license issues.

 

 

 

 

 

Those persons arrested in connection with this investigation are as follows:

 

 

 

 

 

1.       NADIR HAJI HEMANI a/k/a ‘ALI SHAHIR’, age 20, of 203 Poarch Loop, Calhoun, charged with Trafficking in Methamphetamine, Conspiracy, Commercial Gambling, Possession of Methamphetamine, Racketeering

 

 

2.       JOSE VASQUEZ a/k/a ‘RAOUL’, age 26, Apt 519, 200 East Line Street, Calhoun, charged with Sale of Methamphetamine, Possession of Methamphetamine, and Racketeering

 

 

3.       CARLOS RAMOS, age 41, Apt 114, 200 East Line Street, Calhoun, charged with Trafficking in Methamphetamine, Conspiracy, Racketeering

 

 

4.       ENRIQUE PEREZ ROMERO a/k/a ‘JORGE’, age 42, 160 Stendal Drive, Calhoun, charged with Trafficking Methamphetamine, Sale of Methamphetamine, Commercial Gambling, Racketeering

 

 

5.       SARAH McFARLEY, age 24, 121 Forest Heights, Calhoun, charged with Sale of Methamphetamine and Possession of Methamphetamine, Racketeering

 

 

6.       ALBERTO ALVAREZ CARIA a/k/a

 

 

7.       ERIC RANDALL TUCKER, age 18, 1288 Riverbend Road, Dalton, charged with Possession of Methamphetamine, Racketeering

 

 

8.       CHRISTOPHER DWAYNE BROWNING, age 31, 552 Crown Lake Drive, Dalton, charged with Sale of Methamphetamine, Racketeering

 

 

9.       CLIFFORD SHANE BRUCE, age 22, 330 Forest Heights, Calhoun, charged with Trafficking Methamphetamine, Sale of Methamphetamine, Conspiracy, Racketeering

 

 

 

 

 

HEMANI a/k/a HEMANI identified himself as an Indian national. All defendants remain in the county jail pending bond proceedings.

 

 

 

 

 

Sheriff Mitch Ralston said, “My deputies and detectives dedicated a great deal of time and effort in this investigation. I am proud of all of the good police work that went into the case, from the initiation to the arrests. We’ve gathered a lot of evidence and developed a strong case against these individuals. We will forward the case to our District Attorney’s Office for prosecution, and the case will then be placed in the hands of a jury of Gordon County citizens to reach a just conclusion. I would like to commend all my staff involved in this case, and I’d like to especially thank all the good, concerned citizens who called me directly to report suspicious activity at the store in question. Your information was very helpful. This case is another example of our citizens working in concert with the Sheriff’s Office to make a better community for all of us.”

 

 

2012 Press Releases

 




FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE... Wednesday, October 3, 2012 Sheriff's Detectives Investigating Report of Rape of a Juvenile Sheriff Mitch Ralston Reports: On Tuesday morning, October 2, 2012, Sheriff's detectives received a report that a female juvenile had been raped at her residence in the Sonoraville community the night before. An investigation ensued which led detectives and deputy sheriffs to seek one Tony Cuevas, age 29 in connection with the event. Sheriff's personnel attempted to apprehend Cuevas at a location in the area near Boone Ford Road, but Cuevas evaded them and fled on foot into a densely wooded area. Cuevas was last seen Tuesday morning (October 2) in that same area, wearing blue shorts and a blue 'tank top' shirt. He is not known to have a fixed address. Authorities do not believe that he was armed at any time. Warrants have been issued charging Cuevas with Rape and Obstructing Peace Officers. Investigating detectives believe that Cuevas was an acquaintence of the victim's parents. Anyone with any information regarding Cuevas' whereabouts is urged to call 911 or the Sheriff's Office at 706.629.1244.




 FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE... Friday, September 14th, 2012 Deputies Arrest Ranger Man for Trafficking in Cocaine, Accomplice Still Being Sought Sheriff Mitch Ralston Reports: At about 9 p.m. Wednesday night, September 12, a deputy sheriff from the Community Crime Prevention Unit (CCPU) was on routine patrol on Interstate 75 near Calhoun when he stopped a 2008 Chevrolet Impala occupied by two men for a traffic violation. A subsequent search of the automobile by deputies and a Sheriff's canine revealed several ounces of cocaine in the passenger compartment. Upon the discovery of the cocaine, the man who'd been the passenger bolted away from the deputies and fled on foot. The driver, identified as one Heath Douglas Partlow, age 41, of 350 Apple Road, Ranger, Gordon County, Georgia, was taken into custody without resistance. The unidentified passenger ran from the interstate into a wooded area. Several state troopers responded to the scene and one trooper was injured while pusuing the violator. The trooper was not badly hurt and was treated and released from Gordon Hospital. The automobile and cocaine were seized, and Partlow was jailed and charged with Trafficking in Cocaine. The 'street value' of the cocaine is estimated at $8,000.00. Troopers, Calhoun police, and deputy sheriffs searched the area for several hours, along with a State Patrol helicopter. The passenger who fled the scene was not apprehended, but investigating detectives have reason to believe that he is not a resident of Georgia. Partlow,  remains in the county jail pending bond proceedings.Sheriff Ralston commended all of the officers involved in this arrest.




FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE... Wednesday, September 5th, 2012 CCPU Deputies Arrest Atlanta Man For Possession of Marijuana With Intent to Distribute Sheriff Mitch Ralston Reports: On Monday evening, August 13th, 2012, a deputy sheriff from the Sheriff's Community Crime Prevention Unit (CCPU) was on patrol on Interstate 75 near Calhoun when he stopped an automobile driven by an Atlanta man for a traffic violation. The deputy became suspicious upon speaking with the man, and a CCPU drug sniffing canine responded to the scene. The dog alerted to the presence of drugs, and a search of the vehicle revealed approximately 1 1/2 pounds of 'vacuum packed' marijuana hidden within a stereo speaker. The man, identified as Anthony L. Blalock, age 33, of 2088 Penelope Street, Atlanta, Georgia, was taken into custody without incident. He was charged with Possession of Marijuana With Intent to Distribute. "I'm pleased with the results of the work of the canines, and their deputy-partners, in the past 3 1/2 years in uncovering illegal drug distribution. These dogs are a valuable asset to my overall strategy in dealing with unlawful drug trafficking in our community. The CCPU has been successful in apprehending violators on our roadways, and working in concert with the Major Crimes Unit in arresting and prosecuting those who choose to import this poison into our community", said Sheriff Mitch Ralston.




FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE... Thursday, August 30, 2012 Joint Investigation Nets Large Methamphetamine Distribution Operation Sheriff Mitch Ralston Reports:   On Wednesday, August 29, 2012, an investigation into methamphetamine trafficking ended with the arrest of a Sandy Springs man in the Sonoraville community. In a joint investigation along with the GBI, GSP,  ICE, and the Union County Sheriff's Office, Sheriff's Major Crimes detectives and deputies from the Community Crime Prevention Unit executed a search warrant at a private residence on the Fairmount Highway in Sonoraville. The agents and detectives seized approximately five (5) pounds of raw methamphetamine, also known as "ice". Information which led to the acquisition of the warrant hade been developed earlier in the (same) day, and a squad of Sheriff's detectives dressed in camouflage had the home under surveillance for several hours before the arrest was made.
Alexis Renteria Maldonado , age 20, of Sandy Springs, Georgia was arrested at the scene without incident. He has been charged with: Trafficking in Methamphetamine, Manufacturing Methamphetamine, and Possession of Methamphetamine With Intent to Distribute. A quantity of the methamphetamine was in liquid form, and detectives believe that Maldonado was in the processing of reducing the liquid to solid "ice" form when he was apprehended. Detectives believe that Maldonado had been staying at the residence in Sonoraville for less than 24 hours. The home had been rented by a third party, and detectives do not believe that the property owner had any knowledge of the illegal activity. The methamphetamine had a'street' value of approximately $100,000.00
"This was an excellent example of law enforcement teamwork, with satisfying results, and highlights the great relationship my Office enjoys with the GBI, State Patrol, and other Sheriff's Offices. I commend all of the agents, troopers, detectives, and deputy sheriffs who participated in this investigation, and I was especially pleased that this operation was not allowed to gain a foothold here before it was taken apart", said Sheriff Mitch Ralston
    




FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE... Friday, August 24, 2012 Detectives Arrest Calhoun Man For Aggravated Child Molestation Sheriff Mitch Ralston Reports: In early July (2012) Sheriff's detectives initiated an investigation into allegations of child molestation involving a 13 year old child in the Resaca community. After a six week investigation, detectives arrested Bobby Dwayne Jackson, age 37, of 335 Forrest Avenue, Calhoun, Georgia. Jackson was taken into custody on August 17 at his residence without incident, and charged with 2 counts of Aggravated Child Molestation. On Thursday, August 23, the Superior Court set Jackson's bond at $50,000.00. He was released from custody on bond that same date. The alleged molestation incidents spanned an eight year period. The case has been referred to the District Attorney's Office for prosecution.



  FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE Thursday, August 2, 2012 Detectives Capture Couple Believed to be Responsible for Dozen Residential Burglaries, "Christmas Bandits" Sheriff Mitch Ralston Reports: In mid July, 2012, Sheriffs detectives developed information regarding two individuals believed to be responsible for a series of residential burglaries in Gordon County and surrounding areas. Dubbed the "Christmas Bandits", deputy sheriffs and detectives had been in search of those responsible for a rash of home burglaries in the Sugar Valley - Hill City area since December, 2011. Acting on fresh information from a witness, detectives focused on MARK EDWARD SHORT, age 42, of 101 Walraven Way, Calhoun. On Tuesday, July 31, detectives executed a search warrant at Short's home in Plantation Place Subdivision and recovered about $20,000.00 worth of stolen household electronics, jewelry, collectibles, and tools. Short's wife, TINA SHORT, age 38, of the same address was arrested along with her husband without incident. Thus far, the pair has been charged in connection with 12 residential burglaries in Gordon County. Authorities in Whitfield County are also investigating. Detectives are in the process of returning the property to the rightful owners. The 12 burglaries were reported in a wide variety of communities, from Sugar Valley, to Lily Pond, to Ranger, and were as recent as last week. SHORT was on probation for previous burglary convictions at the time of his arrest. "I am pleased that my detective staff never gave up on these cases, and brought them to a successful resolution. The lead detective on this case held on to it like a pit bull, even when the leads were running out. It's always good to be able to return property to the rightful owners, as what is often stolen is irreplaceable. The people responsible for this will now be held accountable in our Superior Court",  said Sheriff Mitch Ralston.  



FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE... Monday, July 23, 2012 Sheriff Investigating Accidental Deaths of 2 Campers near Ryo Community Sheriff Mitch Ralston Reports: At approximately 6 p.m. Sunday, July 22, 2012, deputy sheriffs were dispatched  to a remote, rural area near the Ryo community in easternmost Gordon County in response to a report of the discovery of 2 bodies. After being unable to make contact by telephone, a family member discovered the bodies of James Lee Asher, age 64, of 4208 Terrace Drive, Ackworth, Georgia, and  David Wayne Johnson, age 50, of 53 Willow Bend, Cartersville, Georgia, inside a camper/trailer on private hunting club lands. Fire/Rescue and Coroner's personnel responded to the scene as well. Investigating officials suspect carbon monoxide poisoning, and no evidence of foul play was discovered. "This appears to have been a tragic accident, and our thoughts and prayers are with the families of the two victims.", said Sheriff Mitch Ralston.




  FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE... Tuesday, July 17, 2012
Remains Discovered Near Calhoun on June 8, 2012 Identified By GBI Crime Lab Sheriff Mitch Ralston Reports: The human remains discovered by a heavy machinery operator in an open field near State Route 156 (Red Bud Road) and Interstate 75 near Calhoun on June 8 have been identified by the GBI Crime Lab. Sheriff's detectives were notified by the GBI Division of Forensic Science (DOFS) that the body is that of Timmy Butler, age 36, whose last known address was given as Park Brook Apartments in Calhoun. Mr. Butler's family had reported him missing to the Sheriff's Office in late June.The identification was made using medical records and physical evidence gathered by Sheriff's detectives. The advanced state of decomposition of the remains made the identification process more difficult. As of this date, both the cause and manner of death are still undetermined by the DOFS Medical Examiner's Office. Although the investigation into the circumstances of the death remains active, detectives have developed no evidence of foul play at the present time. Anyone with any information regarding this matter is urged to call the Sheriff's Major Crimes Unit at 706.879.5487, or the Region 1 GBI Office at 706.624.1424.




FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE Friday, July 13th, 2012 Deputies Respond to Shooting on Booneford Road Sheriff Mitch Ralston Reports: At approxiamtely 12:00 am last night, Deputy Sheriffs responded to a shooting at a private residence in the Booneford Community.  Upon arrival of the responding deputies, they located one white male, age 49, with an apparent gun shot wound to the abdomen.  The victim was treated at the scene and transported by Gordon EMS to Floyd Medical Center where is he is listed in stable condition. A 15 year old juvenile was apprehended at the scene and questioned by detectives with the Sheriffs Office Detective Division.  The juvenile was subsequently arrested and charged with Aggravted Assault and detained at the Rome Youth Detention Center unitl a first appearance hearing can be scheduled with the Juvenile Court of Gordon County.


 

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE...

 

Saturday, July 7th, 2012

 

Deputies Respond to Report of Woman Struck by Automobile at Disturbance at Private Residence

 

 

Sheriff Mitch Ralston Reports:

 

At approximately 3:30 a.m. this morning ( July 7), uniformed deputy sheriffs were dispatched to a private residence on Dews Pond Road in response to a report of a woman being struck by a vehicle. Deputies arrived and determined that a 22 year old woman had been struck by an automobile driven by one JACOB KING, age 19, of 155 Long Point Road, Calhoun, Georgia. The woman sustained serious injury, and was flown to Erlanger Hospital in Chattanooga, Tennessee where she is believed to be in stable condition. KING was arrested and charged with DUI and Underage Possession of Alcohol. Deputies arrested another man, believed to be a relative of the injured woman, JACOB REVETTE, age 18 of 2331 Dews Pond Road for allegedly assaulting KING. REVETTE was charged with Battery and Criminal Damage to Property. The homeowner, one FABIAN KIMBRAL, age 45 of 2331 Dews Pond Road was also arrested and charged with Maintaining a Disorderly House and Contributing to the Delinquincy of Minors. All three men were lodged in the county jail pending bond.




 

 FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE...

 

Friday, June 22, 2012

 

Sheriff Investigating Shooting Incident on Joanne Street

 

 

Sheriff Mitch Ralston Reports:

 

At approximately 10 a.m. this morning, deputy sheriffs and other emergency personnel were dispatched to a private residence on Joanne Street near Calhoun regarding a shooting incident. Upon arrival, deputies found that a 29 year old man had been shot in the leg. The wound was not considered life threatening. The victim was removed and received medical treatment. Detectives arrived on scene, questioned witnesses, and executed a search warrant at the residence. Detectives subsequently arrested Justin G. Phipps, age 28, of 112 Joanne Street and charged him with Aggravated Assault and Possession of a Firearm During the Commission of a Felony. Investigating officers recovered the weapon believed to have been used in the incident. Phipps remains in the county jail pending bond. No other arrests are expected in connection with this event.



 

 

UPDATE: FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE...

Tuesday, June 19th, 2012 Autopsy Results For Unidentified Remains Discovered Near Calhoun June 8th Sheriff Mitch Ralston Reports: Sheriff's detectives investigating the discovery of an unidentified body near Calhoun on Friday, June 8th, have received a preliminary report from the State Crime Laboratory. The early results of the post-mortem examination revealed no evidence of 'foul play', particularly evidence of trauma. The body remains unidentified, and the Crime Laboratory is utilizing the lastest forensic anthropological methods to aid with identification. Anyone with any information regarding this case is urged to call the Sheriff's Major Crimes Unit at 706.629.1244 or the GBI Region 1 Office at 706.624.1424.

 



  FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE... Friday, June 15, 2012 Sheriff's Detectives Arrest Ranger Man, and Armuchee Man, on Unrelated Charges of Child Molestation in Two Seperate Incidents Sheriff Mitch Ralston Reports: On April 22, 2012, deputy sheriffs received a report of an incident of child molestation involving an 11 year old child in the Fairmount community. Sheriff's detectives initiated an investigation along with the Georgia Bureau of Investigation into the allegation which spanned several weeks. After interviews with a number of witnesses and the examination of other evidence, detectives and GBI agents arrested Larry E. Young, age 61, of 315 US Highway 411, Ranger, Georgia. Young was taken into custody without incident and charged with 1 count of child molestation against the victim. He remains in the county jail pending bond proceedings. In a seperate, unrelated incident, on June 9, 2012 deputy sheriffs received a report of multiple incidents of child molestation involving a 6 year old victim and a 12 year old victim in the Sonoraville community. Sheriff's detectives initiated an investigation into the allegations and as a result they arrested Joey S. Wooten, age 42, of 69 Turkey Mountain Road, Armuchee, Floyd County, Georgia. The events are believed to have taken place between January, 2012 and June, 2012. Wooten was arrested without incident By Gordon County and Floyd County authorities on June 13 at his home, and has been charged with 4 counts of child molestation, and 1 count of ulawful distribution of material to a minor (involving alleged pornography). He remains in the county jail pending bond proceedings.



FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE... Tuesday, June 12, 2012 Deputies Arrest Calhoun Man For Possession of Meth With Intent to Distribute Sheriff Mitch Ralston Reports: Around midnight, June 7th / 8th, 2012, deputy sheriffs assigned to the Community Crime Prevention Unit (CCPU) with canine ('K9') support were on patrol in the Plainville community and stopped a suspicious automobile for a traffic violation on State Route 53. The driver, Clifford Beebe, age 31, of 284 Buck Boulevard was subsequently arrested without incident after deputies found a variety of illegal substances. Beebe has been charged with: Possession of Methamphetamine With Intent to Distribute, Possession of Marijuana, and Possession of Schedule III Narcotics, as well as Violation of Probation. He remains in the County Jail.



FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE... Tuesday, June 12, 2012 Sheriff Investigates Apparent Suicide at Resaca I-75 Rest Area Sheriff Mitch Ralston Reports: At aproximately 1 p.m., Monday, June 11, 2012, deputy sheriffs were dispatched to the Interstate 75 Rest Area near Resaca in response to a 911 report of a gunshot wound victim. Deputies arrived and found the body of Anthony Raymond Savelli, age 20, of Ohio. Savelli had died as the result of an apparently self-inflicted gunshot wound. The body had been seen by a passerby who'd then notified E911. Investigating detectives do not suspect foul play. The joint investigation by the Sheriff's Office and Coroner's Office is continuing.



FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE... Tuesday, June 12, 2012 Deputies Arrest Two in Nighttime Residential Burlglary-in-Progress Sheriff Mitch Ralston Reports: At approximately 3:30 a.m. this morning (June 12, 2012), deputy sheriffs were dispatched to an unoccupied, private residence on Viking Drive near Calhoun in response to the report of a burglary in progress. Deputies responded within minutes and apprehended John A. Shaw, age 28, of 167 Azalea Drive, and a female accomplice, Candy Williams, age 36, of 210 Davis Drive at the scene. Detectives recovered a variety of household goods, and have charged Shaw and Williams with burglary. They are both in the County Jail pending bond proceedings.



FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE... Friday, June 8, 2012 Unidentified Remains Found Near Interstate 75 / Red Bud Road Near Calhoun Sheriff Mitch Ralston Reports: At about 10 a.m. today (June 8), a heavy machinery operator reported finding a body in an open field near Interstate 75 and Red Bud Road (SR 156) near Calhoun. Deputy sheriffs were sent to the scene and saw what appeared to be the body of a male individual laying in the field. The location was very near the city limits, so Calhoun police responded as well. Detectives on the scene estimated that the body had been in the area for several days or weeks, as it was in an advanced stage of decomposition. The Georgia Bureau of Investigation (GBI) is assisting the local authorities with the investigation. Both Sheriff's Office and GBI Crime Scene Technicians responded to search for evidence and information.
Personnel from the Calhoun Police and Fire Departments, Gordon County EMS, and Emergency Management all assisted with a search of the area. No idenification was found on or about the body, which has been sent to the State Crime Laboratory in Decatur to undergo a post - mortem examination.  No cause of death has yet been determined.
The body appeared to be that of a male, of undetermined age / race. The body was dressed in blue athletic - type shorts with a yellow lining, black Nike athletic shoes sized approximately 8 1/2 - 9 1/2, and a camouflage baseball cap with the inscription "Milan Supply" on front in red letters and "Penyair Water" on back in blue letters.
Anyone with information regarding this discovery or a missing person fitting this description is urged to call the Sheriff's Office Major Crimes Unit at 706.629.1244 or the Region 1 GBI Office at 706.624.1424.



FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE...UPDATE REGARDING JUNE 1 MURDERS IN RANGER COMMUNITY
Wednesday, June 6th, 2012 Sheriff Mitch Ralston Reports: Douglas Glenn Parker, age 54, charged with the June 1, 2012 murders of his mother Mrs. Edna Fields, age 71, and his sister Rebecka June Wade, age 45 at the Fields home in the Ranger community, is now in the Gordon County Jail. Both Parker and his wife Janet K. Parker, age 54, of 152 Dawnville Road, Dalton, were retreived from Cherokee County , North Carolina where they'd been held in custody since June 1st. Both defendants waived extradition and agreed to return to Georgia. Janet Parker has been charged with Theft after she was found in possession of property believed to have been taken from the Fields home. Detectives and GBI agents investigating the murders have recovered the firearm believed to have been involved in the deaths. Parker had been arrested by the Sheriff's Office for a battery offense against his mother on May 21st, and had been released from custody on $10,000.00 bond. Sheriff's MCU detectives and GBI agents from the Calhoun GBI Office are continuing their investigation, and additional charges may be filed later.



  FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE... Wednesday, June 6th, 2012 Sheriff's Detectives Make Arrests/Issue Warrants in Recent Unrelated Thefts/Burglaries Sheriff Mitch Ralston Reports: On May 24, 2012, the Sheriff's Office received a report of the theft of a piece of farm machinery known as a 'hay tedder' from a rural address on Miller's Ferry Road in the Plainville community. The machinery was valued at over $6000.00. Sheriff's detectives conducted an investigation into the theft which led them to a third party in the Ranger community where the machinery was recovered. Detectives do not believe that this third party was aware that the machinery was stolen. Following fresh leads, detectives subsequently arrested Stanley Lee Taylor, age 28, of 133 Taylor Bridge Road, and charged him with Theft by Taking and Theft by Deception. He is in custody in the county jail pending bond. No other arrests are expected in this case.
On May 29, 2012, the Sheriff's Office received a report of a commercial burglary at a business, Midland Communications, on School House Road in the Red Bud community. The perpetrators attempted to open a safe, albeit unsuccessfully. Investigating detectives developed leads which led them to arrest Larry Wayne Griffin, age 37, of 911 School House Road. Griffin was a former employee of the business. He has been charged with Burglary, and Theft by Taking (felony) regarding the theft of business funds. Griffin is in the county jail pending bond. No other arrests are expected in this case.
On June 4, 2012, deputy sheriffs responded to the report of a residential burglary on Riverbend Road in the Plainville community in which the victim reported the theft of firearms, furniture, and household items. Detectives gathered physical evidence from the scene and canvassed the area. Later that same day, deputies, acting on a tip, went to a home on Miller's Ferry Road near Plainville where they discovered a car and trailer which was found to contain a large amount of the stolen goods. Detectives questioned several persons there, and have subsequently issued warrants for the arrest of:
William Roy Massey, a white/male age 38, LKA in Plainville area, and
Lisa Michelle Thomas, a white/female, age 35, LKA 1902 Millers Ferry Road
Anyone with knowledge of the whereabouts of Massey and/or Thomas are urged to call the Sheriff's Office at 706-629-1244 or 911.



FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE... Saturday, June 2, 2012 Sheriff and GBI Investigating Double-Homicide in Ranger, Suspects in Custody SHERIFF MITCH RALSTON REPORTS:
At approximately 11:45 p.m. last night (June 1), deputy sheriffs were dispatched to a private residence at 932 US Highway 411 in the Ranger community in eastern Gordon County in response to the report of a double homicide. Minutes later deputies arrived and entered the home where they found the bodies of Mrs. Edna Sue Fields, age 71, of 932 US Highway 411, Ranger, and Rebecka June Wade, age 45, of 237 Flora Drive, Calhoun. The bodies had initially been discovered by family members who'd became concerned after Mrs. Wade had been late for an appointment. Both victims had suffered apparent gunshot wounds. Deputies secured the scene and summoned the Sheriff and detectives.
The Sheriff's Office Major Crimes Unit (MCU) and Crime Scene Unit immediately initiated an on scene investigation. Sheriff Ralston also summoned assistance from the local GBI Office to aid detectives with the scene and the continuation of the investigation. Detectives removed numerous articles of physical evidence from the crimes scene and rapidly developed leads which indiciated that the suspect was a family member by whom Ms. Fields had recenctly been victimized. MCU detectives and GBI agents continued their work throughout the night, interviewing witnesses, gathering evidence, and acquiring electronic communication information.
Following leads they'd developed from witnesses and physical evidence from the scene, and utilizing recently acquired technological resources, MCU detectives located the suspect, identified as one Douglas Glenn Parker, age 54, in Murphy, North Carolina. Parker's  last known address was listed as 152 Dawnville Road, Dalton Georgia. Parker is being held in the Cherokee County, North Carolina jail. On Saturday morning (June 2), warrants from Gordon County were issued charging Parker with the murders of Mrs. Fields, believed to be his mother, and Mrs. Wade, believed to be his sister. MCU detectives believe the murders were the result of an ongoing domestic problem within the family. MCU detectives and GBI agents have identified another person of interest whom they believe to have knowledge of the murders. This second person has not been charged in connection with the deaths at this time, but is in police custody. Sheriff Ralston said, "This was a vile crime in an otherwise peaceful community. Two innocent lives have been taken, and the family of the victims are in our thoughts and prayers. While we can't restore a lost loved one, I am pleased that we have resolved this case swiftly and the persons responsible will be held accountable before a jury of Gordon County citizens. I'd like to commend the E911 operators, deputies, MCU detectives, our local GBI Office, and our Coroner's Office for their hard work in this case".
 



FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE... Friday, May 25th, 2012 Sheriff's Major Crimes Unit Charges 3 in Methamphetamine Conspiracy/Trafficking Investigation Sheriff Mitch Ralston Reports: Sheriff's Office Major Crimes Unit detectives have charged 3 men after a two month investigation of Trafficking in Methamphetamine / Conspiracy to Traffic in Methamphetamine. A traffic stop of a suspicious vehicle near the Dews Pond community by deputies in April, 2012 led to the initiation of the case.  The investigation, which reached into neighboring Murray County, involved the Murray County Sheriff's Office, the GBI, and State Parole authorities. Gordon County Sheriff's MCU detectives seized over a pound of processed methamphetamine, and a total of over $50,000.00 in cash. Two searches of two privates residences in Gordon County were conducted, and a related search warrant was executed in Murray County. A Gordon County search warrant executed at the home of one of the defendants near Ranger resulted in the seizure of an extensive amount of documents, and a (parole) search of a second home on Watercrest Drive near Calhoun resulted in the seizure of several ounces of methamphetamine for resale and several thousand dollars in cash. During the search of the Watercrest Drive home, MCU detectives in camouflage were positioning themselves to conduct a surveillance in the woods behind the house  when one of the detectives literally stepped into a buried methamphetamine "drop". State Parole Officers assisted the detectives at the Watercrest Drive address.
  Julius Robert Boswell, a/k/a "Pops", age 71, of 168 Watercrest Drive has been arrested and charged with methamphetmine trafficking, conspiracy, and parole violation. At the time of his arrest, Boswell was on parole for a previous methamohetamine trafficking conviction. Two other defendants are being sought by deputies and detectives on methamphetamine trafficking and conspiracy charges. Sheriff Ralston said, "The MCU detectives did a great job on this case. They all worked long hours, conducted extensive surveillances, and tediously combed through a massive amount of documents in search of evidence. They were in the right place at the right time to find the buried methamphetamine and the hidden money. They 'connected all the dots' to link together the three defendants in this conspiracy".



FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE... Tuesday, May 22, 2012 Sheriff Investigates Hanging Death Sheriff Mitch Ralston Reports: Yesterday afternoon, Monday May 21st, deputy sheriffs were dispatched to a private residence on Daisey Street in the Resaca community in response to a reported hanging. Jennifer Nichole Harris, age 19, was removed from the scene by emergency medical personnel, and was later pronounced dead. The victim was discovered by a family member, who called 911. Detectives do not believe foul play to have been involved in the death. The investigation is ongoing by Sheriff's and Coroner's personnel.



FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE... Monday, April 16, 2012 Deputies Arrest Calhoun Woman For Attempted Armed Robbery of Convenience Store Sheriff Mitch Ralston Reports: At approximately 6 a.m. Sunday morning (April 15, 2012) deputy sheriffs were dispatched to the Mapco convenience store at State Route 53 / State Route 53 Spur near Calhoun in response to the report of an attempted robbery. The clerk there reported being approached by a white/female armed with a hand saw who demanded money. When the clerk refused and activated the store's alarm, the 'saw bandit' fled from the building. About 4 hours later, a deputy checked a car on Interstate 75 near Calhoun which had ran out of gas. The deputy saw a hand saw inside the car, along with other evidence of the robbery earlier that morning. The male occupants were detained for questioning and later released. Based upon the surveillance video from the store and other evidence, sheriff's deputies and detectives arrested Brittany Anne Birdyshaw, age 25, of 203 Dover Road. Birdyshaw was taken into custody at her home without incident and was charged by detectives with Criminal Attempt to Commit Armed Robbery. She is currently being held in the county jail pending bond.
Sheriff Ralston said, "I'm glad no one was injured in this incident. Obviously, no one put a great deal of thought or planning into this, and my deputies were able to resolve the matter quickly".


FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE... Tuesday, April 3, 2012 Inmate Dies In Custody After Allegedly Swallowing Drugs Before Being Arrested Sheriff Mitch Ralston Reports: At approximately 8:50pm, Monday night, April 2, 2012, uniformed deputy sheriffs stopped a suspicious automobile near US 41 / State Route 225 in Calhoun. The driver, subsequently identified as one MATTHEW DUANE COBB, age 28, of Dews Pond Road, Calhoun, Georgia, was arrested for DUI Drugs/Alcohol and other related offenses. A female passenger was also arrested on an outstanding warrant. Detectives were summoned to the scene, and COBB told the officers that he'd swallowed a package of drugs before he was stopped. The deputies took COBB directly to Gordon Hospital Emergency Room where he was treated and released to the county jail. He was held in observation at the jail overnight, but complained to jail staff of difficulty breathing at about 7:15am this morning. An ambulance was dispatched to the jail and COBB was transported to the Emergency Room. He was pronounced dead a short time later. The Georgia Bureau of Investigation (GBI) is investigating the death, and a post-mortem examination will be conducted at the State Crime Laboratory as is required by state law.



   FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE... Thursday, March 29th, 2012 Ranger Man Arrested, Charged With Aggravated Assault, After 2 Hour Standoff With Deputy Sheriffs Sheriff Mitch Ralston Reports: At aproximately 5:50 pm today, uniformed deputy sheriffs were dispatched to a private residence on T. Johnson Road near the (unincorporated) Taylortown community in response to a reported domestic dispute in which shots were reported to have been fired. Deputies located the victims who stated that they'd been threatened by the defendant, subsequently identified as one Herbert McManus, age 47, of 796 T. Johnson Road, Ranger, Georgia, who was armed with a handgun. They also reported that the defendant had fired a number of shots. Deputies surrounded the home, and a Sheriff's Office negotiator attempted to talk with the defendant, who refused to surrender. Detectives obtained a warrant for the defendant's arrest. At the scene, Sheriff Ralston deployed the Sheriff's Office Crisis Response Unit.  The CRU deputies subsequently employed audible diversionary devices ("flash/bangs") to distract the suspect as they forcibly entered the home. The surprised suspect was immediately taken into custody. No one was injured and deputies removed McManus from the scene.
Sheriff's detectives located the weapon believed to have been used in thye assault, a handgun, along with several other firearms inside the home. McManus has been charged with Aggravated Assault, and is awaiting bond proceedings in the county jail. Sheriff Ralston said, " I am pleased that my deputies swiftly and safely resolved a very dangerous situation. The CRU has been specially trained to handle this type of event, and they performed well. Mr. McManus will now have his day in court with a jury of his peers".



        FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE... Wednesday, March 28, 2012 Ohio Couple Arrested For Trafficking in Cocaine & Possession of Marijuana With Intent to Distribute Sheriff Mitch Ralston Reports: On Tuesday night (March 27th, 2012) at about 9:45 pm, uniformed deputy sheriffs assigned to the Community Crime Prevention Unit (CCPU) stopped a Virginia automobile for a traffic violation on Interstate 75 near Calhoun. A subsequent search of this vehicle revealed approximately 1/2 kilo of cocaine and over a pound of processed marijuana. The occupants, Mark A. Calcaterra, age 35, and Nakenya L. Calcaterra, age 36, of 1335 Stewart Street, Dayton, Ohio, were both arrested without incident and charged with Trafficking in Cocaine and Possession of Marijuana With Intent to Distribute. Both are lodged in the county jail pending bond proceedings.



   FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE... Sunday, March 18, 2012 Calhoun Man Arrested in Connection With Death of Infant Sheriff Mitch Ralston Reports: At approximately 2 p.m. yesterday, Saturday, March 17, 2012, emergency medical personnel were dispatched to a private residence on Beason Road near the Farmville community in response to a report of an infant in physical distress. The 3 month old female infant was taken to Gordon Hospital Emergency Room by ambulance. The medical personnel worked diligently to save the baby's life, but she was pronounced dead at the hospital. Medical personnel became suspicious and called for deputy sheriffs to be sent to the emergency room facility. The deputies observed evidence of recent physical injuries consistent with abuse, so sheriff's detectives and a special agent from the local GBI office who specializes in child abuse investigations responded to the hospital. The father of the child, Billy Aaron Jones, age 20, of 634 Beason Road, Calhoun, was subsequently arrested in connection with the child's death. Detectives and GBI agents worked late into the night locating and interviewing potential witnesses, and also executed a search warrant at the residence. Jones will be charged with Felony Murder and Cruelty to Children, and remains in jail pending judicial proceedings. Investigating officers do not expect other arrests in this case. Sheriff Mitch Ralston said, "This was a horrible tragedy in which an innocent life was lost. Our thoughts and prayers are with the family. My detectives and our GBI colleagues moved quickly to resolve this case, and now the defendant will face justice in our local court system."


FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE... Monday, March 5th, 2012 3 From Plainville Arrested in Methamphetamine, Racketeering, Conspiracy: Firearms and Drugs Seized Sheriff Mitch Ralston Reports: Sheriff's Major Crimes Unit (MCU) detectives have arrested 3 people, and are seeking several others in connection with a methamphetamine/racketeering/conspiracy investigation which was initiated last month. Today, detectives and uniformed deputy sheriffs simultaneously executed search and arrest warrants at 2 private residences and a warehouse in the Plainville community in the culmination of the investigation. Three people were arrested at the scenes without incident: Steven Todd Perry, age 37, of 932 Moores Ferry Road, Plainville, charged under the RICO Act with: Conspiracy to Traffic in Methamphetamine, Party to the Crime of Trafficking in Methamphetamine, Sale of Methamphetamine, Sale of Schedule IV Drugs.
Terrie Leigh Swift, age 23, of 1570 Moores Ferry Road, Plainville,, charged under the RICO Act with: Conspiracy to Traffic in Methamphetamine, Trafficking in Methamphetamine, Sale of Methamphetamine.
Wayne Spencer Swingle, age 28, of 1570 Moores Ferry Road, Plainville, charged under the RICO Act with: Conspiracy to Traffic in Methamphetamine, Trafficking in Methamphetamine, Sale of Methamphetamine, Party to the Crimes of Sale of Methamphetamine and Schedule IV Drugs. Detectives are seeking a number of other defendants named in arrest warrants who are still at large.
Executing the search warrants, detectives and deputies seized over 50 firearms, including assault rifles, hand guns, ammunition, and closed circuit electronic surveillance equipment. Deputies also discovered a weapons target on which was drawn a 'sheriff' badge, "loaded" hypodermic syringes, and related items. Several ounces of methamphetamine were obtained as evidence from the locations which were searched. All 3 defendants are being held in the county jail pending bond proceedings. Sheriff Mitch Ralston said, "Our detective unit worked long hours putting this case together. It involved many hours of outdoor surveillance, undercover work, and an array of affidavits and warrants. The deputies who executed the search and arrest warrants did so effectively, apprehending the defendants while insuring no one, innocent or otherwise, was hurt. These defendants will now go into the court system to answer to a jury of people from our community."
                                                        


PUBLIC SERVICE ANNOUNCEMENT...
6 p.m. Friday, March 2, 2012
SHERIFF MITCH RALSTON ANNOUNCES:
NORTHWESTERN GEORGIA IS EXPECTED TO EXPERIENCE A SEVER WEATHER OUTBREAK WITHIN THE NEXT 8 HOURS. THIS STORM FRONT IS PREDICTED TO CONTAIN AND/OR SPAWN VIOLENT THUNDERSTORMS AND/OR TORNADOES. THE FRONT IS EXPECTED TO ARRIVE AT OR NEAR CALHOUN/GORDON COUNTY AT ABOUT 7 P.M. TONIGHT. THIS DANGEROUS STORM SYSTEM HAS HAS ALREADY PRODUCED DEADLY TORNADOES IN TENNESSEE, ALABAMA, AND OTHER STATES.
THE SHERIFF'S OFFICE WILL MAINTAIN NORMAL PATROL ACTIVITIES THROUGHOUT THE COUNTY UNLESS INTERUPTED BY STORM CONDITIONS. IN THE EVENT OF SEVERE OR CATASTROPHIC STORM, THIS OFFICE WILL MAINTAIN PUBLIC ORDER AND SAFETY ACTING IN CONCERT WITH, AND IN SUPPORT OF EMERGENCY MANAGEMENT, FIRE/RESCUE, AND EMS PERSONNEL. OUR PRIMARY MISSION IS THE PRESERVATION OF LIFE AND THE PROTECTION OF PROPERTY.


FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE... Wednesday, February 29th, 2012 Deputy Sheriffs Arrest Indianapolis Couple For Trafficking in Cocaine and 'Ecstasy' Sheriff Mitch Ralston Reports: At about 1:45 p.m. Tuesday afternoon (February 28th), uniformed deputy sheriffs from the Community Crime Prevention Unit (CCPU) stopped an Indiana automobile on Interstate 75 near Calhoun for a traffic violation. A subsequent search of the interior of the car revealed nearly a quarter pound of cocaine and over 100 "ecstacy" tablets. The occupants, Andrew Nelson Scott III, age 40, and Sherry Rena Scott, age 40, both of Indianapolis, Indiana, were arrested without resistance for Trafficking in Cocaine and Ecstacy, and taken to the county jail, where they remain pending bond proceedings.  


 FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE... Friday, February 24th, 2012 Troopers, Deputies Arrest North Carolina Man For Trafficking Marijuana Sheriff Mitch Ralston Reports:
In a continuing joint effort with the State Patrol, a Greensboro, North Carolina man was arrested this morning at approximately 8:30 a.m. on Interstate 75 near Calhoun for trafficking marijuana. State troopers, assisted by deputy sheriffs from the Community Crime Prevention Unit, stopped Alfredo David Castillo in the northbound Interstate lane for a traffic related offense. A subsequent search of the man's Volkswagen Jetta revealed nearly 100 pounds of processed marijuana. Castillo was arrested without incident and his vehicle impounded. Castillo, age 20, of 569 E Main Street, Greensboro, North Carolina, is being held in the county jail pending bond.
Sheriff Mitch Ralston said: "We will continue partnering with our state law enforcement colleagues to vigorously combat the trafficking of illegal drugs, contraband, and fugitives into our county on the Interstate highway system."


      FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE... 3 p.m., Monday, February 20th, 2012 Sheriff, GBI Investigating Shooting Death of Local Man in Domestic Dispute Sheriff Mitch Ralston Reports: At approximately 1 p.m. today, deputy sheriffs were dispatched to a private residence on Rhinehart Drive in the Red Bone Ridges community in eastern Gordon County in response to the report of a shooting incident. Deputies arrived within minutes and found the body of a male individual who appeared to have suffered gunshot wounds. The deputies took a man at the scene into custody in connection with the death. Sheriff's detectives have recovered the weapon believed to have been used in the shooting. The Sheriff's Crime Scene Unit, along with the GBI Crime Scene Unit, is on the scene at this time gathering evidence. Agents from the local GBI Office here in Calhoun are assisting Sheriff's detectives and the County Coroner's Office with the investigation. More details will be made public as the investigation progresses. UPDATE, 8:30 P.M., Monday, February 20th, 2012: The person shot and killed during an apparent domestic dispute on Rhinehart Drive today has been identified as: Steve Gary Rhinehart , age 62, of 179 Rhinehart Drive, Ranger, Georgia. He apparently died as a result of multiple gunshot wounds. Investigating officers believe the shooting resulted as the culmination of a domestic dispute with his son, Matthew Joel Rhinehart, age 35, of the same address. Matthew Rhinehart was immediately arrested at the scene by uniformed deputy sheriffs who'd responded to the 911 call for help. The body of the deceased man was sent to the State Crime Laboratory in Decatur, Georgia to undergo a post-mortem examination. Matthew Rhinehart is being held in the County Jail. GBI agents leading the investigation plan to charge him with Murder. Sheriff Mitch said, "This was a tragic event in which a life was needlessly lost. I am pleased that my deputies responded rapidly and quickly effected the arrest of the accused, as well as recovering what we believe to be the weapon involved. I also want to thank the local office of the GBI for all their investigative help. Mr. Rhinehart will now face a jury of his peers to answer for his actions."  


 FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE... Wednesday, February 15, 2012 Sheriff Arrests Ohio Man For Robbery, Six Others For Gambling Offenses in Related Cases at Resaca Truck Stop
Sheriff Mitch Ralston Reports: At approximately 10:30am yesterday (February 14), deputy sheriffs responded to reports of suspicious activity at the Flying 'J' Truckstop in Resaca. An Illinois man reported to detectives that another man had snatched away cash from him in the vicinity of a "floating" card game in the truckstop parking lot. Meanwhile, the sheriff was travelling on Interstate 75 in an unmarked vehicle and observed a vehicle fitting the description of one involved fleeing from the scene. As the sheriff followed this vehicle away from the truck stop, his vehicle was almost struck by a second, similar automobile travelling in the same direction. The sheriff followed both suspicious vehicles to Exit 318 where they exited. At the bottom of the off- ramp, the occupants of both automobiles "switched" cars and then drove back onto Interstate 75 with the sheriff in pursuit. The sheriff then summoned detectives and state troopers from the local GSP post to stop both cars. The sheriff and his detectives stopped one car as troopers stopped the other near Calhoun. Six men were apprehended and taken to the county jail. Detectives subsequently filed the following charges: John Branham, age 54, of Cinncinate, Ohio, Robbery (unarmed), and Illegal Gambling Walter Wathen, age 44, of Cinncinate, Ohio, Party to the Crime of Illegal Gambling Ronald Burgin, age 55, of Cinncinati, Ohio, Party to the Crime of Illegal Gambling Roy Tucker, age 35, of Covington, Kentucky, Party to the Crime of Illegal Gambling John Lucas, age 61, of Cinncinate, Ohio, Party to the Crime of Illegal Gambling Jonathan Brandenburg, age 37, of Harrison, Ohio, Party to the Crime of Illegal Gambling Everett Scott Holford, age 57, of Peoria Heights, Illinois, Gambling. Holford alleged that he was robbed of money "snatched" out of his hand. Sheriff Ralston praised the 911 operators for obtaining detailed and accurate descriptions from witnesses which facilitated the quick arrests, and said,   "Our community is not the place where this type of foolishness will be tolerated".


FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE... Monday, February 13, 2012 Deputies Arrest Tennessee Man on Interstate 75 For Possession of Marijuana With Intent to Distribute
Sheriff Mitch Ralston Reports: At approximately 4 pm today (FEB 13), deputy sheriffs from the Community Crime Prevention Unit (CCPU) stopped a 2011 Chevrolet Impala travelling north on Interstate 75 in Gordon County for a traffic violation. After noting a suspicious odor, the deputy used his canine 'partner' to conduct a search of the automobile. The search revealed approximately 2 pounds of processed marijuana in the interior of the vehicle. The driver, one Samuel D. Moore, of Greeneville, Tennessee was arrested at the scene. He is charged with Possession of Marijuana With Intent to Distribute, and is lodged in the County Jail pending bond proceedings.


FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE...
Public Service Announcement From the Sheriff's Auxiliary
Monday, February 13th, 2012
Sheriff Ralston Announces 4th Annual "Public Safety Basketball Challenge" Sheriff Mitch Ralston & the Sheriff's Auxiliary announces the "Fourth Annual Public Safety Basketball Challenge" on Saturday, March 3rd, 2012 at the Sonoraville High School Gym. Doors open at 5 pm and the tip off will be at 6 pm. Players will participate from the City of Calhoun Fire and Police Departments, and the Gordon County Fire Department and Sheriff's Office.
Firts Responder police, fire/rescue, sheriff's, and emergency medical vehicles will be on hand for public viewing, along with a Rescue Helicopter.
ADMISSION IS FREE. Donations will be accepted and concessions will be sold with proceeds benefitting the Winner's Club and the Sheriff's Auxiliary.


FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: PUBLIC SERVICE ANNOUNCEMENT... Wednesday, February 8, 2012     Fatal Crash Closes Interstate 75 Southbound Near Exit 320   Sheriff Mitch Ralston Reports: At approximately 4:30 a.m. today, a crash involving a tractor-trailer occured on Interstate 75 Southbound in Gordon County. All lanes are closed, and the roadway was damaged from heavy equipment. My deputies are on the scene along with State Troopers who are investigating the accident. The victim was a male individual from Indiana. Identification is being withheld pending notification of the next of kin. We are waiting on the Georgia DOT to examine the roadway and advise us when the lanes will be reopened.


 FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE... Sheriff's Office Arrests 8 in Methamphetamine Conspiracy  Tuesday, January 31st, 2012 In the culmination of a 2 month investigation by the Sheriff's Office's Major Crimes Unit (MCU) into methamphetamine trafficking here, Sheriff Ralston announced the arrest of 7 men and 1 woman for a variety of conspiracy, drug trafficking/distribution, and weapons violations. The case was an offshoot of an MCU investigation involving the arrest of a Tucker Hollow Road man, James Lamar Massingill for methamphetamine trafficking on December 8th, 2011.
Following several weeks of surveillance, undercover work, and the execution of search and arrest warrants, Sheriff's MCU detectives have arrested and charged the following individuals:
1. Marvin Shane Kinsey, age 39, of 136 Baker Circle, Calhoun, for Trafficking in Methamphetamine, Conspiracy to Traffic in Methamphetamine, weapons violations. He is also charged with probation violation.
2. Terrell Steven Russell, age 51, of 101 Buckhorn Drive, Calhoun, for Possession of Methamphetamine, Possession Schedule IV drugs, and viuolation of probation.
3. Michael D. Davis, age 32, of 232 Love Bridge Road, for Possession of Methamphetamine With Intent to Distribute, Possession of Schedule III Drugs With Intent to Distribute, Possession of Marijuana, and Possession of Dangerous Drugs
4. Cynta Marie Stewart, age 30, of 356 Dover Road, Resaca, for Possession of Methamphetamine With Intent to Distribute, Possession of Schedule III Drugs With Intent to Distribute, Possession of Marijuana, and Possession of Dangerous Drugs
Kinsey, Russell, Davis, and Stewart were all arrested together at 105 Ridgecrest Drive where a search warrant was executed on January 24th..
5. Francisco Abundiz, a/k/a "Cisco", age 19 of 202 Wilson Street, Calhoun, for Trafficking in Methamphetamine, Conspiracy to Traffic in Methamphetamine, Possession of Methamphetamine With Intent to Distribute, (felony) Possession of Marijuana, and several weapons violations.
6. Charles Homer Tankersly, age 40, of 202 Wilson Street, Calhoun, for Possession of Methamphetamine With Intent to Distribute, Possession of Marijuana, and weapons violations.
7. Johnny Lee Hunter, a/k/a "Sleepy", age 17, of Circle Drive, Calhoun, for Possession of Methamphetamine, Possession of Less Than 1 Ounce of Marijuana, and Giving False Statements
8. Cody Robert Murray, age 19, of 202 Wilson Street, Calhoun, for Possession of Methamphetamine With Intent to Distribute, Possession of Schedule IV Drugs, Possession of Less Than 1 Ounce of Marijuana, and weapons violations.
Abundiz,  Hunter, and Tankersly were all arrested Saturday, January 28th, after a 4 hour standoff with authorities, after deputy sheriffs from the Community Crimes Prevention Unit (CCPU) located Abundiz at a house on Wilson Street in Calhoun. Abundiz was wanted at that time pursuant to a warrant from the Sheriff's Office for Failure to Appear in Superior Court for previous drug related charges. Deputies surrounded the residence for about 2 hours during which Abundiz refused to surrender before Sheriff Ralston summoned the Georgia State Patrol's Special Weapons And Tactics (SWAT) team. MCU detectives had developed information that Abundiz was very heavily armed and intended to resist aprehension. The State Patrol SWAT team used an armored vehicle to force entry, and fired chemical irritant agents into the dwelling which quickly convinced those inside to surrender peacefully.  There was no further resistance to arrest, and all of the defendants were jailed without incident.
Later that same day, MCU detectives executed a second search warrant at the 202 Wilson Street address, and took a large quantity of physical evidence into custody.
Murray was arrested Monday night by CCPU deputies at a seperate location. During the course of this investigation, detectives took approximately a quarter pound of methamphetamine, approximately one-half pound of marijuana, 9 illegal or illegally-held firearms, closed circuit surveillance cameras, night vision devices, and $5,000.00 in cash into custody.
Sheriff Ralston expressed his gratitude to the State Patrol's SWAT team for their assistance in apprehending Abundiz and his companions at the home on Wilson Street, and to the Calhoun Police for their support Friday night and Saturday morning in the area.
"All of the Detectives from MCU and deputies from CCPU who worked very diligently on this case, my other deputies and senior personnel who responded to the baricade scene, and all of the other troopers, policemen,  emergency medical personnel, and E911 personnel who did an especially fine job of coordinating communications in a trying situation and who all supported this operation have my sincere thanks for their help. Now these defendants will face a jury of their peers in our court system here to answer for the actions for which they are accused.", said Sheriff Mitch Ralston


    FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE... Tuesday, January 31, 2012 Deputy Sheriffs Find Hanged Man in Resaca Sheriff Mitch Ralston Reports: On Monday afternoon, January 30th, deputy sheriffs and state probation officers went to a residence on Battlefield Parkway in Resaca regarding a probation matter. Deputies forced entry into the residence when no response was given and found the body of the male occupant hanging, apparently dead for some time. Investigating detectives do not believe that foul play was involved. The decedent's identity will not be released until a next-of-kin can be notified. The investigation into the matter by the Sheriff's Office and County Coroner's Office is continuing.


FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE... Friday, January 13th, 2012 Sheriff's Detectives Investigating Injuries Sustained By 2 Month Old Infant in Plainville Sheriff Mitch Ralston Reports: On Wednesday afternoon, January 11th, Sheriff's detectives received a report of a severely injured two month old infant. The child had initially been taken from Plainville to Floyd Medical Center in Rome, Georgia, but was air lifted to Scottish Rite Children's Hospital in Atlanta that same evening. An investigation into the events surrounding the child's injuries was initated by Sheriff's detectives, who subsequently arrested WILLIAM STANLEY CORNETT, age 28, of 212A Scott Drive, Plainville, Georgia. CORNETT was taken into custody by Gordon County deputies at the Scottish Rite Hospital in Atlanta, at approximately 3:30am, January 12th. He has been charged with Aggravated Assault and Cruelty to Children in the First Degree. The child is still hospitalized in critical condition. Detectives executed a search warrant at the CORNETT residence that same night. CORNETT was on probation for a previous criminal conviction(s) in Floyd County, Georgia. CORNETT remains in the county jail pending judicial proceedings.


FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE... Friday, January 6th, 2012 GBI and Sheriff Investigating Death of Michigan Woman Sheriff Mitch Ralston Reports: At approximately 8 pm Thursday evening (January 5), uniformed deputy sheriffs and other emergency personnel were dispatched to the Interstate 75 (Southbound) Rest Area in Resaca in response to the report of a death. A truck driver reported that upon stopping in the rest area, his female acquaintence with whom he was travelling was "unresponsive". Deputies found the body of Ester Powell-Scott, age 52, of Plainwell, Michigan, in the "sleeper" compartment of the tractor/truck. Fire/Rescue personnel attempted but could not revive her. Special Agents of the Regional Georgia Bureau of Investigation (GBI Office)were summoned to the scene to investigate the circumstances surrounding Powell-Scott's death. The body was sent to the State Crime Laboratory in Decatur, Georgia for a post-mortem examination. The County Coroner's Office is also investigating this incident.


FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE... Tuesday, January 3, 2012 'Bowling Ball Bandit' Arrested on I-75 After Scottsville Convenience Store Burglary Sheriff Mitch Ralston Reports: Near midnight on Friday, December 30, 2011, deputy sheriffs responded to an alarm at a convenience store on Highway 53 in the Scottsville community to find that the building had been burglarized by smashing in a window. Deputies found a bowling ball at the scene which detectives believe was used to break the glass. Although deputies arrived 9 minutes after receiving the alarm, the burglar had already fled the scene. The store owner reported that Georgia lottery tickets and over-the-counter medications had been taken.  Approximately 6 hours later, Catoosa County deputy sheriffs arrested one Jeremy Kenneth Thompson, age 25, of Millers Ferry Road, on Interstate 75 near Ringgold, Georgia for Driving Under the Influence. Gordon County Sheriff's detectives were notified and subsequently executed a search warrant on Thompson's automobile. They recovered lottery tickets and over-the-counter medication believed to have been taken in the burglary, as well as broken glass, and also clothing believed to have been worn by the perpetrator in a surveillance video. Thompson is being held in the Catoosa County Jail charged with DUI and Receiving Stolen Property. A warrant has been issued from the Gordon County Sheriff's Office charging him with Burglary. Sheriff Ralston praised the Catoosa County deputies for their alertness and initiative, and said that Thompson's case will now be referred to our local Gordon County court system to be resolved.


 2011 Press Releases


   PUBLIC SAFETY ANNOUNCEMENT... Saturday, December 31, 2011 Sheriff Urges Caution and Care on New Years Eve  Sheriff Mitch Ralston Announces: "Don't drink and drive. Ever. Be aware of road conditions and traffic volume. Be especially cautious if you are handling fireworks. Let's all join together to make this a happy and safe New Years Eve."

 


FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE...

Thursday, December 29, 2011

Detectives Arrest 2 in Connection With Entering Autos, Thefts

Sheriff Mitch Ralston Reports:

Between December 23, and Decmber 26, 2011, the Sheriff's Office received reports of 6 automobiles being burglarized in the Newtown Community. Detectives initiated an investigation and have subsequently arrested 2 men: Billy Ross Burgess, age 18, of 416 Beamer Circle, and Christopher Rocky Sewell, age 27, of 117 Georgia Drive in connection with the incidents. Ross has  been charged with 6 counts of Entering an Automobile to Commit Theft, Theft by Deception, and 1 count of Burglary in connection with an incident at a private home in the same area. Sewell has been charged with 1 count of Receiving Stolen Property, after being arrested at a local fast food restaurant on South Wall Street by deputy sheriffs. Sewell was discovered sleeping at a table with his head resting upon a bag of what deputies found to contain stolen hand/power tools. Sewell was free on parole from the state prison system at the time of his arrest.

" These men will now face a jury from this county. The citizens who provided information to the investigating officers in this case are a good example of this community supporting the Sheriff's Office", said Sheriff Mitch Ralston.


 

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE...

Thursday, December 29, 2011

Calhoun Man Arrested By Deputies For Battery/Obstructing Officers/Terroristic Threats/ etc. in Domestic Disturbance

Sheriff Mitch Ralston Reports:

At approximately 7: p.m., Wednesday, December 28, deputy sheriffs were dispatched to 628 Craigtown Road in unincorporated Gordon County in response to a report of a man beating a woman. Upon arrival, a uniformed deputy observed a man, subsequently identified as one Calvin Daniel Quinton, age 27, of #3 628 Craigtown Road, holding and beating an adult female on the ground outside the residence. The man was taken into custody after violently resisting arrest. The female victim was taken to Gordon Hospital via ambulance. Neighbors witnessed the incident. Quinton has been charged by Sheriff's detectives with:  Assault, Battery, Obstructing a 911 Call, Terroristic Threats/Acts, (Felony) Obstruction of a Peace Officer, and Interfering With Government Property regarding damage to a Sheriff's patrol car. He remains in the county jail pending bond proceedings.


 

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE...
Thursday, December 22, 2011
Severe Weather Event in Gordon County, Curfew in Effect Until 7 a.m. Friday Morning
Sheriff Mitch Ralston Reports:

At approximately 5:15pm today, a severe weather system struck several areas in Gordon County, in the Gardner Springs, Plainview, Sonoraville, Farmville, and Talking Rock communties. There was extensive damage to many structures, trees and power lines downed, and roadways impeded. Extra deputy sheriffs, state troopers, and other emergency personnel have been deployed in the affected areas. 

The Board of Commissioners has declared a State of Emergency in the County due to the weather damage. The situation remains hazardous due to downed power lines and debris. Pursuant to the State of Emergency, a CURFEW will be in effect in the affected communties and surrounding areas between 10 p. m. tonight (DEC 22) and 7 a.m. tomorrow morning (DEC23). Non residents should not enter into the storm affected areas during the curfew hours. Many areas remain without electricity, and power crews are on scene working to restore power.

"I appreciate the public's patience, and concern in looking after their neighbors, and commend all the first responders and volunteers who have worked throughout the night in this event" , said Sheriff Ralston.


FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE...
Wednesday, December 21, 2011
"Sheriff's Sale" Advertised is Not a Legitimate Sheriff's Sale
Sheriff Mitch Ralston Reports:

The "Sheriff's Sale" in several editions of the Calhoun Times between December 7 and December 21, 2011 in previous weeks, making reference to OCGA 9-13-140(a), advertising firearms and an automobile(s) for sale to the highest bidder on the first Tuesday in January, 2012 at the Gordon County Courthouse, is NOT a legitimate Sheriff's Sale. This "sale" was NOT authorized or approved by the Sheriff.


FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE…
Tuesday, December 20th, 2011
Shooting Death in Fairmount Investigated by Sheriff and GBI
Sheriff Mitch Ralston Reports:

On Saturday morning, December 17th, 2011, deputy sheriffs and sheriff’s detectives were dispatched to the downtown business district of Fairmount in response to the report of a shooting. A Fairmount police officer had responded initially and found that one man had been shot and killed. The Fairmount policeman was joined in minutes by personnel from the Sheriff’s Office. One man was detained at the scene and the weapon believed to have been involved was recovered.

The scene was secured and the GBI was summoned to Fairmount by the Sheriff to lead the investigation. Crime scene technicians from the Sheriff’s Office and the Regional GBI Office spent several hours at the shooting location, which was in a parking lot in front of a vacant business, gathering physical evidence.

The GBI agents and detectives have interviewed numerous eyewitnesses, as well as others, and have been in constant communication and consultation with the District Attorney’s Office.

The decedent is identified as one Brenton D. Cook, age 43, of Crandall, Murray County, Georgia. He was pronounced dead at the scene. An autopsy at the State Crime Laboratory    was subsequently conducted with results pending.

On Monday afternoon, December 19th, the man who’d been detained in connection with the shooting, Jason M. Chastain, age 36, of Fairmount, Georgia, was taken before the Gordon County Magistrate Court where a ‘probable cause’ hearing was conducted. The GBI agent in charge of the investigation testified in detail before the court regarding the circumstances of the shooting. The case involved elements of self defense. The Court found that there was insufficient probable cause at that time to detain Chastain any longer. Chastain was released from custody Monday evening.

The investigation into the shooting is still ongoing by the GBI, the Sheriff’s Office and the Coroner’s Office. No further details will be made public until the conclusion of the investigation.


FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE...
Saturday, December 17, 2011
Resaca Man Arrested For Aggravated Child Molestation
Sheriff Mitch Ralston Reports: 

On November 28, 2011, the Sheriff's Office Detective Division initiated an investigation into the report of a child molestation involving a 5 year old child. As a result of this investigation, Sheriff's detectives arrested Steven Paul Patterson, age 25, of 145 Nickelsville Road, Resaca, and have charged him with Aggravated Child Molestation. The charges stem from allegations of abuse in 2009/2010. Patterson is being held in the County Jail pending bond proceedings.


FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE...
Friday, December 16th, 2011
Deputies Graduate from Regional Police Academy,
Sheriff Mitch Ralston Reports:

On Friday, December 9th, 2011, three deputy sheriffs graduated from the Regional Police Academy in Dalton, Georgia, after undergoing 10 weeks of Basic Peace Officer Training. John Vick, Rex Anderson, and Dalyn Pulliam all graduated along with new peace officers from across northwest Georgia in a ceremony at Dalton City Hall. Vick and Anderson have both been employed by the Sheriff's Office since 2009, and Pulliam since 2010. Vick received two of the three top awards in his class, the Leadership Award, and the highest marksmanship (firearms) award.

" I am pleased with the performance of these 3 deputies in their basic training, and particularly proud that Deputy Vick earned two oustanding honors", said Sheriff Mitch Ralston.


FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE...
Wednesday, December 14th, 2011
Deputy Sheriffs Receive Heroism Awards From Governor Nathan Deal at the State Capital
Sheriff Mitch Ralston Reports:

Tuesday afternoon, December 13th, 2011, two Gordon County deputy sheriffs and a former deputy all received the prestigious 'Governor's Public Safety Award for Heroism' at a ceremony at the State Capital in Atlanta. Deputy sheriffs Chad Phillips and Josh Cochran, and former deputy Jeremy Battle who is now employed by the State Patrol, were all decorated by Governor Deal for their actions in rescuing a motorist trapped inside a burning automobile on Interstate 75 near Resaca on September 5th, 2010. The deputies received their awards in a ceremony honoring public safety officials from throughout Georgia.

"This is the first occasion wherein Gordon County Sheriff's Office employees have received such an honor, and I am very proud of Josh, Chad, and Jeremy. They are a credit to the people of our community and this state", said Sheriff Ralston. 


FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE...
Friday, December 9, 2011
Deputies Investigate Series of Residential Burglaries in Sugar Valley-Hill City Community
Sheriff Mitch Ralston Reports:

Over the past week the Sheriff's Office has received reports of 5 residential burglaries in the Sugar Valley-Hill City community. Electronics, televisions, jewelry, computers, and in 1 instance, childrens' Christmas presents have been stolen. Detectives are seeking two vehicles in connection with these crimes:

A black or dark blue / grey Ford Explorer SUV believed to be occupied by 2 white/males. This vehicle was seen in the area of Highway 136 near Sugar Valley on December 6, and was captured on surveillance video at a nearby convenience store. Law enforcement laboratories were unable to enhance the digital video to allow the clear identification of the occupants or the license plate.

The second vehicle is a green / gold Ford Expedition or Explorer, believed to be occupied by a large statured Hispanic male. A witness observed this suspect at a burglary scene and gave chase but unfortunately didn't call 911 until he returned home. 

Sheriff Ralston has increased patrols in the Sugar Valley / Hill City communties, and detectives are working overtime to follow all available leads. Anyone with any information regarding these events is urged to call the Sheriff's Detective Division at 706.879.5481, or 911.


FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE...
Friday, December 9, 2011
Major Crimes Unit Arrests 3 in Connection With Methamphetamine Possession and Trafficking
Sheriff Mitch Ralston Reports: 

On Thursday afternoon, December 8, 2011, Sheriff's detectives from the Major Crimes Unit arrested 3 men at a private residence on Tucker Hollow Road in a methamphetamine trafficking investigation.  Two search warrants have been executed. Detectives seized over half a pound of processed methamphetamine, over $1500.00 in US currency, written ledger books, a computer, a sophisticated electronic video surveillance system, a 9mm pistol, and a 2008 BMW automobile. The defendants were identified as:

1. James Lamar Massingill, age 33, of 251 Tucker Hollow Road, Calhoun, charged with Trafficking in Methamphetamine, Possession of a Firearm During the Commission of a Crime, and Conspiracy

2. Francisco Magana Carranza, age 33, of 3747 Macon Road, Columbus, Georgia, charged with Possession of Methamphetamine, Conspiracy, and traffic related offenses.

3. Carlos Garcia Reyes, age 34, of 2219 14th Street, Columbus, Georgia, charged with Possession of Methamphetamine.

A fourth man, one Walter Ramirez, approached the detectives at the scene and was also arrested after a records check revealed the existence of an outstanding warrant for Battery. Ramirez was not charged with an offense related to drug distribution.

The 'street value' of the methamphetamine is estimated at $14,000.00. The investigation had been ongoing for several months. All of the defendants are in custody at the Gordon County jail pending bond proceedings.


FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE...
Tuesday, December 6th, 2011
"Missing" Fugitive From Gordon County Arrested in Florida
Sheriff Mitch Ralston Reports: 

On August 12, 2011, RICHARD BERRY GILBERT was reported missing from his home in Plainville to the Sheriff's Office. A family member told deputies that he had been missing since August 9th. His truck was found abandoned in Bartow County, Georgia on August 14th. On August 16, Sheriff's detectives issued an arrest warrant charging GILBERT with Child Molestation. Detectives believed that GILBERT voluntarily left Gordon County to avoid arrest.

On Tuesday morning, December 6th, 2011, GILBERT was arrested by Sumter County, Florida deputy sheriffs on an on-ramp onto Interstate 75 near Wildwood after a records check. He was taken into custody pursuant to the Gordon County arrest warrant without incident. 

"Mr. Gilbert will now be returned here to face a Gordon County jury and answer for his actions., said Sheriff Mitch Ralston.


FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE...
Wednesday, November 23, 2011
Sheriff Urges Safety on This Holiday Weekend
Sheriff Mitch Ralston Announces:

"Over this holiday weekend, I urge everyone to be especially careful on the roadways. There is always an increased volume of automobile traffic around Thanksgiving, and I will have extra deputies patrolling the county this weekend. Let's all do our part to ensure a safe and happy Thanksgiving."


 

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE...
Wednesday, November 23, 2011
Deputies Arrest 4 For Receiving Stolen property in Connection With Area Store Thefts
Sheriff Mitch Ralston Reports:

On Monday, November 21, 2011 a uniformed deputy sheriff observed a Ford Explorer SUV fitting the description of a vehicle involved in a reported shoplifting at a Dollar General Store in Nickelsville on Highway 225 near Calhoun. The deputy stopped this vehicle and found a large amount of stolen merchandise inside. The 4 occupants of the SUV were all arrested and charged with Receiving Stolen Property. Detectives catalogued over $2000.00 of stolen property which was returned to the rightful owners. The persons arrested were

 

  • Tammy Marie Jenkins, age 36, of Chatsworth, Georgia
  • Melissa Jean Haley, age 29, of Chatsworth, Georgia
  • Felisha Dawn Pirtle, age 32, of Chatsworth, Georgia
  • Bobby Shaun Pack, age 27, of Chatsworth, Georgia

 All 4 are being held in the county jail awaiting bond proceedings.


FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE...
Tuesday, November 22, 2011
Deputies Interrupt Residential Burglary in Progress
Sheriff Mitch Ralston Reports: 

At approximately noon today, uniformed deputy sheriffs responded to the report of a burglary in progress at a private residence on Liberty Road near Calhoun in unincorported Gordon County. A deputy arrived within minutes and apprehended an Adairsville man inside the vacant house, subsequently identified as one Matthew Thomas Dotson, age 28, of 6101 Highway 140, Adairsville. Dotson was holding a pair of wire cutters and copper wire in his hands when he was arrested. Two women, subsequently identified as Karen Doreen Cook, age 47, of 264 Ward Mountain Road, Adairsville, and Misty Dawn Patterson, age 33, of 282 Ward Mountain Road, Adairsville were also arrested there. Investigating officers also found more copper wire in a pickup truck at the scene. Dotson was charged by detectives with Burglary and Possession of Tools For The Commission of a Crime. Cook and Patterson were both charged with Party to the Crime of Burglary. All 3 are in jail awaiting bond proceedings.


FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE...
3 Arrests in Saturday (November5) Robbery Murder
Tuesday, November 8th, 2011
Sheriff Mitch Ralston Reports: 

"On Saturday, November 5th, a 'home invasion' robbery murder occured in the Blackwood community here which resulted in the death of Jason D. Hammond. Our thoughts and prayers go out to Mr. Hammonds' family in their time of grief. I want to reassure the public that this was not a random act. It was premeditated, planned, and executed. My deputies and detectives responded quickly to the scene of the crime, as did my chief deputy and myself, and through team work we were able to quickly apprehend 2 of the men responsible within 6 hours of the crime. I called in the GBI and I want to praise the agents who led the subsequent investigation, as well as the United States Marshal's Service and the Chattanooga Police who captured the 3rd suspect yesterday evening. Many of my deputies worked tirelessly throughout the weekend alongside our local GBI agents to sucessfully resolve this case. I'd also like to thank the members of the public who provided information which led to the recovery of evidence and the capture of the 3rd suspect. The defendants in this senseless crime will now face a jury of Gordon County citizens to answer for their actions." said Sheriff Mitch Ralston


FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE...
Saturday, November 5th, 2011
Sheriff and GBI Investigating Homicide on Union Grove Road
Sheriff Mitch Ralston Reports: 

At approximately 2 a.m. this morning (Saturday, November 5th) deputy sheriffs responded to a private residence on Union Grove Church Road regarding a reported homicide. Deputies arrived and found the victim's body, and were told by witnesses that three (3) black/males had came to residence, demanded money, and subsequently shot the victim. The witnesses said that the three suspects then fled from the home. Detectives were summoned to the scene and a manhunt for the suspects ensued.

One individual is in custody and is being questioned by detectives, as are several eyewitnesses. The identity of the victim is being witheld pending notification of next-of-kin.

Deputies are searching for a blue Kia Sedona van, beaing Georgia license plate BSR 2830 in connection with this incident. If anyone sees this automobile they should NOT approach it, but should call 911 immediately.

UPDATE: 10:45 a.m. Saturday, November 5, 2011, the blue Kia Sedona van bearing Georgia license plate BSR2830 has been located, and a second individual is in custody at this time.

UPDATE: 6 p.m. Saturday, November 5th, 2011, the investigation into this incident is continuing. The victim is identified as Jason David Hammond, age 42, of 394 Union Grove Church Road. The body has been transported to the GBI Crime Laboratory in Decatur, Georgia for post mortem examination. The GBI's Crime Scene Unit has completed the examination of the murder scene, and a number of articles of physical evidence have been collected for further processing. Special Agents from the Region 1 GBI Office are working in conjunction with Sheriff's Office personnel in the investigation. Two individuals remain in custody, and have been questioned by detectives and agents.

UPDATE: 6:20 p.m. Sunday, November 6th, 2011, GBI agents and Sheriff's detectives have identified 3 suspects in connection with this incident. One remains at large. Investigating agents and detectives do not believe that this was a random incident, and have evidence that the crime was drug related.

UPDATE: 3 p.m., Monday, November 7, 2011, Two (2) local men have been formally charged in connection with this homicide, Brent Damon Carey, age 28, of 415 Old Boone Ford Road, Calhoun, Georgia, and Claude Travis Simpson, a/k/a 'Man', age 33, 330 Cedar Hill Drive, Calhoun, Georgia. Both were apprehended Saturday morning, November 5th. Both are charged with Murder and Armed Robbery. Authorities are still searching for a third defendant.

UPDATE: 8:30 P.M. Monday, November 7th, 2011: After a standoff with the police in Chattanooga, Tennessee, Deounta Curtis, age 22, of Calhoun, surrendered and is in custody there. He is charged with Murder and Armed Robbery along with the other two defendants in this case. There are no more fugitives being sought by authorities in connection with this investigation as of this time. 


FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE...
Friday, November 4, 2011
Deputies Arrest California Man in Connection with Sexual Assault on Passenger Bus on I 75
Sheriff Mitch Ralston Reports: 

At approximately 7 a.m. this morning, deputy sheriffs responded to the report of a disturbance on a Greyhound passenger bus near Calhoun on Interstate 75. Deputies arrived and met with a woman who reported to them that a male passenger had touched her inappropriately as she was sleeping in her seat. She awoke and confronted the man, and the driver subsequently stopped on the roadside. The assailant fled from the bus on foot, but was located a short time later near a motel on Exit 312 by a state trooper who received the 911 "lookout". The assailant was identified as one Justin Olen Scales, age 28, of 2406 Kent Street, Los Angeles, California. He was charged with Sexual Battery by deputies, who also discovered that he was wanted in California for violation of parole. Scales is being held in the county jail.


FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE...
Tuesday, November 1, 2011
Two Men Arrested by Sheriff's Office In Connection With Armed Robbery of Taxi Driver
Sheriff Mitch Ralston Reports: 

On Friday night, October 28th, deputy sheriffs responded to the report of an armed robbery of a taxi driver near a mobile home park on Carter Street. The driver reported to the deputies that he'd been robbed of $700.00 in cash by a duo of latino males at knifepoint. He said that the pair made their getaway on foot. Deputies and detectives searched the area without result. Monday morning, October 31st, acting on further information from the victim, Sheriff's detectives identified two perpetrators, Eriberto Avila, age 18, of 307 Larkspur Drive, Calhoun, and David Zavala, age 18, of 123 Carter Street, Calhoun. Detectives and deputies from the Community Crime Prevention Unit initiated a manhunt for the pair which lasted late into Monday night, when Zavala was located and arrested as he arrived, by taxi, at an apartment complex on Carter Street. Later that same night, the officers apprehended Avila at the residence of a female acquaintence on Roland Hayes Parkway near the Curryville community. Both have been charged with Armed Robbery and are being held in the County Jail.


FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE...
Tuesday, November 1, 2011
Sheriff's Office Arrests 2 in Connection with String of Residential Burglaries
Sheriff Mitch Ralston Reports: 

On Thursday afternoon, October 27th, 2011, the Sheriff's Office received a report of a residential burglary on Gardner Springs Road in unincorporated Gordon County. Deputies had reason to believe that a small, dark red van had been involved in that burglary as well as several other recent residential burglaries. A short time later, a uniformed deputy sheriff saw a van fitting that description on Curtis Parkway in Calhoun. The deputy stopped the van, which was occupied by one Timothy Daniel Lumpkin, age 41, of 207 Hensley Road, and Brigette Marie Wiegand, age 28, also of 207 Hensley Road. Deputies also discovered a large quantity of stolen property in the van. Lumpkin and Wiegand were both arrested and charged with burglary.  That same afternoon Sheriff's detectives obtained and executed a search warrant at the Lumpkin/Wiegand home on Hensley Road, where they recovered a large amount of stolen jewelry and electronics, as well as a variety of drugs. Detectives have been able to link Lumpkin and Wiegand with seven (7) residential burglaries in Gordon County reported since the beginning of October. The duo are also being investigated by Murray County Sheriff's authorities in connection with residential burglaries there. Both defendants have been charged with multiple counts of burglary, as well as violation of probation, and remain in the Gordon County jail. "Good police work resulted in these arrests and the recovery of a large amount of stolen property, and now these defendants will face justice before a jury of Gordon County citizens." said Sheriff Mitch Ralston.


PUBLIC SERVICE ANNOUNCEMENT
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE...
Monday, October 31, 2011
Sheriff Offers Halloween Safety Tips
Sheriff Mitch Ralston Announces: 

Please make sure your children have a safe and happy Halloween. Children should be accompanied by a responsible adult. Wear reflective materials which are highly visible at dusk/dark Carry a flashlight after darkness has fallen. Be mindful of traffic. Parents should examine candy and other treats before they are consumed.

The Sheriff's Office will have extra patrols throughout the evening on Halloween.


FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE...
Monday, October 24, 2011
Sheriff & Auxiliary Honors Former Deputy
Sheriff Mitch Ralston Announces: 

On Thursday, October 6, 2011, Gordon County Sheriff Mitch Ralston and the Sheriff's Auxiliary honored former Gordon County Deputy Lamar Stephens at the monthly Auxiliary meeting. Sheriff Ralston presented Mr. Stephens with a "Sheriff's Distinguished Service Award" for his service in the early 1970s under former Sheriff Pat Baker. Mr. Stephens, 86, retired from a career in the United States Navy and later worked for the Lockheed Corporation becoming a deputy sheriff in 1973. Mr. Stephens said that he'd spent "over 40 years in some type of uniform".


FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE...
Thursday, October 6th, 2011
Sheriff Investigates Home Invasion Robbery in Resaca, Suspects Captured After High Speed Pursuit in Tennessee
Sheriff Mitch Ralston Reports: 

At approximately 7:30 p.m. last night, Wednesday, October 5th, deputy sheriffs and detectives were dispatched to a private residnce on Fite Bend Road in Resaca in response to a report of a "home invasion" armed robbery. Deputies arrived to discover that two male individuals described as a white/male and a dark complected/male, armed with a handgun and wearing masks,had forced entry into the home. These two males demanded money and then forcibly tied the woman-resident's hands with electrical cord. The robbers fired a shot into the ceiling to further terrify and intimidate the victim. After ransacking the house, stealing a computer, financial cards, and cash, and threatening the lone victim, the two males fled the scene, in a dark SUV and in the victim's own car. The woman's husband returned home from work, freed his wife and called 911.  At approximately 3:30 a.m. this morning, the stolen car was observed by a Tennessee State Trooper in Bradley County, Tennessee. A high speed chase ensued which ended in a crash. Two men, identified as Jackie Camper, age 25, of East Ridge, Tennessee, and Augustin Hernandez, age 29, of Dalton, Georgia, wer both injured in the crash and are both in hospitals in Tennessee. They both face charges in connection with stolen property and traffic offenses in Tennessee. Based upon physical evidence at the scene which connects firearms found inside the stolen car to the crime scene and other physical and testimonial evidence, Gordon County detectives have filed charges of Armed Robbery , False Imprisonment, Aggravated Assault, and Burglary against both men. The Sheriff's Office is coordinating efforts to return the men to Gordon County through the process of extradition.

Sheriff Mitch Ralston said "This heinous crime is unusual in our community, and I am pleased with the detective work that went into solving the case in a quick fashion. I especialy commend the Tennessee trooper who found the stolen vehicle and initiated the apprehension of these dangerous felons. I look forward to seeing these two face justice in our Superior Court."


FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE...
Friday, September 30th, 2011
Deputies Chase Stolen Automobile, Suspects Burn Car and Flee on Foot
Sheriff Mitch Ralston Reports: 

At about 3:45 a.m. this morning (Sept. 30), a deputy sheriff answered an alarm call at a private residence on Highway 53 West near the Scottsville community. The deputy spoke with the complainant who told him that there was a problem with the telephone lines interfering with the alarm system. The deputy then began checking nearby telephone lines and discovered a suspicious vehicle in an open field near the intersection of Highway 53 and Millers Ferry Road. When the deputy approached this vehicle, he saw that the driver was wearing  dark clothes and a black ski mask. When the deputy ordered the driver out of the automobile, an accomplice appeared from hiding behind the car. Ignoring the deputy's verbal commands, the pair sped away. The deputy pursued the car a short distance through a gate,  whereupon the occupants abandoned the vehicle. As the deputy was approaching the car a second time, it burst into flames and was soon totally engulfed. Subsequent investigation revealed that the car had been stolen from Rome, Georgia in August. Detectives believe that the perpetrators used a butane torch, later found inside, to set the car on fire before they ran away. Both suspects are believed to be white/males. The car was a total loss. If anyone has any information regarding this matter, they are urged to call the Sheriff's Detective Division at 706.629.1244.


FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE...
Friday, September 30th, 2011
Sheriff's Detectives Arrest 5 Local Men in Drug Distribution Investigation
Sheriff Mitch Ralston Reports: 

An 18 month investigation into the distribution of marijuana, methamphetamine, and Schedule II narcotics culminated Wednesday with the arrest of 5 local men:

  • Roy Richard Dixon, a/k/a 'Pickle', age 73, of 2688 Highway 225, Calhoun, charged with 2 counts Sale/Distribution of Schedule II Narcotics, Possession of Schedule II Narcotics, and Violation of Probation.
  • Kenny Joe Dixon, age 50, of 324 McDaniel Road, Calhoun, charged with 4 counts of Sale/Distribution of Marijuana
  • Stevie Jacks, age 57, of 1420 Old Dalton Road, Calhoun, charged with 7 counts of Sale/Distribution of Marijuana, and Violation of ProbationSam Brown, age 32, of 498 Moores Ferry Road, Calhoun, charged with Sale/Distribution of Marijuana
  • Sammy Don Harris, age 61, of 146 Holcombe Road, Calhoun, charged with 15 counts of Sale/Distribution of Marijuana, 1 sale/Distribution of Methamphetamine, and Violation of Probation.

All of the arrests were effected Wednesday without incident. State Probation Officers accompanied the Sheriff's Personnel in arresting those defendants on probation. Kenny Joe

Dixon has been released on $10,000.00 bond, and Sam Brown has been released on $5000.00 bond. The other defendants are all in the county jail pending probation revocation proceedings.


FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE...
Tuesday, September 27, 2011
Deputies Arrest 2 in Burglary-In-Progress
Sheriff Mitch Ralston Reports: 

At approximately 4 p.m., Monday afternoon, September 26, 2011, a supervisory deputy sheriff received a telephone call from a concerned citizen who observed two suspicious characters at the old XL Corporation building on US Highway 41 North. This supervisor responded directly to the scene where he apprehended two local men in the process of burglarizing the building. Charles Yetman, age 20, of Lavista Drive in Calhoun, and Austin Fain, age 18, of Roland Hayes Parkway, Calhoun, were both arrested at the scene. Deputies recovered copper from the suspects believed to have been taken from the vacant building. Detectives charged both men with Burglary and Possession of Tools for the Commission of a Crime. "Our best 'eyes and ears' in this community are our own citizens", said Sheriff Ralston.

Any citizen seeing suspicious activity in or around vacant private or commercial property is urged to call 911.


FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE...
Monday, September 19, 2011
Ordinance Enforcement Deputy Completes Training
Sheriff Mitch Ralston Reports: 

Deputy Sheriff William Daniel, the Sheriff's Office's 'Code Enforcement Officer', recently graduated from Local Government Code Enforcement training at the Carl Vinson Institute of Government at the University of Georgia. The training concentrated on the legal aspects and enforcement of local (county government) ordinances. Deputy Daniel completed the exit exam with a perfect test score. He is also certified in Erosion Control, as well as having received all other training mandatory for peace officers.

"I am pleased to have William on my staff; he is an asset to this Office and is the best code enforcement officer in Georgia", said Sheriff Mitch Ralston.


FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE...
Saturday, September 17th, 2011
Deputy Involved in Fatal Accident With Pedestrian
Sheriff Mitch Ralston Reports: 

At approximately 11 p.m. Friday night, September 16th, 2011, a deputy sheriff on routine patrol on US Highway 41 north of Calhoun was involved in a fatal accident with a pedestrian. The deputy was travelling south on the 4 lane highway in the vicinity of 1336 US 41 when a pedestrian walked in front of the sheriff's patrol car and was struck and killed. The deceased man was identified at the scene as one Gerald E. Williams, age 78, whose last known address was 6488 Murfreesboro Road, Lebanon, Tennessee. He was pronounced dead at the scene. Williams had been reported to 911 as having been in danger from traffic in the roadway on State Route 53 near the Floyd County line earlier the same day. He'd been taken by ambulance to Gordon Hospital and later released. Williams was hitch-hiking on Interstate 75 on Monday (September 12th) when another Gordon County deputy picked him up and transported him to Whitfield County. The area on Highway 41 where the fatal accident occured is not well lighted. The deputy involved was not injured. The Georgia State Patrol and the Gordon County Coroner’s Office are conducting the investigation into this event.


FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Friday, September 16, 2011
Sheriff Arrests Man For Manufacturing Marijuana, Trafficking, Weapons Violations in the Ryo Community
Sheriff Mitch Ralston Reports: 

On Thursday, September 15th, 2011, Sheriff's detectives received a tip about a marijuana growing operation at a residence in a remote location in the Ryo community in easternmost Gordon County, near the Pickens County line. Acting on this information, the detectives obtained a search warrant for the home and surrounding premises. Late Thursday afternoon, detectives and deputies from the Community Crime Prevention Unit executed the search warrant at the residence of DANIEL SHELTON BROWN, age 48, of 497 Ramblin Road, Fairmount, Georgia. Upon entering the home, deputies discovered and seized 19 illegally possessed firearms, and approximately 1 pound of marijuana. Outside, the deputies followed a garden (water) hose to 11 large marijuana plants, ranging from 6 to 9 feet in height. Detectives found evidence indicating that marijuana seeds had been obtained from Europe. BROWN was arrested at the scene without incident and taken to the county jail. Detectives took a variety of evidence into custody, and seized a "4 wheeler" ATV believed to have been used to facilitate the cultivation of the marijuana crop. Detectives seized a total of over 40 pounds of marijuana, BROWN has been charged with: Trafficking in Marijuana, Manufacturing Marijuana, and Violation of the Georgia Firearms & Weapons Act (Felon in Possession of Firearms), 19 counts.

Sheriff Mitch Ralston said "The discovery and seizure of this contraband, in the easternmost part of our County, illustrates my commitment to all of the citizens of Calhoun and Gordon County. No part of Gordon County will be neglected and will always receive law enforcement protection".


FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Wednesday, September 7th, 2011
Deputies Interrupt Burglary in Ranger Community
Sheriff Mitch Ralston Reports: 

Tuesday evening, September 6th, 2011, a deputy sheriff was on routine patrol in the Ranger community in eastern Gordon County when he observed a suspicious automobile at a vacant commercial property on Highway 411. The building had previously been used as an assietd living facility and later as a rehabilitation center. The deputy approached the car and subsequently arrested the two occupants, Harold Evan Cummings, age 37, of 12074 Fairmount Highway, Fairmount, Georgia, and Evilyn Maner, age 62, of the same address. The deputies also recovered plumbing fixtures believed to have been stolen from within the building. Both Cummings and Maner were charged by detectives with Burglary and Possession of Tools for the Commission of a Crime. They are both lodged in the County Jail pending bond proceedings.


FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE...
Thursday, September 1, 2011
Sheriff Investigates Two Unrelated Deaths
Sheriff Mitch Ralston Reports:  

On Monday, August 29th, 2011, deputy sheriffs responded to the report of a man having jumped out of a moving automobile on State Route 53 (west) near Switch Road. The victim, identified as one Emilio A. Barrera-Barajas, age 27, of 909 Sandy Dunes, Dalton, Georgia, was transported via ambulance to Floyd Medical Center in Rome, Georgia where he succumbed to his injuries on August 30th. The driver of the automobile was not injured. The event is being investigated by the Coroner's Office and the Sheriff's Detective Division. The investigating officers do not believe that foul play was involved in the incident.

In a seperate, unrelated matter:

At approximately 11:30pm, Wednesday night, August 31st, deputy sheriffs and detectives responded to the report of a hanged person at 514A Circle Drive near Calhoun. The victim, identified as one Elisbeth Anne Tyler, age 27, of 514A Circle Drive, Calhoun, Georgia, was pronounced dead at the scene. The body has been transported to the State Crime Laboratory in Decatur, Georgia to undergo a post-mortem examination. The event is being investigated by the Coroner's Office and the Sheriff's Detective Division. The investigating detectives do not believe that foul play was involved in this death.


FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE...
Tuesday, August 23, 2011
Detectives Seek Public's Assistance in Identifying Person of Interest
Sheriff Mitch Ralston Reports:

The Sheriff's Office Detective Division is seeking assistance from the public in identifying a person of interest depicted in the accompanying photographs. Detectives wish to question this person regarding an incident at the Mapco convenience store at Highway 41 / Highway 53 in Calhoun at aproximately 1 a.m. Sunday morning, August 21st. If anyone has any information concerning this person, they ae urged to call the Sheriff's Detective Division at 706.879.5481.


FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE...
Wednesday, August 17, 2011
High Speed Chase Ends in Arrest of Cartersville Man
Sheriff Mitch Ralston Reports:

At aproximately 10 p.m. Saturday night, August 13th, a deputy sheriff observed an automobile travelling in excess of 98 miles per hour on Interstate 75 near State Route 225. The deputy attempted to pull the vehicle over, but the driver refused to stop. The deputy gave chase and the driver of this vehicle fled at a high rate of speed from the Interstate to State Route 225 and then onto US 41 toward Calhoun. Once on US 41, the driver of the vehicle drove southward in the opposing lane of traffic.  Realizing the pursuit was entering an area with heavy traffic and a greater potential for injury to innocent people, the deputy used his patrol car to force the violator from the roadway. The automobile chase ended when the violator abandoned his still-moving vehicle in the parking lot of a business near the intersection of US 41 and Thomas Street. The driver, subsequently identified as one Morroco Jacobi Wilkey, age 28, of 37 Bishop Mill Drive, Cartersville, Georgia, then fled on foot but was quickly apprehended by the deputy sheriff. Wilkey was taken to Gordon Hospital after being apprehended due to the deputies suspecting that he'd swallowed drugs. Wilkey was subsequently charged with Speeding, Reckless Driving, DUI, Fleeing and Attempting to Elude an Officer, Driving With a Suspended License, and Possession of Marijuana. Wilkey is being held in the Gordon County Jail pending judicial proceedings.

The arresting deputy sheriff is a former 4-time All Pro member of the Atlanta Falcons, and was described by Sheriff Ralston as being "very quick on his feet".


FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE...
Wednesday, August 17th, 2011
Sheriff Investigates Death of 17 Year Old
Sheriff Mitch Ralston Reports: 

At approximately 6 p.m. yesterday, August 16th, deputy sheriffs responded to the report of a hanged person on Haynes Road in the Oakman community in eastern Gordon County. Deputies arrived to find an unresponsive 17 year old male in a wooded area behind a private residence. He had been discovered by family members who called 911. A uniformed deputy and EMS personnel attempted to revive the victim by administering CPR. The victim was removed from the scene by ambulance and subsequently pronounced dead. Investigating detectives do not believe that foul play was involved in the death. The investigation is continuing in conjunction with the County Coroner's Office.

"The death of any young person, in any circumstance, is especially tragic. Please keep the victim's family in your thoughts and prayers", said Sheriff Ralston.


FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE...
Monday, August 15th, 2011
Sheriff Seeks Help From the Public in Finding Missing Man
Sheriff Mitch Ralston Reports:

On Friday night, August 12, 2011, deputy sheriffs responded to the report of a missing Plainville man, identified as one RICHARD BERRY GILBERT, age 49, of 241 Scott Lake Road, Plainville, Gordon County, Georgia. Family members advised the deputies that Mr. GILBERT had been missing since approximately 8:30 p.m., Tuesday, August 9th. They also said that Mr. GILBERT was last seen on Scott Lake Road in Plainville, wearing a blue tee shirt, khaki (short) pants, and brown boots. Mr. GILBERT'S truck was discovered near the White, Georgia community by Bartow County authorities on Sunday, August 14th. However no one was located with or nearby the vehicle. Anyone with any information regarding Mr. GILBERT'S whereaboust are urged to call the Gordon County Sheriff's Detective Division at 706.629.1244, or 911.

UPDATE, Tuesday, August 16th, 2011: Today (August 16, 2011) Sheriff's Detectives obtained an arrest warrant charging RICHARD BERRY GILBERT with one (1) count of Child Molestation. The allegation involves a 5 year old child, and is understood to have occured in the Plainville community within the preceding 11 months. GILBERT is being sought by local and state authorities on this warrant. Detectives have reason to believe that GILBERT voluntarily left from this jurisdiction.

Anyone with knowledge of GILBERT'S whereabouts is urged to call 911 immediately.


FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE...
Tuesday, August 9th, 2011
Sheriff Renegotiates Jail Food Contract to Save County $108,000.00 

Sheriff Mitch Ralston is pleased to announce that in June, 2011, the end of the previous fiscal year, , the inate meals contract with Trinity Foods Service was successfully renegotiated from a price of $1.92 per individual meal down to $1.77 per individual meal. Based upon an average daily jail population of 300 inmates, this will save over $108,000.00 over the 3 year contract period.

"I am very aware of the economic stress that our community and the local government faces, and my staff and I will continue every possible cost-cutting measure available to us while continuing to deliver the very best law enforcement and jail services possible", said Sheriff Ralston.


FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE...
Tuesday, August 9th, 2011
Detectives Arrest Calhoun Man For Child Molestation
Sheriff Mitch Ralston Reports:

On July 27, 2011, detectives responded to the report of a child molestation believed to have occured at a private residence on Chatsworth Highway in Gordon County. After an investigation was conducted, detectives arrested one Terry Glenn Harkins, age 37, of 957 Chatsworth Highway, Calhoun, for child molestation against a female child under the age of 16. Harkins surrendered himself at the county jail. He was subsequently released on $25,000.00 bond.


FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE...
Tuesday, August 9th, 2011
Detectives Arrest Calhoun Couple For Cruelty to Children, Injured Child at Erlanger Medical Center
Sheriff Mitch Ralston Reports:

On Tuesday, August 2, 2011, Sheriff's detectives responded to the report of a severly injured child at Gordon Hospital Emergency Room. The two month old child, who'd sustained multiple bone fractures, bruises, and a dislocated joint, was subsequently transferred to the TC Thompson Children's Hospital at Erlanger Medical Center in Chattanooga, Tennessee. After an investigation was conducted, detectives arrested Michael Randolph, age 24, and his wife Jennifer Randolph, age 23, of 1388 US Highway 41, Calhoun, Georgia. Michael Randolph was charged with Aggravated Battery and Cruelty to Children, and Jennifer Randolph was charged with Cruelty to Children. Michael Randolph is still in custody; Jennifer Randolph has been released on bond.

 

 

 

 

 

 

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE...

Thursday, July 28, 2011

Deputies & State Officers Discover Marijuana Plants, Arrest Juvenile

Sheriff Mitch Ralston Reports:

At aproximately 3:30 p.m. today, deputy sheriffs and state law enforcement officers from the Georgia DNR, State Patrol, Aviation Authority and the Georgia Army National Guard were conducting an aerial (helicopter) search in the vicinity of Landon Court in the Newtown Community when they discovered eight (8) large marijuana plants growing in a wooded area. A ground team was dispatched to confiscate the plants, and deputy sheriffs detained a fourteen year old juvenile who lived nearby in connection with the marijuana. The juvenile was processed and released. The helicopter team was operating in Gordon County at Sheriff Ralston's invitation.

 

 

 

 

 

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE...

Sheriff's Major Crimes Unit Arrests 13 Defendants in Racketeering-Conspiracy-Methamphetamine Trafficking Investigation Spanning 1 Year

Friday, July 22nd, 2011

SHERIFF MITCH RALSTON REPORTS:

The Sheriff's Office Detective Division's Major Crimes Unit (MCU) has arrested 13 defendants in a Racketeering/Conspiracy/Methamphetamine Trafficking case spanning one year. In June, 2010, MCU detectives initiated an investigation into the activities of several individuals in the Calhoun area based upon information received from informants and physical evidence in a seperate, unrelated case from last year. Detectives secretly recorded hours of conversation between co-defendants, conducted covert surveillance, arranged undercover transactions of drugs and money, and executed search and arrest warrants over the 12 month period. The investigation culminated with the arrest of 13 defendants this week:

1. RICKY PAUL HOLT, a/k/a "FAT RICK" age 54, 135 Calloway Circle, Cartersville, Georgia, Trafficking Methamphetamine, Conspiracy to Traffic Methamphetamine, Racketeering

2. VIRGINIA HAMRICK, age 36, 1342 1/2 US HWY 41 North, Calhoun, Georgia, Conspiracy to Traffic Methamphetamine, Racketeering

3. MALINDA INGLE, age age 43, 125 DEan Road, Resaca, Georgia, Conspiracy to Traffic Methamphetamine, Racketeering

4. CRYSTAL CARSON, age 30, 475 Possum Hollow Road, Ranger, Georgia, Conspiracy to Traffic Methamphetamine, Racketeering

5. JAMES TERRELL ANDERSON, age 44, 799 Mount Olive Road, Fairmount, GA, Sale of Methamphetamine, Racketeering

6. KEVIN DWAYNE BRYANT, age 39, 282 Airport Circle, Resaca, Georgia, Sale of Methamphetamine, Conspiracy to TRaffic Methamphetamine, Racketeering

7. TERESA BERNICE RIDLEY, age 31, 113 Kenmoreland Circle, Calhoun, Georgia, Trafficking Methamphetamine, Sale of Methamphetamine, Conspiracy to Traffic Methamphetamine, Racketeering

8. JOSE C. FELICIANO, age 22, 114 Kenmoreland Circle, Calhoun, Georgia, Trafficking Methamphetamine, Sale of Methamphetamine, Conspiracy to Traffick Methamphetamine, Possession of Marijuana With Intent to Distribute, Racketeering

9. JAMES WILLIAM BURNS, age 46, 2324 Trimble Hollow Road, Adairsville, Georgia, Sale of Methamphetamine, Conspiracy to Traffic Methamphetamine, Racketeering

10. MICHAEL JUDD, age 47, 2312 Trimble Hollow Road, Adairsville, Georgia, Sale of Methamphetamine, Trafficking Methamphetamine, Conspiracy to Traffic Methamphetamine, Racketeering

11. BRANDON HEATH EDGE, age 32, 114 Kenmoreland Circle, Calhoun, Georgia, Conspiracy to Traffic Methamphetamine, Possession of Methamphetamine, Possession of Marijuana, Sale of Methamphetamine, Racketeering

12. JACKIE LAMAR HILBURN, age 51, 1278 Sugar Valley Road, Calhoun, GA. Possession of Methamphetamine, Racketeering

13. EDWARD SHANE HARKINS, age 41, 167 Smith Road, Sugar Valley, Georgia Possession of Methamphetamine, Racketeering

 

A search warrant executed at the home of JUDD revealed methamphetamine buried in the ground sealed in a metal pipe. Detectives have reason to believe that the methamphetamine involved in this case originated with a 'cartel' in Northern Mexico. Detectives also seized processed methamphetamine containers in the form of glass beakers which were inscribed with a sophisticated code in broken spanish and cypher symbols. Processed methamphetamine totalling several hundred grams and over $11, 000.00 in cash was seized in the investigation, which MCU detectives dubbed "Operation WINDTALKER"

 

"In keeping with my policy of targeting these corrupt organizations that profit from conspiracy and methamphetamine trafficking, the MCU initiated this investigation last year. I commend the MCU detectives who put many hard hours of good police work into this case. Their efforts have been successful. I also thank our District Attorney's Office for their advice and support throughout this investigation. Without them, the prosecution of these RICO cases would not be possible. I also want to thank our citizens for having patience with us during these long, exhaustive investigations. I am well aware of the trust and responsibility our community has put in my staff and I, and we will work the long hours and make the extra effort to ensure that Gordon County is not a safe haven for drug traffickers", said Sheriff Mitch Ralston

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE...

Tuesday, July 19th, 2011

Detectives Charge Ackworth Man in Connection With Air Conditioner Thefts From Local Churches

Sheriff Mitch Ralston Reports:

Gordon County Sheriff's detectives from the Field Crimes Unit have charged an Acworth, Georgia man with a number of felony offenses in connection with the thefts of air conditioner units from seven (7) local churches in June - July, 2011. On July 14th, 2011, a witness in the Ramhurst community in southern Murray County called 911 to report the theft of air conditioning units from a nearby church. A 'lookout' was broadcast to law enforcement officers in the area and a State Trooper from (local) Post 43 observed a van matching the witness' description near Ramhurst. The trooper stopped the van and discovered several air conditioning units, believed to have been stolen from the Murray County church inside the vehicle.

The driver, identified as one BILLY JACK CRISP, age 35, of 118 Main Lake Drive, Acworth, Bartow County, Georgia, was arrested at the scene and taken to the Murray County Jail. Gordon County detectives, who have been investigating the theft of air conditioning units from a number of local churches for several weeks, have charged CRISP with Theft and Vandalism of Places of Worship in connection with incidents at Hopewell Baptist Church in Oakman, Fairview Church of God in Oakman, Union Grove Baptist Church in the Union Grove community, Mount Olive Baptist church near Fairmount, White Graves Baptist Church near Oakman, Wesley Chapel Methodist Church in the Sonoraville community, and Victory Temple Church of God near Calhoun.

The investigation of the thefts and disposal of stolen property ranged widely across north Georgia, involving Bartow, Cherokee, Gilmer, Gordon, Murray, and Pickens Counties. The Sheriff's Offices in each county coordinated efforts and shared information and leads. CRISP is being held in the Murray County Jail pending bond proceedings. The investigation is ongoing and more arrests/charges are expected.

 

 

 

 

 

 

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE...

Friday, July 8th, 2011

Sheriff's Office Investigating Rash of Thefts at Local Churches

Sheriff Mitch Ralston Reports:

Over the past two weeks, four local churches have suffered the thefts of outside air conditioner units. These air conditioning units are very likely being sold for scrap metal after being stolen. The four churches have all been in the Fairmount/Ranger/Oakman vicinity, in eastern Gordon County, and are in isolated locations. Extra patrols in these areas are in place, and detectives are following up on a number of possible leads in conjunction with the Bartow County Sheriff's Office. A number of churches in northern Bartow County have suffered similar thefts in roughly the same time period.

 

Sheriff Ralston asks for the public's help in reporting any suspicious people or automobiles in the vicinity of churches. Detectives have reason to believe that a small, red, pick up truck might be involved in the thefts. The Sheriff urges anyone seeing suspicious activity, especially in isloated areas, to call 911. A reward is available to anyone furnishing information which leads to the arrest and conviction of the person(s) responsible for these thefts.

 

Sheriff Ralston said, "I am especially concerned and disgusted with anyone who would vandalize or steal from our churches, I have ordered our Community Crime Prevention Unit and Field detectives to concentrate on arresting the people committing these thefts and bringing them before our Courts".

 

 

 

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE...

Thursday, July 7th, 2011

Killer Paul Buchannon Pleads "Guilty" to Murder of Christy McKnight and Other Charges From July, 2010 in Gordon County Superior Court

Sheriff Mitch Ralston Reports:

Paul Buchannon, who has been held in custody in the Gordon County Jail since his arrest by deputy sheriffs on July 29th, 2010, entered a plea of "guilty" to charges of murdering Christy McKnight, shooting two other persons, and an array of related charges in Superior Court today.  He was sentenced to life in prison without parole. Buchannon was arrested in the Hill City community after an intensive manhunt last July, which ended after Buchannon confronted deputies with a handgun in a wooded area and was shot and wounded. Buchannon began a violent crime spree last July 29th when he entered a residence in Resaca and shot McKnight's son and nephew. Both young men survived, but Buchannon kidnapped McKnight and drove her to Hill City. There, he forced McKnight onto the railroad tracks and murdered her by shooting her through the neck. Deputy sheriffs found her body while searching the area on foot.

 

Sheriff Ralston commended all of the officers involved in the manhunt and Buchannon's capture, but singled out members of his Major Crimes squad for special praise. "My Major Crimes Unit detectives performed superbly in collecting, preserving, and presenting all possible evidence in this complicated investigation. They provided the District Attorney with a very thorough and well prepared investigative file, which played a major role in compelling this defendant to plead 'guilty' thus sparing surviving family members from a trial, which also would have been very costly. The Major Crimes squad has been successful in solving three homicides since I formed the Unit in 2009. I am pleased to know that a vicious murderer will never be free again".

 

 

 

 

 

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE...

Wednesday, July 6th, 2011

Sheriff's Office Investigates Death of 5 Year Old

Sheriff Mitch Ralston Reports:

At approximately 8:45 a.m. this morning, deputy sheriffs and other emergency personnel responded to the report of a drowned child at a private residence on Woody Road in southwestern Gordon County. Witnesses reported to deputies that the victim, a 5 year old child, was found unresponsive in a neighbor's swimming pool. The child was removed from the scene by emergency medical personnel but did not survive. The incident is being investigated by the Sheriff's Detective Division and the County Coroner's Office. The child's body will undergo a post mortem examination at the State Crime Laboratory in Decatur, Georgia pursuant to Georgia law.

 

 

 

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE…

Thursday, June 30th, 2011

Sheriff Mitch Ralston Reports:

 

At approximately 9:30pm, Monday, June 27th, 2011, uniformed deputy sheriffs stopped a suspicious automobile on Interstate 75 (Southbound) for a traffic violation. After questioning the passenger in this car, subsequently identified as one Ronix Rosemond, age 40, of 613 Wild Turkey Road, Savannah, Georgia, deputies placed him under arrest for Possession of Marijuana and Hindering Officers. The driver was not arrested. Rosemond was transported to the County Jail where deputies recovered a plastic bag containing suspected marijuana from his mouth. He subsequently told deputies and booking officers he’d eaten marijuana while being transported to jail.

 

Rosemond was placed in a booking cell and checked periodically by jail officers.  At approximately 6 am the following morning (June 28th) he was examined by a member of the jail medical staff and displayed no symptoms of medical distress. Later at about 9:45 am, Rosemond appeared ill and was taken by ambulance to Gordon Hospital. At approximately 1 am this morning, the Sheriff’s Office was advised that Rosemond had died. The body will be taken to the State Crime Laboratory where a post mortem examination will be performed. The death is being investigated by the GBI and the Coroner’s Office as required by State laws.

 

 

 FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE...

Monday, June 27th, 2011

Sheriff Mitch Ralston Reports:

Sheriff's Office & GBI Investigating Death of 12-Month Old Boy

At approximately 11 a.m., Sunday, June 26th, deputy sheriffs responded to the report of a child being seriously injured at an address on Orchard Way in the Boone Ford/Sonoraville community. The child was treated at Gordon Hospital and later transferred to Erlanger Medical Center in Chattanooga, Tennessee. At approximately 3 a.m. today, the child expired. The boy was 12 months old.  The body will be sent to the State Crime Laboratory in Decatur, Georgia for a post-mortem examination pursuant to Georgia law. Sheriff's detectives and agents from the Region 1 GBI field office are investigating the circumstances surrounding the injury and death.

 

 

 

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE...

Sheriff's Detectives Arrest Rocky Face, Georgia Man for Rape

Monday, June 27th, 2011

Sheriff Mitch Ralston Reports:

At approximately 9:30 p.m., Friday night, June 24th, the Sheriff's Office received a report of a rape at a private residence on Nickelsville Highway in the Resaca community. Responding deputy sheriffs and detectives located the victim, a 17 year old local resident, who reported being forcibly raped by a man with whom she'd become acquainted through 'Facebook' and 'Skype' over a period spanning several months. She reported that this was the first instance in which she'd actually met the man.

The man, subsequently identified as one CHARLES ZACHARY DANE MORGAN, age 19, of Rocky Face, Georgia, fled into the woods when the 911 call was placed, but later turned himself in to responding deputies near the scene.

He was subsequently arrested by detectives and charged with one count of Rape.

He was taken before a Magistrate who denied bond, and will appear in Gordon County Superior Court at a later date.

Sheriff Ralston urges parents to closely monitor the activities of children engaged in social networks via the internet.

 

 

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE...

Friday, June 17th, 2011

Detectives Seek Assistance From the Public in Identifying Individual in Surveillance Video

Sheriff Mitch Ralston Reports:

The Sheriff's Office Detective Division is investigating a theft at the Gordon County EMA building on State Highway 53 at approximately 6:30pm, June 15th, 2011. A surveillance camera captured footage depicting an unidentified individual and a white pick up truck at the scene. Sheriff Ralston asks that anyone who can identify this individua/ and/or vehicle call the Detective Division at 706-629-1244 or 706-879-5481.

This video takes approximately 3-4 minutes to download, please be patient...

 click here for video file

 

 

 

 

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE...

Tuesday, June 14th, 2011

Detectives Interrupt Burglary in Progress in Sonoraville

SHERIFF MITCH RALSTON REPORTS:

At approximately 3:15pm, Monday, June 13th, 2011, a report of a residential burglary-in-progress on Erwin Hill Church Road in the Sonoraville was broadcast via radio to all deputy sheriffs. Two Sheriff's Detectives were nearby and quickly responded. The plainclothed deputies subsequently apprehended one ANTHONY GUGLIOTTA, age 40, of 244 Blalock Road, Adairsville, Georgia at the scene. The offender was attempting to hide behind a tree. The detectives recovered a file and wirecutters from the offender's person. GUGLIOTTA was taken into custody without incident and charged with Criminal Trespass and Criminal Attempt to Commit Burglary. Detectives also arrested a woman believed to cohabitate with GUGLIOTTA, one HEATHER NEWPORT, age 25, of 244 Blalock Road, Adairsville, Georgia on an outstanding warrant for an unrelated charge.

Sheriff Ralston urges citizens to be on the lookout for suspicious persons during daylight hours, when most residential burglaries occur, particularly in the vicinity of vacant or abandoned homes.

 

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE...

Tuesday, June 14th, 2011

Local Citizens Help Deputy Sheriffs Apprehend Cocaine Trafficker in Resaca

SHERIFF MITCH RALSTON REPORTS:

Monday morning, June 13th, 2011, uniformed deputy sheriffs assigned to the Community Crime Prevention Unit (CCPU) stopped a suspicious automobile from Ohio in Resaca. After a search of the car revealed over a pound of processed cocaine, the driver of the vehicle, identified as one PERCY LEROY JONES, age 31, of 232 5th Avenue, Huntington, West Virginia, attempted to flee from the two deputies on foot. A chase ensued down a steep embankment into a wooded area. Three local men saw the deputies chasing the offender, stopped their own vehicles, and helped the deputies run down and apprehend JONES. A deputy was slightly injured during the pursuit. The local men greatly assisted in the quick capture of this violator. JONES was arrested without further incident and lodged in the County Jail, charged with Possession of Cocaine, Trafficking in Cocaine, and Obstructing Law Enforcement Officers.

Sheriff Ralston commented, "It's great to live in this community where our citizens not only support their local law enforcement officers, but are willing to actively assist deputies in an emergency. I want to personally thank each of these men. I'm very proud of our community"

 

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE...

Monday, June 6th, 2011

Detectives Investigate Death of Toddler

Sheriff Mitch Ralston Reports:

On Wednesday, June 1st, 2011, Sheriff's detectives responded to Floyd Medical Center in Rome, Georgia concerning the report of an injured 2 year old child. Detectives have reason to believe that the injuries were the result of a water-related incident at a private residence in the Plainville community that same day. The child was transferred to Scottish Rite Children's Hospital in Atlanta where he passed away Friday afternoon, June 3rd. Detectives are in consultation with the Georgia Bureau of Investigation's Crime Laboratory, and a post-mortem examination has been performed. A joint investigation involving the Department of Family & Childrens Services, The Georgia Bureau of Investigation, the Gordon County Coroner's Office, and the Sheriff's Office is continuing.

 

 

 

 

 

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE...

Thursday, May 26th, 2011

Detectives Investigate Reported Robbery at Interstate Rest Area

Sheriff Mitch Ralston Reports:

At approximately 11:45 a.m. today, deputy sheriffs were dispatched to the Interstate 75 Rest Area near Adairsville concerning the report of a robbery. A professional driver reported that 4 men had snatched a wallet from him and fled the scene in an automobile. Within minutes, State Troopers had stopped the car fitting the description near I-75/State Highway 53. The 4 occupants were detained for questioning and released after the alleged victim declined to press charges. No arrests were made and Sheriff's detectives consider the matter closed.

 

 

 

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE...

Monday, May 23, 2011

Detectives Investigate Aggravated Assault Incident, One Arrested

Sheriff Mitch Ralston Reports:

 

At approximately 10 a.m. Sunday morning (May 22), deputy sheriffs were dispated to the report of an aggravated assault at 331 Langston Road in the Sonoraville community. Responding deputies subsequently arrested one MORGAN BRADSHAW, age 18, of Columbia, Tennessee and charged her with Aggravated Assault against a male acquaintence. Detectives recovered the knife believed to have been used in the assault. The suspect sustained non- life threatening injuries crashing through a glass door. The victim sustained non-life threatening injuries as well which did not require medical treatment. BRADSHAW is lodged in the County Jail pending court appearance.

 

 

 

 

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE...

Thursday, May 19th, 2011

Deputy Sheriffs Arrest Two Alabama Men For Drug Trafficking, Seize Cocaine Valued at $180,000.00

Sheriff Mitch Ralston Reports:

At approximately 7:30pm Wednesday evening (May 18th), uniformed deputy sheriffs assigned to the Sheriff's Office Community Crime Prevention Unit (CCPU) stopped a suspicious Alabama automobile for a traffic violation near the Intersection of Interstate 75 and State Highway 53 in Gordon County. The car did not immediately stop for the deputy's blue lights, and turned into a nearby service station/convenience store as if to get fuel. The car still did not come to a standstill but an off duty Sheriff's detective in his private vehicle at the service station saw what was happening and blocked in the suspicious car. The CCPU deputies, assisted by their drug-detection dog, subsequently searched the car and discovered a half dozen kilos of cocaine. The two occupants, TERRIAS DONTA CAIN, age 26, of 1306 Montreat Drive, Athens, Alabama, and MICHAEL D. MOSLEY, age 24, of 1201 Browns Ferry Street, Athens, Alabama were both arrested without incident and charged with Trafficking in Cocaine. Both men are in the County Jail pending court appearance. The cocaine is valued at $180,000.00.

 

 

 

 

 

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE...

Saturday, May 14th, 2011

Fight Over "Ford vs. Chevy" Ends With 1 Hospitalized And 1 In Jail

Sheriff Mitch Ralston Reports:

At approximately 1 a.m. this morning, May 14, 2011, deputy sheriffs received a report of a aggravated assault incident near Calhoun. Responding deputies determined that several individuals were engaged in driving four-wheel-drive vehicles (off road) in a field off Beamer Road when an argument between two men escalated into a fight. Witnesses told detectives that what had began as a fist-fight ended when one of the men produced a knife and stabbed the other. Detectives subsequently arrest ZACHARY WOODY, age 21, of 160 Walraven Way, Calhoun, Georgia and have charged him with Aggravated Assault. The victim was hospitalized with serious injuries. Investigating detectives recovered the knife believed to have been used in the incident, and were told by witnesses that the assault stemmed from a disagreement over the superiority of Ford vehicles versus Chevrolet vehicles. Detectives also believe that alcohol was a factor.

 

 

 

 

 

 

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE...

May 11th, 2011

Sheriff & Staff Participate in 'Law Enforcement Torch Run' For Georgia Special Olympics

Sheriff Mitch Ralston Announces:

On Tuesday, May 10th, along with the City of Calhoun Police Department and the local Post 43 of the Georgia State Patrol, the Sheriff and staff members participated in the Law Enforcement Torch Run, an annual event which raises awareness and funding for the "Georgia Special Olympics". The 'Torch Run' has been supporting Special Olympics in Georgia for over a quarter century. Law enforcement officers from the various agencies in the jurisdiction participated in the run. Runners recruited sponsors who contributed to the Special Olympics. "This year's run was a great success. And I join with Police Chief Moss and Sergeant First Class Tucker in congratulating the law enforcement personnel who participated, and all of the individuals and organizations who graciously donated to this worthy cause. Our law enforcement folks really enjoyed helping with such a great cause", said Sheriff Mitch Ralston.

The 'Torch Run' is held in conjunction with 'National Peace Officers Memorial Week' each year, and is part of a series of activities in which the Sheriff's Office participates.

 

 

 

 

 

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE...

Tuesday, May 3, 2011 

Gordon County Relief Effort For Tornado-Stricken Dade County a Success

Sheriff Mitch Ralston Reports:

"Mission Accomplished"

"I would like to take this opportunity to thank each and every individual citizen and every organization who graciously and generously donated to the relief effort for Dade County, which suffered badly in the recent outbreak of tornadoes. The people of Gordon County are kind people, with generous hearts for their neighbors. My staff and I delivered approximately 5 box-truck loads of badly needed water, food, and emergency supplies in 3 convoys over the past weekend. Our people really "stepped up to the plate" when the calls for help came in, and I assure you that your efforts were sincerely appreciated by our neighbors in Trenton and Dade County. I attended a government meeting with the officials in Dade County Sunday, and both the Dade County Sheriff and the Board of Commissioners sent their heartfelt thanks to all of you. I am very proud and humbled to serve as the sheriff of this county. The Lord blessed us during the tornado outbreak, and I am glad that we had an opportunity to pass along the blessing."

The Sheriff's Office will continue to deploy deputies to Dade County, and also to Catoosa County which requested assistance yesterday, until Friday, May 6, 2011.

Citizens wishing to contribute to ongoing relief efforts in Georgia, Alabama, and Tennessee are urged to contact the local American Red Cross.

 

 

 

 

 

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE...

Monday, May 2, 2011; Sheriff's Office Investigating Two Unrelated Shootings

Sheriff Mitch Ralston Reports:

Sunday morning, May 1, 2011, deputy sheriffs responded to 60 Angus Court, Talking Rock Properties in the Ranger community in eastern Gordon County regarding the report of a shooting. Deputies found the body of LARRY DEWAYNE BATTLES, age 52, of that same address, inside the home. He had suffered what appeared to be a self-inflicted gunshot wound. The body was initially found by a family member who called 911. Investigating detectives do not suspect foul play. The investigation is continuing in conjunction with the Gordon County Coroner's Office.

In an unrelated matter, Sunday afternoon, May 1, 2011, deputy sheriffs were dispatched to 379 Sisson Bend Road in the Resaca community in northern Gordon County in response to a report of a shooting. Deputies found CHARLES ANDREW DESHEA, age 34, of 379 Sisson Bend Road, Resaca, Georgia, severely injured from an apparently self-inflicted gunshot wound. He was removed from the scene by emergency medical personnel and later taken to Erlanger Medical Center in Chattanooga, Tennessee. He was subsequently pronounced dead on Monday, May 2, 2011. Investigating detectives do not suspect foul play in this incident.

 

 

URGENT PUBLIC SERVICE ANNOUNCEMENT

 

 

 

Friday, 29th April, 2011

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

To All Gordon County Sheriff’s Personnel & the People of Gordon County:

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

I have been advised by Dade County, Georgia Sheriff Patrick Cannon that the people of Dade County are in dire need of the following supplies:

 

 

 

·       Bottled water

 

 

 

·       Personal hygiene items: soap, wipes, dental care items, toiletries, etc.

 

 

 

·       Disposable baby diapers

 

 

 

·       Batteries (all types)

 

 

 

·       Canned food / ready-to-eat food

 

 

 

All such supplies may be delivered to the Sheriff’s Office and will be transported to Dade County by myself & staff on Sunday, May 1st.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

As you all know, Trenton/Dade County was struck by devastating tornadoes during the outbreak on Wednesday, April 27th. Please remember and help our neighbors in this time of need.

 

 

Mitch Ralston

Sheriff of Gordon County

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE...

Thursday, April 28, 2011

Sheriff Assists Neighboring Counties After Tornados

Sheriff Mitch Ralston Reports:

The Gordon County Sheriff's Office is assisting neighboring counties after the devastating tornado outbreak on Wednesday, April 27th. Sheriff Ralston has offered official assistance in the form of manpower and jail space to other northwest Georgia sheriffs whose counties suffered tornado damage. The storms necessitated the evacuation of the Dade County Jail in Trenton, and over 50 Dade County inmates have been transferred to the Gordon County Jail. The Dade County Sheriff has sent Dade County officers and jail medical staff to Gordon County to deal with the needs of their inmates while housed here. Dade County Sheriff Patrick Cannon's residence was totally destroyed Wednesday night while he was directing law enforcement activities from his Office. Gordon County deputies have been placed on standby in case they are needed in the storm-stricken counties. 

Sheriff Ralston expressed his appreciation to all of the Calhoun and Gordon County public safety services for their level of prepardness for the tornado outbreak, which fortunately did not produce any injuries or deaths in Gordon County. Sheriff Ralston also said he appreciated all of the citizens of Gordon County who volunteered to help out in the Sugar Valley community in clearing roads and assisting their neighbors. "Please keep all of the victims of these tragedies and their families in your thoughts and prayers. I am especially thankful that our community did not suffer as badly as many have. As God blessed us here, I know the people of this county want to help their neighbors in this time of need."

 

Sheriff Mitch Ralston and Chief Deputy Robert Paris reaching out to neighboring counties on behalf of the Calhoun/ Gordon County community after the violent tornado outbreak of April 27th.

 

 

 

 

 

PUBLIC SERVICE ANNOUNCEMENT

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE, 3:30p.m. Wednesday, April 27th, 2011...

Sheriff Mitch Ralston Advises:

Gordon County is bracing for the arrival of a "super cell" storm system later this evening. This system has already resulted in extensive damage and several deaths in states to our west. An apparent tornado struck the Sugar Valley community this morning resulting in much property damage but fortunately no injuries there have been reported. Extra deputy sheriffs have been called in for duty and will be deployed at strategic locations throughout the county in anticipation of the storm front. Citizens should remain alert and monitor media sources for updated weather reports. In the event of a tornado warning, take shelter below ground, such as in a basement, if possible. If no below-ground shelter is available, move to the lowest floor and into the center of the building. Citizens are urged to call 911 for emergencies only during this event.

 

 

 

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE...

Tuesday, April 19th, 2011

Deputies Arrest Kentucky Man For Possession of Marijuana With Intent to Distribute After Automobile Search

Sheriff Mitch Ralston Reports:

On the morning of April 13th, 2011, a uniformed deputy sheriff assigned to the 'Community Crime Prevention Unit' (CCPU) was on patrol in Resaca when he stopped a suspicious automobile bearing a Kentucky license plate. A subsequent search of the car by the deputy and his canine 'partner' revealed several pounds of processed marijuana hidden within. The driver, one Christopher Don Ware, age 28, of 729 Denali Street, Bowling Green, Kentucky was arrested without incident and charged with VGCSA Possession of Marijuana With Intent to Distribute and lodged in the County Jail.

 

 

 

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE...

Friday, April 15th 2011

Deputies Make Arrest at Stakeout at Local Business

Sheriff Mitch Ralston Reports:

On Thursday night, April 14th, Sheriff's detectives were conducting a 'stakeout' (surveillance) at a local business on State Route 53 Spur, in anticipation of a possible crime being committed there. At approximately 12:20 a.m., detectives and uniformed deputy sheriffs encountered a suspicious automobile in the business parking lot occupied by a Rome, Georgia man. The deputies approached the suspicious vehicle and subsequently arrested the occupant, JAMES M. COUZZART, age 41 of 57 Mayo Road, Rome, Georgia and charged him with Criminal Trespass, Violation of the Georgia Controlled Substances Act, and Possession of Tools for the Commission of a Crime.

 

 

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE...

Friday, April 15th 2011

Deputies Respond to Hanging Incident

Sheriff Mitch Ralston Reports:

Thursday afternoon April 14th, 2011, deputy sheriffs were dispatched to 131 Pine Street SW in unincorporated Gordon County in response to the report of a hanging incident. JAMES WILLIAM BURNS, age 27, of 131 Pine Street was reportedly found hanging by family members who then called 911. BURNS was transported to Gordon Hospital where he was subsequently pronounced dead. Investigating detectives have no reason to suspect that foul play was involved. The investigation by the Sheriff’s Office and the Gordon county coroner’s Office is continuing.

 

 

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE...

Friday, April 15th 2011

Detectives Arrest Fairmount Man For Aggravated Child Molestation

Sheriff Mitch Ralston Reports:

On Wednesday, April 13th, 201l, the Sheriff’s Office received a report of a child molestation alleged to have occurred in late March, 2011. Investigating detectives subsequently arrested on JACOB LAMAR FRANKLIN, age 23, of 279 Mount Pleasant Road, Fairmount, Georgia, and charged him with Aggravated Child Molestation and Child Molestation. The crimes are alleged to have occurred against a 14 year old female in the Sonoraville community. FRANKLIN is being held in the County Jail ending bond proceedings.

 

 

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE...

Thursday, April 7th, 2011

Sheriff's Detectives Solve Burglary, Recover $6K in Stolen Jewelry

Sheriff Mitch Ralston Reports:

Gordon County Sheriff's Detectives have solved a residential burglary which occured in the McDaniel Station Community on April 1st, 2011. Acting on information acquired through the new BWI Pawn Shop computerized monitoring system, detectives recovered jewelry valued in excess of $6,000.00. Following leads generated by the recovery of the stolen jewelry, detectives arrested DAKOTA W. HILL, age 20, of 140 Joshua Trail, Calhoun, Georgia, and charged him with Burglary. Detectives also learned that HILL was on probation through the Department of Corrections for a previous burglary offense in Gordon County. He is lodged in the County Jail pending judicial proceedings.

 

 

 

 

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE...

Tuesday, March 29th, 2011

Detectives Arrest man For Aggravated Child Molestation, Weapons Offense

SHERIFF MITCH RALSTON REPORTS:

On March 22nd, 2011, Sheriff's Detectives received a report of child molestation involving two female children, ages 11 and 13, in the Dews Pond community. That same day, detectives and uniformed deputies went to the suspect's residence on Singletree Drive to investigate the complaint. There, deputies discovered the suspect, and an illegally possessed weapon. The suspect, identified as one THURMAN WALKER HILLEGEIST, age 37, of 231 Singletree Drive, was arrested immediately for being a convicted felon in possession of a firearm. Detectives subsequently charged HILLEGEIST with 2 counts of Aggravated Child Molestation, and 2 counts of Child Molestation. He is lodged in the County Jail pending bond proceedings.

 

 

 

 

 

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE...

SHERIFF'S OFFICE NEEDS YOUR HELP LOCATING A FUGITIVE:

Monday, March 28th, 2011

SHERIFF MITCH RALSTON ASKS:

The Gordon County Sheriff's Office needs the public's assistance locating a fugitive:

 

LEON D. CURTIS, age 30, Year of Birth= 1980, black/male, bald/shaved head, reported to have a tattoo on his chest. This individual may be driving/occupying a late model Volkswagen Jetta. His last known address is believed to be 400 Greeson Loop.

The Sheriff's Office wants CURTIS in connection with Aggravated Battery against a 3 year old female child, and Violation of Parole.

If you see this individual DO NOT APPROACH HIM! Call 911 and report his whereabouts to law enforcement authorities immediately.

 

 Leon Curtis was ARRESTED in Alabama on Thursday, March 31, 2011 by the US Marshal's Service. Thank you to everyone in the public who assisted the Sheriff's Office in this matter.

 

 

 

 

 

 

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE...

Monday, March 28th, 2011

Deputy Sheriffs Apprehend One of Tennessee's "Top Ten" Fugitives in Resaca

SHERIFF MITCH RALSTON REPORTS:

At approximately 10p.m., Saturday night, March 26th, 2011, the Gordon County Sheriff's Office received a tip from the Tennessee Bureau of Investigation (TBI) that one of Tennessee's 'top ten most wanted' fugitives was reported to be at or near the Flying J truck stop in Resaca. Uniformed deputy sheriffs responded within minutes and surrounded the truck stop. The deputies, who had a description of the fugitive, entered and quickly located him inside the restaurant. John Barry Hale, age 54, of 2100 Center Point Road, surrendered peacefully and was taken into custody without incident. Hale was lodged in the County Jail pending extradition arrangements. Hale was being sought by Tennessee authorities in connection to a charge of "Aggravated Sexual Battery against a Victim Under 13" according to the TBI.

 

 

 

 

 

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE...

Friday, March 25th, 2011

Deputies Respond To Small Aircraft Crash in McDaniel Station Community

SHERIFF MITCH RALSTON REPORTS:

At approximately 5:30p.m., Friday afternoon, March 25, 2011, deputy sheriffs were dispatched along with Fire/Rescue Units, Emergency Management, and State Troopers, to a farm pasture in the McDaniel Station community in response to a report of a small plane crash. Deputies and emergency personnel were guided to the wreckage by witnesses. The pilot, who was injured but conscious, was removed from the scene by ground ambulance and reportedly transported to Floyd Medical Center. The wreckage appeared to be that of an "ultralight" or "experimental" type small aircraft. The FAA was notified by Emergency Management personnel. The identity of the pilot had not been verified at the time he was removed from the crash site. Witnesses told a deputy sheriff that they had observed the plane flying at tree top level, and heard the engine "sputter" just before the crash. Deputies reported that the crash site was on wet, muddy ground, clear of trees, which may have lessened the severity of the impact.

 

 

 

 

 

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE...

Friday, March 18th, 2011

DEPUTY SHERIFF STRUCK BY AUTO WHILE SUPERVISING INMATE WORK CREW...

SHERIFF MITCH RALSTON REPORTS:

At approximately 9:50 a.m. this morning, March 18th, 2011, a uniformed deputy sheriff was supervising an inmate work crew collecting garbage on the Red Bud Road near the Crane Eater Community when his Sheriff's Office truck was struck in the rear by another automobile. The deputy suffered injuries and was taken to Gordon Hospital by ambulance. No inmate workers were struck or injured. The other automobile, a Jeep SUV, turned over and came to rest in the roadway. The Sheriff's Office truck was parked off the roadway, on the right-of-way with warning signs posted and blue lights in operation at the time of the collision. The driver of the Jeep, identified as one BILLY EUGENE HALL, age 47, (last known address) of 512 Peters Street, Calhoun, Georgia, was also transported to the hospital where he was arrested by the Georgia State Patrol for DUI and other traffic charges. Troopers from State Patrol Post 43 are continuing their investigation into the crash. Sheriff Ralston said that "this incident is a reminder of the dangers faced by deputy sheriffs every day, even when engaged in 'public service' duties." Motorists should be aware of inmate work crews on County Roads and State Highways and exercise caution.

 

 

 

 

 

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE...

Wednesday, March 16th, 2011

Ordinance Violation Investigation Leads to Meth Trafficking Arrest

SHERIFF MITCH RALSTON REPORTS:

On Tuesday afternoon, March 15th, 2011, uniformed deputy sheriffs responded to a reported (county) ordinance violation on Ryo Mountain Road in eastern Gordon County when they encountered 2 men in an automobile acting suspiciously. The deputies stopped the automobile and approached the men, who were armed, to question them. Upon searching one of the men, who was subsequently identified as one JESSIE TYRONE SELLERS, age 38, of 946 Ryo Mountain Road, the deputies discovered approximately one and one quarter ounces of methamphetamine and a bag of marijuana. After a brief struggle, SELLERS was subdued and taken into custody. The automobile and several hundred dollars in cash were also taken into custody. The second man was not arrested. SELLERS is lodged in the County Jail charged with Trafficking in Methamphetamine, Possession of methamphetamine and marijuana, and Obstructing Law Enforcement Officers. The "street" value of the drugs is estimated to be approximately $16,000.00.

 

 

 

 

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE...

Tuesday, March 15th, 2011

SHERIFF'S OFFICE HONOR GUARD MARCHES IN ATLANTA ST. PATRICK'S DAY PARADE

SHERIFF MITCH RALSTON REPORTS:

On Saturday, March 11th, 2011, the Gordon County Sheriff's Office Honor Guard performed in the 129th Annual St. Patrick's Day Parade in Atlanta. The parade was held in downtown Atlanta on Peachtree Street and included pipes & drums, floats, Irish dancers, police and fire units, and a host of other participants. The Parade Grand Marshal was Mr. Paul Gleeson, the Irish Consul General. The Gordon County Honor Guard was the only law enforcement unit from outside metro Atlanta accepted to participate in the parade. Acknowledging Gordon County's rich history of Scotch-Irish pioneers, the Honor Guard carried the flag of Ulster along with the traditional flags. The deputies who attended the parade were all volunteers who received no compensation other than the satisfaction of representing the Sheriff and the people of Gordon County. The Honor Guard performs at ceremonial services in our community and at the request of other law enforcement agencies in Georgia.

 

 

 

 

 

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE...

Thursday, March 10th, 2011

Deputy Sheriff Finds Hidden Meth While Serving Warrant:

SHERIFF MITCH RALSTON REPORTS:

On Friday morning, March 4th, 2011, a uniformed deputy sheriff was located at J&J Transmission Shop at 248 Richardson Road in Calhoun attempting to execute a civil arrest order when he encountered one Tracy Lee Teague at the business. The deputy was searching the interior of the business for the defendant named in the arrest order when he opened an appliance and discovered 2 pounds of processed crystal methamphetamine. Teague was placed under arrest without incident. The deputy also discovered a pistol from which the serial number had been obliterated. The drugs and firearm were taken into custody as evidence, and Teague was taken to the County Jail. The sheriff summoned assistance from the Calhoun City Police in the follow up investigation. Teague was charged with Violation of the Georgia Controlled Substances Act and remains in Jail. The methamphetamine has a 'street' value of $40,000.00

"We are committed to stemming the flow of illegal methamphetamine which is being imported into Calhoun and Gordon County, in conjunction with our law enforcement and prosecutorial partners, by all means at our disposal", said Sheriff Mitch Ralston.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

SHERIFF MITCH RALSTON ANNOUNCES:

Sheriff's Auxiliary Announces 3rd Annual City-County Charity Basketball Game Benefitting the Winners Club...

The 3rd Annual Calhoun City-Gordon County Charity Basketball Game will be held at 6 p.m. Saturday, March 5th, 2011 at the Gordon Central High School Gymnasium. The game features teams composed of city firefighters and police officers versus county firefighters and deputy sheriffs. The City team is the reigning champion, and will be returning a strong offense and skilled defensive lineup. However, with the a new player-coach and a new strategy, hope springs eternal and the County team hopes to capture it's first title. The City squad is known for it's quickness on the court, height, and rapid fire 3 pointers. The County team has added some height and ability to this year's squad, and has evolved away from "driveway basketball" tactics.

An assortment of public safety vehicles and equipment will be on display for children and adults before tip off at 6 p.m.

ADMISSION IS FREE! The annual event is sponsored by Sheriff Mitch Ralston's Auxiliary, and proceeds benefit the Winners Club. 

 

 

 

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE...

Sheriff Mitch Ralston Reports:

Deputies Find Methamphetamine Hidden in Secret Compartment in Walking Cane During Traffic Stop

 

A uniformed deputy sheriff was on routine patrol in the Dews Pond Community near midnight on February 20 / 21, 2011 when he stopped a suspicious automobile for speeding on Dews Pond Road. When the driver of the pick up truck could not produce a license, the deputy became suspicious and obtained written consent to search the vehicle. Inside, deputies noticed a walking stick topped by an ornamental duck head. The deputies unscrewed the head of the walking cane and discovered a hidden compartment containing several grams of packaged methamphetamine. The driver, Jason Lance Southerland, age 30, of 143 Scott Road, Chatsworth, Georgia; along with the passenger, Johnny Lynn Hobbs, age 38, of 4294 Old Dixie Highway, Dalton, Georgia, were both arrested at the scene. Both were charged with Possession of Methamphetamine, and Southerland was also charged with Speeding and Open Container. Both are lodged in the County Jail pending bond proceedings.

 

 

 

 

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE...

Monday, February 14th, 2011

Sheriff's CCPU Intercepts Drug Shipment:

At approximately 10 p.m., Thursday, February 10th, 2011, a uniformed deputy sheriff assigned to the Community Crime Prevention Unit (CCPU) stopped a suspicious automobile on Interstate 75 near the Highway 53 exit. The deputy approached the driver of this automobile, who said he was travelling to Fairmount, and conducted a "pat down" search, finding a baggie of marijuana. The deputy with his canine 'partner' subsequently searched the automobile and was attempting to take the driver into custody when he  escaped and fled across the interstate highway on foot. Other deputy sheriffs and Calhoun police officers responded to the scene but were unable to find the suspect. Deputies found over a pound of processed/packaged marijuana and several hundred pills believed to be Xanax and Oxycodone inside the car, which was determined to be a rental vehicle. Arrest warrants have been issued charging Ariim Chekenya Burden, age 34, of 1715 Stanwood Drive, Kennesaw, Georgia with: VGCSA Possession of Marijuana With Intent to Distribute, and VGCSA Possession of Schedule II and IV Drugs With Intent to Distribute. If anyone has information regarding Burden's whereabouts, please call the Gordon County Sheriff's Office at 706.629.1244 or 911. One of the ongoing missions of the Community Crime Prevention Unit is to stem the tide of illegal drugs into Gordon County via the highway systems, through stragegic patrolling and the use of canines. Sheriff Ralston thanked the Calhoun Police for their rapid response to the deputy's call for aid during the incident.

 

 

 

 

 

 

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE...

Monday, January 24th, 2011

Sheriff Investigates Second Deadly Tractor Accident This Month

Sheriff Mitch Ralston Reports:

At approximately 12:30 p.m. today, Monday, January 24th, 2011, uniformed deputy sheriffs and emergency fire/rescue and emergency medical personnel were dispatched to a farm at 1423 Resaca-LaFayette Highway near Resaca in response to a report of a farm tractor accident. Apparently while operating a farm tractor in a pasture area, the driver, identified as MARVIN LOMAX, age 70, of 1423 Resaca-LaFayette Highway, was killed when a tree fell across the tractor's cab. This is the second incident in January wherein a death occured in a farm tractor accident. The investigation is being carried out by the Sheriff's Office and the Gordon County Coroner's Office.

 

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE...

Friday, January 21, 2011

Sheriff Mitch Ralston Announces:

On Wednesday, January 19, 2011, Sheriff Mitch Ralston and a delegation of 8 other Georgia sheriffs and their staff members were invited to meet newly elected Georgia Attorney General Sam Olens at a luncheon hosted by the Cobb County Sheriff's Office in Marietta. Attorney General Olens spoke with the officials about a range of topics, including the duties of the Attorney General's Office, pending legislation which will affect Georgia sheriffs, capital punishment, and other legal issues. Attorney general Olens pledged to make himself and his staff more accessible to local elected officials, which was well received by Sheriff Ralston and the other officers. Sheriff Ralston has worked to reestablish good relations with state elected officials, and looks forward to cooperating with the Attorney general and his staff.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE...

Thursday, January 20th, 2011

Sheriff Mitch Ralston Reports:

The Sheriff's Office is pleased to report that last week's winter storm did not result in any extraordinary overtime costs, or any damage to Sheriff's Office automobiles, equipment, or facilities. An emergency plan, developed by Sheriff Ralston in 2009, was implemented on Sunday night, January 9th, and continued throughout the following 72 hours. The plan involved the reassignment and deployment of four-wheel-drive vehicles, the rescheduling of hourly employees during peak service periods each day, and the deployment of supervisory personnel, who are not paid on an hourly basis, to perform extra patrols. Surplus 4WD vehicles obtained from the federal government's Excess Property program, as well as 4WD automobiles seized in drug-related investigations, were used in place of regular patrol cars. A number of deputy sheriffs volunteered to work during the storm without compensation.

Sheriff Ralston praised all of the other County agencies involved in the storm response, for their efficiency and hard work in severe weather conditions. This was very much a 'team effort'.

The Sheriff also thanks all of the residents of Gordon County forexercising caution in the winter storm conditions, and all of the private citizens who helped clear roadways and checked on friends and neighbors.

"I am proud to be a member of the community we share, and my heart was warmed by the response from ordinary people in looking after one another. I am humbled to serve the best county in our state."

 

 

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE...

Deadly Tractor Accident Investigated

SATURDAY, JANUARY 15th, 2011

Sheriff Mitch Ralston Reports:

At about 4:30 p.m. Saturday afternoon, January 15th, uniformed deputy sheriffs were dispatched to a farm at 919 Pine Hill Road south of the Sonoraville community near Bartow County regarding a tractor accident. Responding deputies, along with Fire/Rescue and EMS personnel, arrived to find that a farm tractor had apparently overturned into a stock pond, trapping the driver. The victim was subsequently identified as HOWARD GARLAND, age 83, of Rydal, Georgia. An aquaintence of the victim attempted to rescue him from the enclosed-cab tractor. The victim was transported to Gordon Hospital by ambulance, but was later pronounced dead. The acquaintence, who told deputies he'd witnessed the accident, was also removed by ambulance appearing to have been suffering from hypothermia. 

 

 

 

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE...

Domestic Disturbance Leads to Arrest for Aggravated Assault

FRIDAY, JANUARY 14TH, 2011

SHERIFF MITCH RALSTON REPORTS:

Shortly after midnight, Friday, January 14th, 2011, uniformed deputy sheriffs responded to the report of a domestic disturbance at 628B Craigtown Road in unincorporated Gordon County. Deputies were met by a male victim, who had suffered a severe physical beating, sitting outside in the subfreezing weather who told them he'd been assaulted by his female domestic partner. Detectives subsequently arrested one MARILYN GARZA, age 39, of 628B Craigtown Road, Calhoun in connection with the assault. Detectives believe that GARZA assaulted the victim with a variety of houshold itmes including a chair, glass bottles, and a tea kettle. The victim was treated and released from a local hospital, and the injuries are not believed to be life threatening. The investigating detectives have charged Ms. GARZA with Aggravated Assault. It is not certain at this time what triggered the disturbance. She is lodged in the County Jail pending bond proceedings.

 

 

PUBLIC SERVICE ANNOUNCEMENT:

Updated: 11:30 a.m. Tuesday, January 11th, 2011

Winter Storm in Gordon County...

A major winter storm has deposited a significant amount of snow/ice onto Gordon County and the rest of North Georgia. Up to 6 inches of snow has fallen as of 7 a.m. today, creating very treacherous driving conditions on roadways. State and county road maintenance crews are on scene now throughout the county. The Georgia DOT is urging people to stay off the roadways. 

Motorists should be especially aware of icy conditions on bridges and overpasses.

Citizens are cautioned against coming into contact with power lines which may fall in snow/icy conditions. Downed power lines should be reported to the appropriate utility company or Emergency 911.

Sheriff Ralston has deployed extra deputy sheriffs to patrol throughout the county during peak activity times for the duration of the hazardous weather, and response to nuisance calls which do not involve danger to persons or property may be delayed.

Interstate 75, State Routes, and some heavily travelled county roads are passable, but are still not safe.

Sheriff Mitch Ralston urges everyone to avoid unnecessary travel.

Gordon County Superior Court proceedings have been suspended for Tuesday, January 11th, 2011.

Superior Court information may be obtained by calling 706-879-2306.

Stay tuned to NOAA Weather Radio or commercial media outlets for more information regarding hazardous weather.

 

 

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:

Monday, December 27th, 2010

Extra Patrols Scheduled For New Years Eve:

The Gordon County Sheriff's Ofice will deploy additional manpower this New Years Eve. Extra patrol personnel, including Sheriff Ralston and his command staff, will be working throughout the county during the peak activity hours, and will be concentrating on highway/road safety.

Sheriff Ralston urges people to celebrate the new year in a safe fashion, and never drink and drive. Partygoers should have a designated driver, or consider alternative transportation, such as a taxi. Citizens should call 911 if they see a suspected drunk driver.

 

 

 

 

PUBLIC SERVICE ANNOUNCEMENT:

 6 p.m.      Saturday, December 25th, 2010

SHERIFF URGES CAUTION DRIVING IN WINTER WEATHER:

Gordon County has experienced a winter storm today which is expected to last through tomorrow, Sunday, December 26th, 2010. Snow and ice have accumulated on State Highways and County Roads, making driving potentially treacherous. Motorists should exercise extreme caution, and be especially aware of 'black ice'. Bridges and overpasses are particularly dangerous during winter storms.  Unnecessary travel should be avoided until road conditions have improved. 

 

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE...

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Deputy Sheriffs Arrest Tennessee Fugitive

Sheriff Mitch Ralston Reports:

On Tuesday afternoon, December 14th, 2010, acting on a tip from the Henry County, Tennessee Sheriff's Office, uniformed deputy sheriffs captured a fugitive from Tennessee, identified as one DAVID WAYNE FELOCK, age 33, of Henry County, Tennessee. The deputies located FELOCK at No. 10 Ridge Row Apartment 4, near Calhoun. FELOCK was found hiding under a bed, and did not resist arrest. He had been hunted by the Henry County, Tenness Sheriff's Office for over 2 years for a probation violation offense, and was listed as one of Henry County, Tennessee's "10 Most Wanted". FELOCK is lodged in the Gordon County Jail pending extradition proceedings.

 

 

PUBLIC SERVICE ANNOUNCEMENT...

SUNDAY, DECEMBER 12, 2010

Sheriff Urges Caution Driving During Winter Weather:

Gordon County is under a Winter Weather Advisory until 7 a.m. Monday morning, December 13, 2010. There is a possibility of adverse winter weather including snow and ice conditions on the roadways. Motorists should exercise caution, avoid excess speed, and be aware of the possibility of the formation of "black ice". Stay tuned to local and regional media weather broadcasts or the National Weather Service for weather-related updates.

 

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE...

Monday, December, 6th, 2010

Deputy Nabs International Fugitive

At approximately 4 a.m. Saturday, December 4t, 2010, a uniformed deputy sheriff was on routine patrol on Interstate 75 South when he stopped a late model Ford Taurus for speeding. The deputy was suspicious of the driver and upon conducting computer inquiries, determined that he was wanted by INTERPOL as a fugitive from the country of Romania. The Sheriff's Office was advised that VASILE IONEL TOMESCU, age 28, alegedly of 1934 East Quincy, Orange, California, was being sought as a fugitive by the government of Romania in connection with "human trafficking". The notification included a warning that TOMESCU could be considered "armed and dangerous". TOMESCU was arrested by the deputy sheriff and lodged in the county jail.  Investigating detectives then notified officials from Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) and the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), who responded to the Sheriff's Office. A detainer has been placed on TOMESCU by ICE officials.

Sheriff Ralston praised the deputy's alertness in apprehending this fugitive.

 

 

 

 

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE...

Thursday, December 2nd, 2010     Deputy Sheriffs Make 2 Arrests in Burglary-in-Progress at Red Bud

Sheriff Mitch Ralston Reports:

At approximately 1:45 p.m. yesterday, December 1st, 2010, uniformed deputy sheriffs were dispatched to the Hunts Gin intersection in the Red Bud Community in response to a report of a burglary in progress. An alert citizen had observed a suspicious vehicle and promptly notified 911. The first deputy on the scene quickly confronted two males later identified as Jeffrey Ray Coker, age 24, of 33 Horse Show Road, Adairsville, Georgia, and Brian James Giafaglione, age 24, of 4696 Red Bud Road. The deputy arrested both men without resistance. A pickup truck at the scene contained a load of metal objects of various description, which detectives believe would have been sold as scrap. The stolen property was returned to the rightful owner. Investigating detectives have charged both men with 2 counts of burglary; the second charges stemmed from a similar incident at the same location on November 29th, 2010. Both men are being held in the county jail pending bond procedings.

 

 

 

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE...

Wednesday, December 1st, 2010          Cartersville Man Arrested in Connection With the Theft of a Farm Tractor

Sheriff Mitch Ralston Reports:

Gordon County Sheriff's detectives are investigating an incident wherein a Cartersville man was arrested in connection with the theft of a farm tractor from Smith Equipment Company on US Highway 41 in Gordon County.    At approximately 2:30 a.m. this morning, Adairsville, Georgia police stopped Brandon Grunseth, age 28, of 19 Mountain View Court, Cartersville, Georgia on US Highway 41. Grunseth was driving a farm tractor later determined to have been stolen from Smith Equipment Company shortly before being confronted by officers. The tractor, valued at approximately $25,000.00, has been returned to the rightful owners. Grunseth told investigating detectives that he'd "borrowed" the tractor to drive home to Cartersville. Detectives do not believe that alcohol or drugs played a part in this incident. Sheriff Ralston praised the Adairsville Police for their alertness and quick response in apprehending Grunseth, who is being held in the Gordon County Jail charged with theft.

 

 

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE...

Friday, November 19th, 2010         Deputies Respond to Death Report

Sheriff Mitch Ralston Reports:

At approximately 10 p.m., Thursday night, November 18th, 2010, deputy sheriffs were dispatched to a private residence at 245 Banks Chapel Road in the Ranger community in eastern Gordon County regarding a death. There, the deputies found the body of Mr. Bobby Smith, age 61, of that same address. Mr. Smith had initially been discovered by a concerned family member who'd called 911. Deputies have no reason to suspect foul play. The investigation by the Coroner's Office is continuing.

 

 

Friday, November 19th, 2010      Ranger Man Reports Being Shot

Sheriff Mitch Ralston Reports:

At approximately 4 a.m. Friday morning, November 19th, 2010, deputy sheriffs were summoned to 731 Pleasant Hill Road in the Ranger community in eastern Gordon County in response to the report of a shooting. Upon arrival, deputies found Ryan Parker, age 21, of 731 Pleasant Hill Road, Ranger, Georgia, who appeared to have suffered a gunshot wound to his upper torso/shoulder. Parker reported to deputy sheriffs that he'd been shot by an unidentified assailant on nearby Knight Road who'd fled the scene. A search of the surrounding area by deputies and detectives produced no suspects. Parker was transported by ambulance to Floyd Medical Center. The investigation is ongoing.

UPDATE, Saturday, November 20, 2010: After an intensive investigation by the Sheriff's Major Crimes Unit (MCU), detectives investigating the alleged assault against Ryan Parker yesterday near Ranger, Georgia have determined that Parker actually shot and wounded himself. Detectives also recovered the pistol believed to have been involved in the self-inflicted shooting. The uniformed deputy sheriffs who responded to the incident yesterday morning were immediately suspicious of Parker's report, noticing that the physical evidence did not coincide with his statements. Parker was treated at Floyd Medical Center in Rome, Georgia. His wound is not believed to be life threatening. Detectives have not established a clear motive for the shooting, but do not believe that it was accidental. Detectives anticipate that Parker will be charged with falsely reporting a crime to law enforcement officers.

 

 

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE...

Wednesday, November 9, 2010      Deputies Respond to Death Report

Sheriff Mitch Ralston Reports:

At approximately 8:30 a.m. this morning, Wednesday, November 9th, 2010, Sheriff's deputies and detectives were summoned to 372 Brody Drive in the Resaca community in response to the report of an unattended death. Deputies determined that JERRY W. SNEED, age 56, of 372 Brody Drive had been found in bed unresponsive by a family member who called 911. At this point detectives have no reason to believe that foul play was involved. The body was sent to the GBI Crime Laboratory in Decatur, Georgia for post mortem examination. The investigation is continuing by Sheriff's detectives and the Gordon County Coroner's Office.

 

 

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE...

Wednesday, November 9, 2010      Sheriff Acquires New K9s

Sheriff Mitch Ralston Announces:

The Gordon County Sheriff's Office now has two new canine (K9) "deputies", 'Zyco', a Dutch Gruendale male, and 'Katja', a Belgian Malinois female. The dogs were acquired after the death of Sheriff's K9 'Bennie', who succumbed to canine-cancer earlier this year. The dogs and their officer-handlers underwent a rigorous 4 week training course in Alabama prior to certification. Both dogs are trained in the detection of illegal drugs, and 'Katja' is cross-trained to trail and track people. The dogs were purchased with funds raised from the October K9 training seminar hosted by the Sheriff's Office, and with funds condemned in drug trafficking investigations. The dogs will be deployed in the Patrol Division and the Community Crime Prevention Unit (CCPU).

 

Left to right: Sheriff Mitch Ralston, Deputy William Channell and 'Zyco', Deputy Corey Tate and 'Katja'

 

 

 

 

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE...

Saturday, October 30th, 2010

DEPUTY SHERIFF INVOLVED IN AUTOMOBILE CRASH

Sheriff Mitch Ralston Reports:

At approximately 5:35 a.m. this morning, Saturday, October 30th, 2010, a uniformed deputy sheriff was on routine patrol on US Highway 41 near Resaca when he was involved in a head-on collision with another automobile. Although seriously injured, the deputy was able to radio for help. Both drivers had to be extracted from their vehicles by emergency responders. The deputy was flown to Erlanger medical Center in Chattanooga, Tennessee by helicopter. The other driver was flown to North Fulton Hospital by helicopter. His condition is not known at this time. The collision is being investigated by the Georgia State Patrol.

 

 

Update: Deputy Sheriff Involved in Automobile Crash...

Monday, November 1st, 2010

Sheriff Mitch Ralston Reports:

The deputy sheriff involved in the automobile collision on US Highway 41 early Saturday morning, October 30th, is identified as :

Deputy Cameron B. Cartledge , age 27. Cartledge has been employed by the Gordon County Sheriff's Office since July, 2006, and was assigned to the Uniform Patrol Division at the time of the incident. Cartledge is still under intensive care at Erlanger Medical Center in Chattanooga, Tennessee for serious injuries received in the crash.

The other driver has been identified by the State Patrol as one JOSE GONZALEZ-REYES a/k/a JOSE GONZALEZ, age 20 of 390 Nickelsville Road, Resaca, Georgia. His place of birth in previous arrest reports is listed as Mexico. State troopers are charging GONZALEZ-REYES with Driving Under the Influence, Driving on the Wrong Side of the Road, and Driving Without Headlights in Darkness. Investigating troopers believe that GONZALEZ-REYES crossed over the center line on US Highway 41 and struck Cartledge's patrol car head-on. GONZALEZ-REYES was also injured and was flown to an Atlanta area hospital.

Officials from Immigration & Customs Enforcement (ICE) have forwarded a "Detainer" regarding GONZALEZ-REYES to the Sheriff's Office.

Jail and Court records indicate that GONZALEZ-REYES has been arrested on at least 2 previous occasions in Calhoun / Gordon County : On December 30th, 2007, he was arrested by Calhoun Police for Aggravated Assault. He pled 'guilty' to the lesser charge of Reckless Conduct on February 28th, 2008 and received a sentence of 12 months on probation. On November 30th, 2009, GONZALEZ-REYES was arrested by deputy sheriffs for Battery. He enter a plea of 'guilty' on April 1st, 2010 and received a sentence of 12 months on probation. Both "Final Disposition" documents concerning GONZALEZ-REYES' Superior Court cases denote "advised of ICE consequences".

Sheriff's detectives assisting the State Patrol with the investigation determined that the van which GONZALEZ-REYES was driving at the time of the crash had been stolen from a private residence in Resaca only a few minutes before the incident. The owner of the van is confined to a wheelchair. Sheriff's detectives will be charging GONZALEZ-REYES with Burglary and Motor Vehicle Theft in addition to the charges filed by the State Patrol.

"Please keep Deputy Cartledge and his family in your thoughts and prayers. His condition will be updated as he progresses. If anyone wants to assist Deputy Cartledge and his family during their extended hospital stay they can contact my staff, or the Sheriff's Auxiliary", said Sheriff Ralston.

  Deputy Cartledge's Patrol Car                                  Deputy Cameron Cartledge

  Stolen Van                                                                    Jose Gonzalez-Reyes

 

 

 

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE...

MONDAY, OCTOBER 25th, 2010

Sheriff Mitch Ralston Reports:

MAJOR METHAMPHETAMINE TRAFFICKING ARREST:

At approximately 11:15 p.m., Sunday night, October 24th, 2010, Georgia state troopers stopped a late model SUV from Iowa on Interstate 75 North near the Red Bud Road. The troopers found the vehicles and occupants suspicious and called the Sheriff's Community Crime Prevention Unit (CCPU) for assistance. The troopers and deputies took the SUV to a nearby automobile shop and conducted a thorough search of the vehicle. The officers found approximately 8 pounds of packaged methamphetamine, in double sealed plastic bags, submerged in the vehicle's gasoline tank. The drugs, valued at $100,000.00, were taken into custody as evidence, and the driver, identified as one SANDRA LOPEZ, age 28, of 2825 SE 14th Street, Lot 59, Des Moines, Iowa, was arrested and charged with Trafficking in Methamphetamine. She is lodged in the Gordon County Jail pending bond proceedings. "This is another successful effort in joint counter-drug enforcement between the State Patrol and the Sheriff's CCPU", said Sheriff Ralston.

 

 

 

 PUBLIC SERVICE ANNOUNCEMENT

Wednesday, October 20th, 2010

SHERIFF MITCH RALSTON ANNOUNCES:

"Halloween will be celebrated soon. I urge all parents and guardians of small children who'll be trick-or-treating to take proper safety precautions to ensure a fun and safe holiday. Please consider these tips:

1. Children should not  trick-or-treat without a responsible adult.

2. Use extra caution in or about heavy traffic areas.

3. Trick-or-treaters should wear reflective clothing and/or carry a light.

3. Be cautious when trick-or-treating at unfamiliar homes.

4. Do not consume candy or treats in packages which have been opened.

5. Do not allow children to accept anything which appears suspicious.

6. Adults should examine all candy and treats before they are consumed by children.

7. Report any suspicious or unsafe activity by calling 911.

Trick-or-treaters can visit the Sheriff's Office lobby for treats. Please join me in keeping our children safe this Halloween."

 

 

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE...

Wednesday, October 13th, 2010

Sheriff Mitch Ralston Announces:

A ceremony honoring First Sergeant John David Blair, who was killed in action in Afghanistan on June 20th, 2009, will be held at 10 a.m. Wednesday, October 20th, 2010 at the intersection of US Highway 41 / State Route 53 in Calhoun. A resolution honoring 1stSGT Blair dedicating the intersection as the "John David Blair Memorial Intersection" and authorizing the placement of memorial signs was adopted by the Georgia General Assembly in April, 2010. The signs were purchased by the Sheriff's Auxiliary members.

1stSGT Blair was a member the Georgia Army National Guard's 48th Brigade Combat Team, and had been a deputy sheriff for a number of years.

 

 

 

 FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE...

Thursday, October 7th, 2010

Sheriff Mitch Ralston Reports:

At approximately 7:70 a.m., Monday, October 4th, 2010, a uniformed deputy sheriff attempted to stop an automobile travelling in excess of 100 miles per hour (mph) on Interstate 75 (north bound) near Resaca. The driver of the automobile refused to stop and the chase continued from Gordon County into Whitfield County with other deputy sheriffs as well as state troopers joining in the pursuit. Whitfield County deputies deployed 'stop sticks' in the vehicle's path, and a state trooper forced the suspect vehicle from the roadway near Dalton. The suspect vehicle struck a guardrail and came to a stop. The driver, identified as one VINCENT GERALD FORD, age 47, of 5722 Moody Sawyer Road, Hixon, Tennessee was arrested without incident, and taken to the Gordon County Jail. He was charged with Fleeing and Attempting to Elude Officers, Speeding, and Reckless Driving. Officers do not believe that intoxicants were involved in this incident, and do not know why FORD chose to flee from them.

 

 

 

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE...

UPDATE 9:30 a.m. Saturday, September 25, 2010

MISSING 12 YEAR OLD GIRL FOUND IN TEXAS

Gordon County Sheriff's detectives received information this morning from Immigration Customs Enforcement (ICE) officials in Brownsville, Texas that JULIESSA TABOACA-DIAZ, age 12, who was reported missing to the Sheriff's Office on September 22, 2010 and was the subject of an intensive regional search by authorities, has been located and detained at the Texas-Mexico border. The missing girl and an adult, male companion were detained after computerized records alerted officers that she had been reported missing from Gordon County. The companion, identified as one WILSON VICENTE', a/k/a "Wilson Lugar", age 21, of Calhoun, Georgia, has been taken to Port Isabel Detention Center in Texas. VICENTE' will be charged by Sheriff's detectives with "Interstate Interference With Custody". Detectives believe VICENTE' to be a Guatamalan national. The Sheriff's Office will refer the case to the District Attorney's Office regarding extradition and prosecution proceedings. Sheriff Ralston said, "We are relieved that this child has been located and will soon be reunited with her family. I sincerely thank all of the local, state, and federal authorities who participated with us in this investigation."

 

 

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Detectives Need Help Locating Missing 12 Year Old Girl:

Gordon County Sheriff's Detectives are looking for JULIESSA TABOACA-DIAZ, age 12. She was reported missing from her home in the Sonoraville-Dews Pond Community at approximately 9 a.m. today, September 22, 2010. She is described as a hispanic/latina female, 5'00" in height, 107 lbs, brown eyes, shoulder length black hair. She was last seen in her home at about 10 p.m. during the night of September 21. Detectives do not know how she may be dressed. Detectives do not have evidence at this time that she was abducted. Anyone seeing or having contact with her is urged to call 911 immediately.

UPDATE, 4:30pm Thursday, September 23, 2010:

Sheriff's deputies & detectives are still searching for Juliessa Taboaca-Diaz, reported missing to the Sheriff's Office yesterday, September 22. Detectives have not developed any evidence that the child was abducted. Juliessa's mother reported to detectives this afternoon that she had received a telephone call from the child, and that Juliessa had said that she was aware that authorities were searching for her and that "she was okay". Detectives do not know where the call originated, but are investigating further into the matter. Anyone having contact with this child is urged to call 911.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Sheriff's K9 'Benny' Passes Away

September 20, 2010

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE...

Sheriff Mitch Ralston Announces:

 

"It is with sadness and regret that we announce the passing of K9 'Benny', one of our drug sniffing canine 'partners'". 'Benny' had suffered from a form of canine cancer which was detected only a few weeks earlier. 'Benny', who was only 3 years old, started in the Sheriff's Office in April, 2008, and participated in scores of drug - related arrests and prosecutions. 'Benny' was a Belgian Malinois, specially trained in the detection of narcotics and marijuana. He had been assigned to the Community Crime Prevention Unit along with his handler Deputy Corey Tate since January, 2010. 'Benny' was a favorite among local school children, and appeared often at schools and other functions. He will be missed.

A brief, private memorial ceremony honoring 'Benny's' service to the community will be held at the Sheriff's Office on Friday, September 24th, 2010.

 

 

 

Deputy Sheriffs Surprised by Liquor Still While Serving Arrest Warrant

  September 20, 2010

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE...

Sheriff Mitch Ralston Reports:

On Saturday afternoon, September 18th, 2010, Gordon County deputy sheriffs were executing an arrest warrant at a private residence on Lance Road near the Red Bud community. The deputies had received a tip that Michael E. Swims, age 30, of 180 Lance Road, Calhoun, Georgia, who was being sought on an outstanding probation warrant, was at the home at that time. Upon approaching the house, a deputy looked through an open window into an outbuilding and saw a small, portable liquor 'still' in operation. The 'still' was composed of 2 ordinary kitchen pressure cookers, electric hot plates, and a bucket  containing the copper tubing 'worm' device. Deputies also found approximately 3 gallons of non-tax-paid liquor. Swims was arrested without incident and cooperated with the deputies. In addition to the original probation violation, he was charged with (misdemeanor) possession of non-tax-paid distilled spirits. "This obviously was not a major criminal enterprise", said Sheriff Ralston, who reminds the citizens that although Georgia law allows for home brewing of beer and/or wine, the manufacture of distilled spirits is "still" prohibited.

 

Deputy Sheriffs Graduate From Police Academy - Monday, September 20, 2010 FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE... Sheriff Mitch Ralston Announces: On Friday, September 17th, 2010, Deputy Sheriffs Les Prine and Elbert Shelley graduated from the Regional Police Academy in Dalton, Georgia, after completing the 11 weeks of basic training required by the State for all peace officers. Prine has been employed by the Sheriff's Office for 3 years. Shelley has been employed by the Sheriff's Office for a year and a half, and is a former professional football player, having played for the Atlanta Falcons in the 1990s. Deputy Prine was awarded the Academy's HIRC Award, which is an acronym for "Honor, Integrity, Respect, & Courage". The basic training included constitutional and state law, arrest procedures, investigative techniques, accident investigation, self defense, first aid, and communications skills.

 

Man Arrested For Meth Possession in Vacant House - Thursday, September 16, 2010 FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE... Sheriff Mitch Ralston Reports: On Monday evening, September 13th, 2010, uniformed deputy sheriffs responded to a house on Brittany Drive in the Sonoraville community regarding the report of suspicious activity in a vacant home.There, deputy sheriffs arrested one Carlton David Jefts, age 35, of no fixed address, for Possession of Methamphetamine, and Giving False Name to Officers. He was found hiding under a mattress. The methamphetamine taken into custody was valued at approximately $500.00. Jefts was lodged in the County Jail pending bond proceedings.

 

Ohio Man Arrested For Burglary - Friday, September 10, 2010 FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE... Sheriff Mitch Ralston Reports: At approximately 7pm, Thursday, September 9th, 2010, uniformed deputy sheriffs responded to the report of a burglary at the Cherokee Capital Fair grounds on Highway 53 near Calhoun. Upon arrival, deputies found that most of the stolen property had been discovered by a witness. The deputies rapidly identified the suspect, who fled from them on foot into a wooded area but was quckly chased down and apprehended. The stolen property was returned to the victims, who were from a local church preparing a vendor - booth at the fair grounds. The suspect, William Terry Kearney, age 44, of Ohio, was lodged in the County Jail charged with Burglary and Receiving Stolen Property.

 

4 Arrested on Meth, Marijuana Charges - Wednesday, September 08, 2010 FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE... Sheriff Mitch Ralston Reports: On Friday, September 3rd, 2010, Gordon County deputy sheriffs were dispatched by E911 to 142 Old Highway 41 in unincorporated Gordon County in response to a report of a wanted parole violator. Upon arrival, uniformed deputies apprehended Dallie Beason, age 49, of 317 Circle Drive, Calhoun. Beason was found to have been wanted on an outstanding warrant for parole violation. Deputies also arrested Rosa M. Patterson, age 43, of 128 King Street, Calhoun, Renee McRee, age 39, of 648 South Tennessee Street, Cartersville, and Steven Michael Jacks, age 56, of 142 Old Highway 41, Calhoun. Sheriff's detectives subsequently obtained and executed a search warrant for the residence. They discovered a large amount of methamphetamine, marijuana, written records, drug related paraphenalia, and several thousand dollars in cash which was all taken into custody as evidence. All four were arrested without incident and lodged in the county jail. All have been charged with Possession of Methamphetamine With Intent to Distribute and (Felony) Possession of Marijuana.

 

Gainsville Man Arrested Relic Hunting in Resaca Cemetery - Sunday, September 05, 2010 FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE... Sheriff Mitch Ralston Reports: At approximately 7:15 a.m. Saturday morning, September 4th, 2010, a Gordon County deputy sheriff responded to the report of barking dogs on Defoor Road in Resaca. Upon arrival , the deputy searched the area including the nearby Resaca Community Cemetery. There, the deputy found a man with a shovel near a freshly dug hole in the ground. He was later found to be in possession of a metal detector and several items of what appear to be civil war battle relics.The man, subsequently identified as one Frank P. Barnhill, age 52, of 4835 Squirrel Creek Drive, Gainesville, Georgia, was arrested without incident and lodged in the county jail. He was preliminarily charged with Criminal Trespass, but investigating officers are consulting with prosecuting attorneys regarding additional charges.

 

Deputies Rescue Man From Burning Car in I-75 Crash Near Resaca - Sunday, September 05, 2010 FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE... Sheriff Mitch Ralston Reports: At approximately 5:15 a.m. Sunday morning, September 5th, 2010, Gordon County deputy sheriffs responded to the report of a serious automobile accident near Exit 317 in the south bound lanes of Interstate 75 near Resaca. The deputies arrived on-scene within 3 minutes and found a 1996 Buick Regal engulfed in flames on the roadside. A passerby had stopped to help, but couldn't open the car door. While one deputy used fire extinguishers to beat back the flames, 2 other deputies forced open the passenger door and dragged the sole occupant out of the fire and smoke filled car. The car repeatedly burst into flames while the deputies effected the rescue. The driver, subsequently identified as one Dan Gloth, age 56, of 403 Oak Ridge Drive, Cartersville, Georgia, was flown by helicopter to Erlanger Medical Center in Chattanooga, Tennessee where he remains hospitalized. Sheriff Mitch Ralston said "These men are outstanding examples of public servants who care about our community and do not hesitate to place their own lives in jeopardy to save the life of another person. They are a credit to the Sheriff's Office, to this community, and to their families. I am very proud of them." Click to see video of rescue The cause of the crash is being investigated by the State Patrol.

 

Sheriff Investigates Death of Juvenile - Tuesday, August 31, 2010 FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE... Sheriff Mitch Ralston Reports: The Sheriff's Office Detective Division is investigating the death of a 15 year old juvenile. Deputy sheriffs and detectives responded to a subdivision in the Dews Pond community near Sonoraville last night (August 30) at approximately 9pm. The deceased was discovered by a family member. The body will be sent to the GBI State Crime Laboratory in Decatur, Georgia in accordance with the laws regarding the death of juveniles. Detectives do not suspect foul play.

 

 

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE...

Tuesday, July 19th, 2011

Detectives Charge Ackworth Man in Connection With Air Conditioner Thefts From Local Churches

Sheriff Mitch Ralston Reports:

Gordon County Sheriff's detectives from the Field Crimes Unit have charged an Acworth, Georgia man with a number of felony offenses in connection with the thefts of air conditioner units from seven (7) local churches in June - July, 2011. On July 14th, 2011, a witness in the Ramhurst community in southern Murray County called 911 to report the theft of air conditioning units from a nearby church. A 'lookout' was broadcast to law enforcement officers in the area and a State Trooper from (local) Post 43 observed a van matching the witness' description near Ramhurst. The trooper stopped the van and discovered several air conditioning units, believed to have been stolen from the Murray County church inside the vehicle.

The driver, identified as one BILLY JACK CRISP, age 35, of 118 Main Lake Drive, Acworth, Bartow County, Georgia, was arrested at the scene and taken to the Murray County Jail. Gordon County detectives, who have been investigating the theft of air conditioning units from a number of local churches for several weeks, have charged CRISP with Theft and Vandalism of Places of Worship in connection with incidents at Hopewell Baptist Church in Oakman, Fairview Church of God in Oakman, Union Grove Baptist Church in the Union Grove community, Mount Olive Baptist church near Fairmount, White Graves Baptist Church near Oakman, Wesley Chapel Methodist Church in the Sonoraville community, and Victory Temple Church of God near Calhoun.

The investigation of the thefts and disposal of stolen property ranged widely across north Georgia, involving Bartow, Cherokee, Gilmer, Gordon, Murray, and Pickens Counties. The Sheriff's Offices in each county coordinated efforts and shared information and leads. CRISP is being held in the Murray County Jail pending bond proceedings. The investigation is ongoing and more arrests/charges are expected.

 

 

 

 

 

 

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE...

Friday, July 8th, 2011

Sheriff's Office Investigating Rash of Thefts at Local Churches

Sheriff Mitch Ralston Reports:

Over the past two weeks, four local churches have suffered the thefts of outside air conditioner units. These air conditioning units are very likely being sold for scrap metal after being stolen. The four churches have all been in the Fairmount/Ranger/Oakman vicinity, in eastern Gordon County, and are in isolated locations. Extra patrols in these areas are in place, and detectives are following up on a number of possible leads in conjunction with the Bartow County Sheriff's Office. A number of churches in northern Bartow County have suffered similar thefts in roughly the same time period.

 

Sheriff Ralston asks for the public's help in reporting any suspicious people or automobiles in the vicinity of churches. Detectives have reason to believe that a small, red, pick up truck might be involved in the thefts. The Sheriff urges anyone seeing suspicious activity, especially in isloated areas, to call 911. A reward is available to anyone furnishing information which leads to the arrest and conviction of the person(s) responsible for these thefts.

 

Sheriff Ralston said, "I am especially concerned and disgusted with anyone who would vandalize or steal from our churches, I have ordered our Community Crime Prevention Unit and Field detectives to concentrate on arresting the people committing these thefts and bringing them before our Courts".

 

 

 

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE...

Thursday, July 7th, 2011

Killer Paul Buchannon Pleads "Guilty" to Murder of Christy McKnight and Other Charges From July, 2010 in Gordon County Superior Court

Sheriff Mitch Ralston Reports:

Paul Buchannon, who has been held in custody in the Gordon County Jail since his arrest by deputy sheriffs on July 29th, 2010, entered a plea of "guilty" to charges of murdering Christy McKnight, shooting two other persons, and an array of related charges in Superior Court today.  He was sentenced to life in prison without parole. Buchannon was arrested in the Hill City community after an intensive manhunt last July, which ended after Buchannon confronted deputies with a handgun in a wooded area and was shot and wounded. Buchannon began a violent crime spree last July 29th when he entered a residence in Resaca and shot McKnight's son and nephew. Both young men survived, but Buchannon kidnapped McKnight and drove her to Hill City. There, he forced McKnight onto the railroad tracks and murdered her by shooting her through the neck. Deputy sheriffs found her body while searching the area on foot.

 

Sheriff Ralston commended all of the officers involved in the manhunt and Buchannon's capture, but singled out members of his Major Crimes squad for special praise. "My Major Crimes Unit detectives performed superbly in collecting, preserving, and presenting all possible evidence in this complicated investigation. They provided the District Attorney with a very thorough and well prepared investigative file, which played a major role in compelling this defendant to plead 'guilty' thus sparing surviving family members from a trial, which also would have been very costly. The Major Crimes squad has been successful in solving three homicides since I formed the Unit in 2009. I am pleased to know that a vicious murderer will never be free again".

 

 

 

 

 

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE...

Wednesday, July 6th, 2011

Sheriff's Office Investigates Death of 5 Year Old

Sheriff Mitch Ralston Reports:

At approximately 8:45 a.m. this morning, deputy sheriffs and other emergency personnel responded to the report of a drowned child at a private residence on Woody Road in southwestern Gordon County. Witnesses reported to deputies that the victim, a 5 year old child, was found unresponsive in a neighbor's swimming pool. The child was removed from the scene by emergency medical personnel but did not survive. The incident is being investigated by the Sheriff's Detective Division and the County Coroner's Office. The child's body will undergo a post mortem examination at the State Crime Laboratory in Decatur, Georgia pursuant to Georgia law.

 

 

 

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE…

Thursday, June 30th, 2011

Sheriff Mitch Ralston Reports:

 

At approximately 9:30pm, Monday, June 27th, 2011, uniformed deputy sheriffs stopped a suspicious automobile on Interstate 75 (Southbound) for a traffic violation. After questioning the passenger in this car, subsequently identified as one Ronix Rosemond, age 40, of 613 Wild Turkey Road, Savannah, Georgia, deputies placed him under arrest for Possession of Marijuana and Hindering Officers. The driver was not arrested. Rosemond was transported to the County Jail where deputies recovered a plastic bag containing suspected marijuana from his mouth. He subsequently told deputies and booking officers he’d eaten marijuana while being transported to jail.

 

Rosemond was placed in a booking cell and checked periodically by jail officers.  At approximately 6 am the following morning (June 28th) he was examined by a member of the jail medical staff and displayed no symptoms of medical distress. Later at about 9:45 am, Rosemond appeared ill and was taken by ambulance to Gordon Hospital. At approximately 1 am this morning, the Sheriff’s Office was advised that Rosemond had died. The body will be taken to the State Crime Laboratory where a post mortem examination will be performed. The death is being investigated by the GBI and the Coroner’s Office as required by State laws.

 

 

 

 FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE...

Monday, June 27th, 2011

Sheriff Mitch Ralston Reports:

Sheriff's Office & GBI Investigating Death of 12-Month Old Boy

At approximately 11 a.m., Sunday, June 26th, deputy sheriffs responded to the report of a child being seriously injured at an address on Orchard Way in the Boone Ford/Sonoraville community. The child was treated at Gordon Hospital and later transferred to Erlanger Medical Center in Chattanooga, Tennessee. At approximately 3 a.m. today, the child expired. The boy was 12 months old.  The body will be sent to the State Crime Laboratory in Decatur, Georgia for a post-mortem examination pursuant to Georgia law. Sheriff's detectives and agents from the Region 1 GBI field office are investigating the circumstances surrounding the injury and death.

 

 

 

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE...

Sheriff's Detectives Arrest Rocky Face, Georgia Man for Rape

Monday, June 27th, 2011

Sheriff Mitch Ralston Reports:

At approximately 9:30 p.m., Friday night, June 24th, the Sheriff's Office received a report of a rape at a private residence on Nickelsville Highway in the Resaca community. Responding deputy sheriffs and detectives located the victim, a 17 year old local resident, who reported being forcibly raped by a man with whom she'd become acquainted through 'Facebook' and 'Skype' over a period spanning several months. She reported that this was the first instance in which she'd actually met the man.

The man, subsequently identified as one CHARLES ZACHARY DANE MORGAN, age 19, of Rocky Face, Georgia, fled into the woods when the 911 call was placed, but later turned himself in to responding deputies near the scene.

He was subsequently arrested by detectives and charged with one count of Rape.

He was taken before a Magistrate who denied bond, and will appear in Gordon County Superior Court at a later date.

Sheriff Ralston urges parents to closely monitor the activities of children engaged in social networks via the internet.

 

 

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE...

Friday, June 17th, 2011

Detectives Seek Assistance From the Public in Identifying Individual in Surveillance Video

Sheriff Mitch Ralston Reports:

The Sheriff's Office Detective Division is investigating a theft at the Gordon County EMA building on State Highway 53 at approximately 6:30pm, June 15th, 2011. A surveillance camera captured footage depicting an unidentified individual and a white pick up truck at the scene. Sheriff Ralston asks that anyone who can identify this individua/ and/or vehicle call the Detective Division at 706-629-1244 or 706-879-5481.

This video takes approximately 3-4 minutes to download, please be patient...

 click here for video file

 

 

 

 

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE...

Tuesday, June 14th, 2011

Detectives Interrupt Burglary in Progress in Sonoraville

SHERIFF MITCH RALSTON REPORTS:

At approximately 3:15pm, Monday, June 13th, 2011, a report of a residential burglary-in-progress on Erwin Hill Church Road in the Sonoraville was broadcast via radio to all deputy sheriffs. Two Sheriff's Detectives were nearby and quickly responded. The plainclothed deputies subsequently apprehended one ANTHONY GUGLIOTTA, age 40, of 244 Blalock Road, Adairsville, Georgia at the scene. The offender was attempting to hide behind a tree. The detectives recovered a file and wirecutters from the offender's person. GUGLIOTTA was taken into custody without incident and charged with Criminal Trespass and Criminal Attempt to Commit Burglary. Detectives also arrested a woman believed to cohabitate with GUGLIOTTA, one HEATHER NEWPORT, age 25, of 244 Blalock Road, Adairsville, Georgia on an outstanding warrant for an unrelated charge.

Sheriff Ralston urges citizens to be on the lookout for suspicious persons during daylight hours, when most residential burglaries occur, particularly in the vicinity of vacant or abandoned homes.

 

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE...

Tuesday, June 14th, 2011

Local Citizens Help Deputy Sheriffs Apprehend Cocaine Trafficker in Resaca

SHERIFF MITCH RALSTON REPORTS:

Monday morning, June 13th, 2011, uniformed deputy sheriffs assigned to the Community Crime Prevention Unit (CCPU) stopped a suspicious automobile from Ohio in Resaca. After a search of the car revealed over a pound of processed cocaine, the driver of the vehicle, identified as one PERCY LEROY JONES, age 31, of 232 5th Avenue, Huntington, West Virginia, attempted to flee from the two deputies on foot. A chase ensued down a steep embankment into a wooded area. Three local men saw the deputies chasing the offender, stopped their own vehicles, and helped the deputies run down and apprehend JONES. A deputy was slightly injured during the pursuit. The local men greatly assisted in the quick capture of this violator. JONES was arrested without further incident and lodged in the County Jail, charged with Possession of Cocaine, Trafficking in Cocaine, and Obstructing Law Enforcement Officers.

Sheriff Ralston commented, "It's great to live in this community where our citizens not only support their local law enforcement officers, but are willing to actively assist deputies in an emergency. I want to personally thank each of these men. I'm very proud of our community"

 

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE...

Monday, June 6th, 2011

Detectives Investigate Death of Toddler

Sheriff Mitch Ralston Reports:

On Wednesday, June 1st, 2011, Sheriff's detectives responded to Floyd Medical Center in Rome, Georgia concerning the report of an injured 2 year old child. Detectives have reason to believe that the injuries were the result of a water-related incident at a private residence in the Plainville community that same day. The child was transferred to Scottish Rite Children's Hospital in Atlanta where he passed away Friday afternoon, June 3rd. Detectives are in consultation with the Georgia Bureau of Investigation's Crime Laboratory, and a post-mortem examination has been performed. A joint investigation involving the Department of Family & Childrens Services, The Georgia Bureau of Investigation, the Gordon County Coroner's Office, and the Sheriff's Office is continuing.

 

 

 

 

 

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE...

Thursday, May 26th, 2011

Detectives Investigate Reported Robbery at Interstate Rest Area

Sheriff Mitch Ralston Reports:

At approximately 11:45 a.m. today, deputy sheriffs were dispatched to the Interstate 75 Rest Area near Adairsville concerning the report of a robbery. A professional driver reported that 4 men had snatched a wallet from him and fled the scene in an automobile. Within minutes, State Troopers had stopped the car fitting the description near I-75/State Highway 53. The 4 occupants were detained for questioning and released after the alleged victim declined to press charges. No arrests were made and Sheriff's detectives consider the matter closed.

 

 

 

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE...

Monday, May 23, 2011

Detectives Investigate Aggravated Assault Incident, One Arrested

Sheriff Mitch Ralston Reports:

 

At approximately 10 a.m. Sunday morning (May 22), deputy sheriffs were dispated to the report of an aggravated assault at 331 Langston Road in the Sonoraville community. Responding deputies subsequently arrested one MORGAN BRADSHAW, age 18, of Columbia, Tennessee and charged her with Aggravated Assault against a male acquaintence. Detectives recovered the knife believed to have been used in the assault. The suspect sustained non- life threatening injuries crashing through a glass door. The victim sustained non-life threatening injuries as well which did not require medical treatment. BRADSHAW is lodged in the County Jail pending court appearance.

 

 

 

 

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE...

Thursday, May 19th, 2011

Deputy Sheriffs Arrest Two Alabama Men For Drug Trafficking, Seize Cocaine Valued at $180,000.00

Sheriff Mitch Ralston Reports:

At approximately 7:30pm Wednesday evening (May 18th), uniformed deputy sheriffs assigned to the Sheriff's Office Community Crime Prevention Unit (CCPU) stopped a suspicious Alabama automobile for a traffic violation near the Intersection of Interstate 75 and State Highway 53 in Gordon County. The car did not immediately stop for the deputy's blue lights, and turned into a nearby service station/convenience store as if to get fuel. The car still did not come to a standstill but an off duty Sheriff's detective in his private vehicle at the service station saw what was happening and blocked in the suspicious car. The CCPU deputies, assisted by their drug-detection dog, subsequently searched the car and discovered a half dozen kilos of cocaine. The two occupants, TERRIAS DONTA CAIN, age 26, of 1306 Montreat Drive, Athens, Alabama, and MICHAEL D. MOSLEY, age 24, of 1201 Browns Ferry Street, Athens, Alabama were both arrested without incident and charged with Trafficking in Cocaine. Both men are in the County Jail pending court appearance. The cocaine is valued at $180,000.00.

 

 

 

 

 

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE...

Saturday, May 14th, 2011

Fight Over "Ford vs. Chevy" Ends With 1 Hospitalized And 1 In Jail

Sheriff Mitch Ralston Reports:

At approximately 1 a.m. this morning, May 14, 2011, deputy sheriffs received a report of a aggravated assault incident near Calhoun. Responding deputies determined that several individuals were engaged in driving four-wheel-drive vehicles (off road) in a field off Beamer Road when an argument between two men escalated into a fight. Witnesses told detectives that what had began as a fist-fight ended when one of the men produced a knife and stabbed the other. Detectives subsequently arrest ZACHARY WOODY, age 21, of 160 Walraven Way, Calhoun, Georgia and have charged him with Aggravated Assault. The victim was hospitalized with serious injuries. Investigating detectives recovered the knife believed to have been used in the incident, and were told by witnesses that the assault stemmed from a disagreement over the superiority of Ford vehicles versus Chevrolet vehicles. Detectives also believe that alcohol was a factor.

 

 

 

 

 

 

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE...

May 11th, 2011

Sheriff & Staff Participate in 'Law Enforcement Torch Run' For Georgia Special Olympics

Sheriff Mitch Ralston Announces:

On Tuesday, May 10th, along with the City of Calhoun Police Department and the local Post 43 of the Georgia State Patrol, the Sheriff and staff members participated in the Law Enforcement Torch Run, an annual event which raises awareness and funding for the "Georgia Special Olympics". The 'Torch Run' has been supporting Special Olympics in Georgia for over a quarter century. Law enforcement officers from the various agencies in the jurisdiction participated in the run. Runners recruited sponsors who contributed to the Special Olympics. "This year's run was a great success. And I join with Police Chief Moss and Sergeant First Class Tucker in congratulating the law enforcement personnel who participated, and all of the individuals and organizations who graciously donated to this worthy cause. Our law enforcement folks really enjoyed helping with such a great cause", said Sheriff Mitch Ralston.

The 'Torch Run' is held in conjunction with 'National Peace Officers Memorial Week' each year, and is part of a series of activities in which the Sheriff's Office participates.

 

 

 

 

 

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE...

Tuesday, May 3, 2011 

Gordon County Relief Effort For Tornado-Stricken Dade County a Success

Sheriff Mitch Ralston Reports:

"Mission Accomplished"

"I would like to take this opportunity to thank each and every individual citizen and every organization who graciously and generously donated to the relief effort for Dade County, which suffered badly in the recent outbreak of tornadoes. The people of Gordon County are kind people, with generous hearts for their neighbors. My staff and I delivered approximately 5 box-truck loads of badly needed water, food, and emergency supplies in 3 convoys over the past weekend. Our people really "stepped up to the plate" when the calls for help came in, and I assure you that your efforts were sincerely appreciated by our neighbors in Trenton and Dade County. I attended a government meeting with the officials in Dade County Sunday, and both the Dade County Sheriff and the Board of Commissioners sent their heartfelt thanks to all of you. I am very proud and humbled to serve as the sheriff of this county. The Lord blessed us during the tornado outbreak, and I am glad that we had an opportunity to pass along the blessing."

The Sheriff's Office will continue to deploy deputies to Dade County, and also to Catoosa County which requested assistance yesterday, until Friday, May 6, 2011.

Citizens wishing to contribute to ongoing relief efforts in Georgia, Alabama, and Tennessee are urged to contact the local American Red Cross.

 

 

 

 

 

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE...

Monday, May 2, 2011; Sheriff's Office Investigating Two Unrelated Shootings

Sheriff Mitch Ralston Reports:

Sunday morning, May 1, 2011, deputy sheriffs responded to 60 Angus Court, Talking Rock Properties in the Ranger community in eastern Gordon County regarding the report of a shooting. Deputies found the body of LARRY DEWAYNE BATTLES, age 52, of that same address, inside the home. He had suffered what appeared to be a self-inflicted gunshot wound. The body was initially found by a family member who called 911. Investigating detectives do not suspect foul play. The investigation is continuing in conjunction with the Gordon County Coroner's Office.

In an unrelated matter, Sunday afternoon, May 1, 2011, deputy sheriffs were dispatched to 379 Sisson Bend Road in the Resaca community in northern Gordon County in response to a report of a shooting. Deputies found CHARLES ANDREW DESHEA, age 34, of 379 Sisson Bend Road, Resaca, Georgia, severely injured from an apparently self-inflicted gunshot wound. He was removed from the scene by emergency medical personnel and later taken to Erlanger Medical Center in Chattanooga, Tennessee. He was subsequently pronounced dead on Monday, May 2, 2011. Investigating detectives do not suspect foul play in this incident.

 

 

URGENT PUBLIC SERVICE ANNOUNCEMENT

 

 

 

Friday, 29th April, 2011

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

To All Gordon County Sheriff’s Personnel & the People of Gordon County:

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

I have been advised by Dade County, Georgia Sheriff Patrick Cannon that the people of Dade County are in dire need of the following supplies:

 

 

 

·       Bottled water

 

 

 

·       Personal hygiene items: soap, wipes, dental care items, toiletries, etc.

 

 

 

·       Disposable baby diapers

 

 

 

·       Batteries (all types)

 

 

 

·       Canned food / ready-to-eat food

 

 

 

All such supplies may be delivered to the Sheriff’s Office and will be transported to Dade County by myself & staff on Sunday, May 1st.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

As you all know, Trenton/Dade County was struck by devastating tornadoes during the outbreak on Wednesday, April 27th. Please remember and help our neighbors in this time of need.

 

 

Mitch Ralston

Sheriff of Gordon County

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE...

Thursday, April 28, 2011

Sheriff Assists Neighboring Counties After Tornados

Sheriff Mitch Ralston Reports:

The Gordon County Sheriff's Office is assisting neighboring counties after the devastating tornado outbreak on Wednesday, April 27th. Sheriff Ralston has offered official assistance in the form of manpower and jail space to other northwest Georgia sheriffs whose counties suffered tornado damage. The storms necessitated the evacuation of the Dade County Jail in Trenton, and over 50 Dade County inmates have been transferred to the Gordon County Jail. The Dade County Sheriff has sent Dade County officers and jail medical staff to Gordon County to deal with the needs of their inmates while housed here. Dade County Sheriff Patrick Cannon's residence was totally destroyed Wednesday night while he was directing law enforcement activities from his Office. Gordon County deputies have been placed on standby in case they are needed in the storm-stricken counties. 

Sheriff Ralston expressed his appreciation to all of the Calhoun and Gordon County public safety services for their level of prepardness for the tornado outbreak, which fortunately did not produce any injuries or deaths in Gordon County. Sheriff Ralston also said he appreciated all of the citizens of Gordon County who volunteered to help out in the Sugar Valley community in clearing roads and assisting their neighbors. "Please keep all of the victims of these tragedies and their families in your thoughts and prayers. I am especially thankful that our community did not suffer as badly as many have. As God blessed us here, I know the people of this county want to help their neighbors in this time of need."

 

Sheriff Mitch Ralston and Chief Deputy Robert Paris reaching out to neighboring counties on behalf of the Calhoun/ Gordon County community after the violent tornado outbreak of April 27th.

 

 

 

 

 

PUBLIC SERVICE ANNOUNCEMENT

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE, 3:30p.m. Wednesday, April 27th, 2011...

Sheriff Mitch Ralston Advises:

Gordon County is bracing for the arrival of a "super cell" storm system later this evening. This system has already resulted in extensive damage and several deaths in states to our west. An apparent tornado struck the Sugar Valley community this morning resulting in much property damage but fortunately no injuries there have been reported. Extra deputy sheriffs have been called in for duty and will be deployed at strategic locations throughout the county in anticipation of the storm front. Citizens should remain alert and monitor media sources for updated weather reports. In the event of a tornado warning, take shelter below ground, such as in a basement, if possible. If no below-ground shelter is available, move to the lowest floor and into the center of the building. Citizens are urged to call 911 for emergencies only during this event.

 

 

 

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE...

Tuesday, April 19th, 2011

Deputies Arrest Kentucky Man For Possession of Marijuana With Intent to Distribute After Automobile Search

Sheriff Mitch Ralston Reports:

On the morning of April 13th, 2011, a uniformed deputy sheriff assigned to the 'Community Crime Prevention Unit' (CCPU) was on patrol in Resaca when he stopped a suspicious automobile bearing a Kentucky license plate. A subsequent search of the car by the deputy and his canine 'partner' revealed several pounds of processed marijuana hidden within. The driver, one Christopher Don Ware, age 28, of 729 Denali Street, Bowling Green, Kentucky was arrested without incident and charged with VGCSA Possession of Marijuana With Intent to Distribute and lodged in the County Jail.

 

 

 

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE...

Friday, April 15th 2011

Deputies Make Arrest at Stakeout at Local Business

Sheriff Mitch Ralston Reports:

On Thursday night, April 14th, Sheriff's detectives were conducting a 'stakeout' (surveillance) at a local business on State Route 53 Spur, in anticipation of a possible crime being committed there. At approximately 12:20 a.m., detectives and uniformed deputy sheriffs encountered a suspicious automobile in the business parking lot occupied by a Rome, Georgia man. The deputies approached the suspicious vehicle and subsequently arrested the occupant, JAMES M. COUZZART, age 41 of 57 Mayo Road, Rome, Georgia and charged him with Criminal Trespass, Violation of the Georgia Controlled Substances Act, and Possession of Tools for the Commission of a Crime.

 

 

 

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE...

Friday, April 15th 2011

Deputies Respond to Hanging Incident

Sheriff Mitch Ralston Reports:

Thursday afternoon April 14th, 2011, deputy sheriffs were dispatched to 131 Pine Street SW in unincorporated Gordon County in response to the report of a hanging incident. JAMES WILLIAM BURNS, age 27, of 131 Pine Street was reportedly found hanging by family members who then called 911. BURNS was transported to Gordon Hospital where he was subsequently pronounced dead. Investigating detectives have no reason to suspect that foul play was involved. The investigation by the Sheriff’s Office and the Gordon county coroner’s Office is continuing.

 

 

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE...

Friday, April 15th 2011

Detectives Arrest Fairmount Man For Aggravated Child Molestation

Sheriff Mitch Ralston Reports:

On Wednesday, April 13th, 201l, the Sheriff’s Office received a report of a child molestation alleged to have occurred in late March, 2011. Investigating detectives subsequently arrested on JACOB LAMAR FRANKLIN, age 23, of 279 Mount Pleasant Road, Fairmount, Georgia, and charged him with Aggravated Child Molestation and Child Molestation. The crimes are alleged to have occurred against a 14 year old female in the Sonoraville community. FRANKLIN is being held in the County Jail ending bond proceedings.

 

 

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE...

Thursday, April 7th, 2011

Sheriff's Detectives Solve Burglary, Recover $6K in Stolen Jewelry

Sheriff Mitch Ralston Reports:

Gordon County Sheriff's Detectives have solved a residential burglary which occured in the McDaniel Station Community on April 1st, 2011. Acting on information acquired through the new BWI Pawn Shop computerized monitoring system, detectives recovered jewelry valued in excess of $6,000.00. Following leads generated by the recovery of the stolen jewelry, detectives arrested DAKOTA W. HILL, age 20, of 140 Joshua Trail, Calhoun, Georgia, and charged him with Burglary. Detectives also learned that HILL was on probation through the Department of Corrections for a previous burglary offense in Gordon County. He is lodged in the County Jail pending judicial proceedings.

 

 

 

 

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE...

Tuesday, March 29th, 2011

Detectives Arrest man For Aggravated Child Molestation, Weapons Offense

SHERIFF MITCH RALSTON REPORTS:

On March 22nd, 2011, Sheriff's Detectives received a report of child molestation involving two female children, ages 11 and 13, in the Dews Pond community. That same day, detectives and uniformed deputies went to the suspect's residence on Singletree Drive to investigate the complaint. There, deputies discovered the suspect, and an illegally possessed weapon. The suspect, identified as one THURMAN WALKER HILLEGEIST, age 37, of 231 Singletree Drive, was arrested immediately for being a convicted felon in possession of a firearm. Detectives subsequently charged HILLEGEIST with 2 counts of Aggravated Child Molestation, and 2 counts of Child Molestation. He is lodged in the County Jail pending bond proceedings.

 

 

 

 

 

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE...

SHERIFF'S OFFICE NEEDS YOUR HELP LOCATING A FUGITIVE:

Monday, March 28th, 2011

SHERIFF MITCH RALSTON ASKS:

The Gordon County Sheriff's Office needs the public's assistance locating a fugitive:

 

LEON D. CURTIS, age 30, Year of Birth= 1980, black/male, bald/shaved head, reported to have a tattoo on his chest. This individual may be driving/occupying a late model Volkswagen Jetta. His last known address is believed to be 400 Greeson Loop.

The Sheriff's Office wants CURTIS in connection with Aggravated Battery against a 3 year old female child, and Violation of Parole.

If you see this individual DO NOT APPROACH HIM! Call 911 and report his whereabouts to law enforcement authorities immediately.

 

 Leon Curtis was ARRESTED in Alabama on Thursday, March 31, 2011 by the US Marshal's Service. Thank you to everyone in the public who assisted the Sheriff's Office in this matter.

 

 

 

 

 

 

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE...

Monday, March 28th, 2011

Deputy Sheriffs Apprehend One of Tennessee's "Top Ten" Fugitives in Resaca

SHERIFF MITCH RALSTON REPORTS:

At approximately 10p.m., Saturday night, March 26th, 2011, the Gordon County Sheriff's Office received a tip from the Tennessee Bureau of Investigation (TBI) that one of Tennessee's 'top ten most wanted' fugitives was reported to be at or near the Flying J truck stop in Resaca. Uniformed deputy sheriffs responded within minutes and surrounded the truck stop. The deputies, who had a description of the fugitive, entered and quickly located him inside the restaurant. John Barry Hale, age 54, of 2100 Center Point Road, surrendered peacefully and was taken into custody without incident. Hale was lodged in the County Jail pending extradition arrangements. Hale was being sought by Tennessee authorities in connection to a charge of "Aggravated Sexual Battery against a Victim Under 13" according to the TBI.

 

 

 

 

 

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE...

Friday, March 25th, 2011

Deputies Respond To Small Aircraft Crash in McDaniel Station Community

SHERIFF MITCH RALSTON REPORTS:

At approximately 5:30p.m., Friday afternoon, March 25, 2011, deputy sheriffs were dispatched along with Fire/Rescue Units, Emergency Management, and State Troopers, to a farm pasture in the McDaniel Station community in response to a report of a small plane crash. Deputies and emergency personnel were guided to the wreckage by witnesses. The pilot, who was injured but conscious, was removed from the scene by ground ambulance and reportedly transported to Floyd Medical Center. The wreckage appeared to be that of an "ultralight" or "experimental" type small aircraft. The FAA was notified by Emergency Management personnel. The identity of the pilot had not been verified at the time he was removed from the crash site. Witnesses told a deputy sheriff that they had observed the plane flying at tree top level, and heard the engine "sputter" just before the crash. Deputies reported that the crash site was on wet, muddy ground, clear of trees, which may have lessened the severity of the impact.

 

 

 

 

 

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE...

Friday, March 18th, 2011

DEPUTY SHERIFF STRUCK BY AUTO WHILE SUPERVISING INMATE WORK CREW...

SHERIFF MITCH RALSTON REPORTS:

At approximately 9:50 a.m. this morning, March 18th, 2011, a uniformed deputy sheriff was supervising an inmate work crew collecting garbage on the Red Bud Road near the Crane Eater Community when his Sheriff's Office truck was struck in the rear by another automobile. The deputy suffered injuries and was taken to Gordon Hospital by ambulance. No inmate workers were struck or injured. The other automobile, a Jeep SUV, turned over and came to rest in the roadway. The Sheriff's Office truck was parked off the roadway, on the right-of-way with warning signs posted and blue lights in operation at the time of the collision. The driver of the Jeep, identified as one BILLY EUGENE HALL, age 47, (last known address) of 512 Peters Street, Calhoun, Georgia, was also transported to the hospital where he was arrested by the Georgia State Patrol for DUI and other traffic charges. Troopers from State Patrol Post 43 are continuing their investigation into the crash. Sheriff Ralston said that "this incident is a reminder of the dangers faced by deputy sheriffs every day, even when engaged in 'public service' duties." Motorists should be aware of inmate work crews on County Roads and State Highways and exercise caution.

 

 

 

 

 

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE...

Wednesday, March 16th, 2011

Ordinance Violation Investigation Leads to Meth Trafficking Arrest

SHERIFF MITCH RALSTON REPORTS:

On Tuesday afternoon, March 15th, 2011, uniformed deputy sheriffs responded to a reported (county) ordinance violation on Ryo Mountain Road in eastern Gordon County when they encountered 2 men in an automobile acting suspiciously. The deputies stopped the automobile and approached the men, who were armed, to question them. Upon searching one of the men, who was subsequently identified as one JESSIE TYRONE SELLERS, age 38, of 946 Ryo Mountain Road, the deputies discovered approximately one and one quarter ounces of methamphetamine and a bag of marijuana. After a brief struggle, SELLERS was subdued and taken into custody. The automobile and several hundred dollars in cash were also taken into custody. The second man was not arrested. SELLERS is lodged in the County Jail charged with Trafficking in Methamphetamine, Possession of methamphetamine and marijuana, and Obstructing Law Enforcement Officers. The "street" value of the drugs is estimated to be approximately $16,000.00.

 

 

 

 

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE...

Tuesday, March 15th, 2011

SHERIFF'S OFFICE HONOR GUARD MARCHES IN ATLANTA ST. PATRICK'S DAY PARADE

SHERIFF MITCH RALSTON REPORTS:

On Saturday, March 11th, 2011, the Gordon County Sheriff's Office Honor Guard performed in the 129th Annual St. Patrick's Day Parade in Atlanta. The parade was held in downtown Atlanta on Peachtree Street and included pipes & drums, floats, Irish dancers, police and fire units, and a host of other participants. The Parade Grand Marshal was Mr. Paul Gleeson, the Irish Consul General. The Gordon County Honor Guard was the only law enforcement unit from outside metro Atlanta accepted to participate in the parade. Acknowledging Gordon County's rich history of Scotch-Irish pioneers, the Honor Guard carried the flag of Ulster along with the traditional flags. The deputies who attended the parade were all volunteers who received no compensation other than the satisfaction of representing the Sheriff and the people of Gordon County. The Honor Guard performs at ceremonial services in our community and at the request of other law enforcement agencies in Georgia.

 

 

 

 

 

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE...

Thursday, March 10th, 2011

Deputy Sheriff Finds Hidden Meth While Serving Warrant:

SHERIFF MITCH RALSTON REPORTS:

On Friday morning, March 4th, 2011, a uniformed deputy sheriff was located at J&J Transmission Shop at 248 Richardson Road in Calhoun attempting to execute a civil arrest order when he encountered one Tracy Lee Teague at the business. The deputy was searching the interior of the business for the defendant named in the arrest order when he opened an appliance and discovered 2 pounds of processed crystal methamphetamine. Teague was placed under arrest without incident. The deputy also discovered a pistol from which the serial number had been obliterated. The drugs and firearm were taken into custody as evidence, and Teague was taken to the County Jail. The sheriff summoned assistance from the Calhoun City Police in the follow up investigation. Teague was charged with Violation of the Georgia Controlled Substances Act and remains in Jail. The methamphetamine has a 'street' value of $40,000.00

"We are committed to stemming the flow of illegal methamphetamine which is being imported into Calhoun and Gordon County, in conjunction with our law enforcement and prosecutorial partners, by all means at our disposal", said Sheriff Mitch Ralston.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

SHERIFF MITCH RALSTON ANNOUNCES:

Sheriff's Auxiliary Announces 3rd Annual City-County Charity Basketball Game Benefitting the Winners Club...

The 3rd Annual Calhoun City-Gordon County Charity Basketball Game will be held at 6 p.m. Saturday, March 5th, 2011 at the Gordon Central High School Gymnasium. The game features teams composed of city firefighters and police officers versus county firefighters and deputy sheriffs. The City team is the reigning champion, and will be returning a strong offense and skilled defensive lineup. However, with the a new player-coach and a new strategy, hope springs eternal and the County team hopes to capture it's first title. The City squad is known for it's quickness on the court, height, and rapid fire 3 pointers. The County team has added some height and ability to this year's squad, and has evolved away from "driveway basketball" tactics.

An assortment of public safety vehicles and equipment will be on display for children and adults before tip off at 6 p.m.

ADMISSION IS FREE! The annual event is sponsored by Sheriff Mitch Ralston's Auxiliary, and proceeds benefit the Winners Club. 

 

 

 

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE...

Sheriff Mitch Ralston Reports:

Deputies Find Methamphetamine Hidden in Secret Compartment in Walking Cane During Traffic Stop

 

A uniformed deputy sheriff was on routine patrol in the Dews Pond Community near midnight on February 20 / 21, 2011 when he stopped a suspicious automobile for speeding on Dews Pond Road. When the driver of the pick up truck could not produce a license, the deputy became suspicious and obtained written consent to search the vehicle. Inside, deputies noticed a walking stick topped by an ornamental duck head. The deputies unscrewed the head of the walking cane and discovered a hidden compartment containing several grams of packaged methamphetamine. The driver, Jason Lance Southerland, age 30, of 143 Scott Road, Chatsworth, Georgia; along with the passenger, Johnny Lynn Hobbs, age 38, of 4294 Old Dixie Highway, Dalton, Georgia, were both arrested at the scene. Both were charged with Possession of Methamphetamine, and Southerland was also charged with Speeding and Open Container. Both are lodged in the County Jail pending bond proceedings.

 

 

 

 

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE...

Monday, February 14th, 2011

Sheriff's CCPU Intercepts Drug Shipment:

At approximately 10 p.m., Thursday, February 10th, 2011, a uniformed deputy sheriff assigned to the Community Crime Prevention Unit (CCPU) stopped a suspicious automobile on Interstate 75 near the Highway 53 exit. The deputy approached the driver of this automobile, who said he was travelling to Fairmount, and conducted a "pat down" search, finding a baggie of marijuana. The deputy with his canine 'partner' subsequently searched the automobile and was attempting to take the driver into custody when he  escaped and fled across the interstate highway on foot. Other deputy sheriffs and Calhoun police officers responded to the scene but were unable to find the suspect. Deputies found over a pound of processed/packaged marijuana and several hundred pills believed to be Xanax and Oxycodone inside the car, which was determined to be a rental vehicle. Arrest warrants have been issued charging Ariim Chekenya Burden, age 34, of 1715 Stanwood Drive, Kennesaw, Georgia with: VGCSA Possession of Marijuana With Intent to Distribute, and VGCSA Possession of Schedule II and IV Drugs With Intent to Distribute. If anyone has information regarding Burden's whereabouts, please call the Gordon County Sheriff's Office at 706.629.1244 or 911. One of the ongoing missions of the Community Crime Prevention Unit is to stem the tide of illegal drugs into Gordon County via the highway systems, through stragegic patrolling and the use of canines. Sheriff Ralston thanked the Calhoun Police for their rapid response to the deputy's call for aid during the incident.

 

 

 

 

 

 

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE...

Monday, January 24th, 2011

Sheriff Investigates Second Deadly Tractor Accident This Month

Sheriff Mitch Ralston Reports:

At approximately 12:30 p.m. today, Monday, January 24th, 2011, uniformed deputy sheriffs and emergency fire/rescue and emergency medical personnel were dispatched to a farm at 1423 Resaca-LaFayette Highway near Resaca in response to a report of a farm tractor accident. Apparently while operating a farm tractor in a pasture area, the driver, identified as MARVIN LOMAX, age 70, of 1423 Resaca-LaFayette Highway, was killed when a tree fell across the tractor's cab. This is the second incident in January wherein a death occured in a farm tractor accident. The investigation is being carried out by the Sheriff's Office and the Gordon County Coroner's Office.

 

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE...

Friday, January 21, 2011

Sheriff Mitch Ralston Announces:

On Wednesday, January 19, 2011, Sheriff Mitch Ralston and a delegation of 8 other Georgia sheriffs and their staff members were invited to meet newly elected Georgia Attorney General Sam Olens at a luncheon hosted by the Cobb County Sheriff's Office in Marietta. Attorney General Olens spoke with the officials about a range of topics, including the duties of the Attorney General's Office, pending legislation which will affect Georgia sheriffs, capital punishment, and other legal issues. Attorney general Olens pledged to make himself and his staff more accessible to local elected officials, which was well received by Sheriff Ralston and the other officers. Sheriff Ralston has worked to reestablish good relations with state elected officials, and looks forward to cooperating with the Attorney general and his staff.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE...

Thursday, January 20th, 2011

Sheriff Mitch Ralston Reports:

The Sheriff's Office is pleased to report that last week's winter storm did not result in any extraordinary overtime costs, or any damage to Sheriff's Office automobiles, equipment, or facilities. An emergency plan, developed by Sheriff Ralston in 2009, was implemented on Sunday night, January 9th, and continued throughout the following 72 hours. The plan involved the reassignment and deployment of four-wheel-drive vehicles, the rescheduling of hourly employees during peak service periods each day, and the deployment of supervisory personnel, who are not paid on an hourly basis, to perform extra patrols. Surplus 4WD vehicles obtained from the federal government's Excess Property program, as well as 4WD automobiles seized in drug-related investigations, were used in place of regular patrol cars. A number of deputy sheriffs volunteered to work during the storm without compensation.

Sheriff Ralston praised all of the other County agencies involved in the storm response, for their efficiency and hard work in severe weather conditions. This was very much a 'team effort'.

The Sheriff also thanks all of the residents of Gordon County forexercising caution in the winter storm conditions, and all of the private citizens who helped clear roadways and checked on friends and neighbors.

"I am proud to be a member of the community we share, and my heart was warmed by the response from ordinary people in looking after one another. I am humbled to serve the best county in our state."

 

 

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE...

Deadly Tractor Accident Investigated

SATURDAY, JANUARY 15th, 2011

Sheriff Mitch Ralston Reports:

At about 4:30 p.m. Saturday afternoon, January 15th, uniformed deputy sheriffs were dispatched to a farm at 919 Pine Hill Road south of the Sonoraville community near Bartow County regarding a tractor accident. Responding deputies, along with Fire/Rescue and EMS personnel, arrived to find that a farm tractor had apparently overturned into a stock pond, trapping the driver. The victim was subsequently identified as HOWARD GARLAND, age 83, of Rydal, Georgia. An aquaintence of the victim attempted to rescue him from the enclosed-cab tractor. The victim was transported to Gordon Hospital by ambulance, but was later pronounced dead. The acquaintence, who told deputies he'd witnessed the accident, was also removed by ambulance appearing to have been suffering from hypothermia. 

 

 

 

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE...

Domestic Disturbance Leads to Arrest for Aggravated Assault

FRIDAY, JANUARY 14TH, 2011

SHERIFF MITCH RALSTON REPORTS:

Shortly after midnight, Friday, January 14th, 2011, uniformed deputy sheriffs responded to the report of a domestic disturbance at 628B Craigtown Road in unincorporated Gordon County. Deputies were met by a male victim, who had suffered a severe physical beating, sitting outside in the subfreezing weather who told them he'd been assaulted by his female domestic partner. Detectives subsequently arrested one MARILYN GARZA, age 39, of 628B Craigtown Road, Calhoun in connection with the assault. Detectives believe that GARZA assaulted the victim with a variety of houshold itmes including a chair, glass bottles, and a tea kettle. The victim was treated and released from a local hospital, and the injuries are not believed to be life threatening. The investigating detectives have charged Ms. GARZA with Aggravated Assault. It is not certain at this time what triggered the disturbance. She is lodged in the County Jail pending bond proceedings.

 

 

PUBLIC SERVICE ANNOUNCEMENT:

Updated: 11:30 a.m. Tuesday, January 11th, 2011

Winter Storm in Gordon County...

A major winter storm has deposited a significant amount of snow/ice onto Gordon County and the rest of North Georgia. Up to 6 inches of snow has fallen as of 7 a.m. today, creating very treacherous driving conditions on roadways. State and county road maintenance crews are on scene now throughout the county. The Georgia DOT is urging people to stay off the roadways. 

Motorists should be especially aware of icy conditions on bridges and overpasses.

Citizens are cautioned against coming into contact with power lines which may fall in snow/icy conditions. Downed power lines should be reported to the appropriate utility company or Emergency 911.

Sheriff Ralston has deployed extra deputy sheriffs to patrol throughout the county during peak activity times for the duration of the hazardous weather, and response to nuisance calls which do not involve danger to persons or property may be delayed.

Interstate 75, State Routes, and some heavily travelled county roads are passable, but are still not safe.

Sheriff Mitch Ralston urges everyone to avoid unnecessary travel.

Gordon County Superior Court proceedings have been suspended for Tuesday, January 11th, 2011.

Superior Court information may be obtained by calling 706-879-2306.

Stay tuned to NOAA Weather Radio or commercial media outlets for more information regarding hazardous weather.

 

 

 

 

2012 Press Releases

 




FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE... Wednesday, October 3, 2012 Sheriff's Detectives Investigating Report of Rape of a Juvenile Sheriff Mitch Ralston Reports: On Tuesday morning, October 2, 2012, Sheriff's detectives received a report that a female juvenile had been raped at her residence in the Sonoraville community the night before. An investigation ensued which led detectives and deputy sheriffs to seek one Tony Cuevas, age 29 in connection with the event. Sheriff's personnel attempted to apprehend Cuevas at a location in the area near Boone Ford Road, but Cuevas evaded them and fled on foot into a densely wooded area. Cuevas was last seen Tuesday morning (October 2) in that same area, wearing blue shorts and a blue 'tank top' shirt. He is not known to have a fixed address. Authorities do not believe that he was armed at any time. Warrants have been issued charging Cuevas with Rape and Obstructing Peace Officers. Investigating detectives believe that Cuevas was an acquaintence of the victim's parents. Anyone with any information regarding Cuevas' whereabouts is urged to call 911 or the Sheriff's Office at 706.629.1244.




 FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE... Friday, September 14th, 2012 Deputies Arrest Ranger Man for Trafficking in Cocaine, Accomplice Still Being Sought Sheriff Mitch Ralston Reports: At about 9 p.m. Wednesday night, September 12, a deputy sheriff from the Community Crime Prevention Unit (CCPU) was on routine patrol on Interstate 75 near Calhoun when he stopped a 2008 Chevrolet Impala occupied by two men for a traffic violation. A subsequent search of the automobile by deputies and a Sheriff's canine revealed several ounces of cocaine in the passenger compartment. Upon the discovery of the cocaine, the man who'd been the passenger bolted away from the deputies and fled on foot. The driver, identified as one Heath Douglas Partlow, age 41, of 350 Apple Road, Ranger, Gordon County, Georgia, was taken into custody without resistance. The unidentified passenger ran from the interstate into a wooded area. Several state troopers responded to the scene and one trooper was injured while pusuing the violator. The trooper was not badly hurt and was treated and released from Gordon Hospital. The automobile and cocaine were seized, and Partlow was jailed and charged with Trafficking in Cocaine. The 'street value' of the cocaine is estimated at $8,000.00. Troopers, Calhoun police, and deputy sheriffs searched the area for several hours, along with a State Patrol helicopter. The passenger who fled the scene was not apprehended, but investigating detectives have reason to believe that he is not a resident of Georgia. Partlow,  remains in the county jail pending bond proceedings.Sheriff Ralston commended all of the officers involved in this arrest.




FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE... Wednesday, September 5th, 2012 CCPU Deputies Arrest Atlanta Man For Possession of Marijuana With Intent to Distribute Sheriff Mitch Ralston Reports: On Monday evening, August 13th, 2012, a deputy sheriff from the Sheriff's Community Crime Prevention Unit (CCPU) was on patrol on Interstate 75 near Calhoun when he stopped an automobile driven by an Atlanta man for a traffic violation. The deputy became suspicious upon speaking with the man, and a CCPU drug sniffing canine responded to the scene. The dog alerted to the presence of drugs, and a search of the vehicle revealed approximately 1 1/2 pounds of 'vacuum packed' marijuana hidden within a stereo speaker. The man, identified as Anthony L. Blalock, age 33, of 2088 Penelope Street, Atlanta, Georgia, was taken into custody without incident. He was charged with Possession of Marijuana With Intent to Distribute. "I'm pleased with the results of the work of the canines, and their deputy-partners, in the past 3 1/2 years in uncovering illegal drug distribution. These dogs are a valuable asset to my overall strategy in dealing with unlawful drug trafficking in our community. The CCPU has been successful in apprehending violators on our roadways, and working in concert with the Major Crimes Unit in arresting and prosecuting those who choose to import this poison into our community", said Sheriff Mitch Ralston.




FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE... Thursday, August 30, 2012 Joint Investigation Nets Large Methamphetamine Distribution Operation Sheriff Mitch Ralston Reports:   On Wednesday, August 29, 2012, an investigation into methamphetamine trafficking ended with the arrest of a Sandy Springs man in the Sonoraville community. In a joint investigation along with the GBI, GSP,  ICE, and the Union County Sheriff's Office, Sheriff's Major Crimes detectives and deputies from the Community Crime Prevention Unit executed a search warrant at a private residence on the Fairmount Highway in Sonoraville. The agents and detectives seized approximately five (5) pounds of raw methamphetamine, also known as "ice". Information which led to the acquisition of the warrant hade been developed earlier in the (same) day, and a squad of Sheriff's detectives dressed in camouflage had the home under surveillance for several hours before the arrest was made.
Alexis Renteria Maldonado , age 20, of Sandy Springs, Georgia was arrested at the scene without incident. He has been charged with: Trafficking in Methamphetamine, Manufacturing Methamphetamine, and Possession of Methamphetamine With Intent to Distribute. A quantity of the methamphetamine was in liquid form, and detectives believe that Maldonado was in the processing of reducing the liquid to solid "ice" form when he was apprehended. Detectives believe that Maldonado had been staying at the residence in Sonoraville for less than 24 hours. The home had been rented by a third party, and detectives do not believe that the property owner had any knowledge of the illegal activity. The methamphetamine had a'street' value of approximately $100,000.00
"This was an excellent example of law enforcement teamwork, with satisfying results, and highlights the great relationship my Office enjoys with the GBI, State Patrol, and other Sheriff's Offices. I commend all of the agents, troopers, detectives, and deputy sheriffs who participated in this investigation, and I was especially pleased that this operation was not allowed to gain a foothold here before it was taken apart", said Sheriff Mitch Ralston
    




FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE... Friday, August 24, 2012 Detectives Arrest Calhoun Man For Aggravated Child Molestation Sheriff Mitch Ralston Reports: In early July (2012) Sheriff's detectives initiated an investigation into allegations of child molestation involving a 13 year old child in the Resaca community. After a six week investigation, detectives arrested Bobby Dwayne Jackson, age 37, of 335 Forrest Avenue, Calhoun, Georgia. Jackson was taken into custody on August 17 at his residence without incident, and charged with 2 counts of Aggravated Child Molestation. On Thursday, August 23, the Superior Court set Jackson's bond at $50,000.00. He was released from custody on bond that same date. The alleged molestation incidents spanned an eight year period. The case has been referred to the District Attorney's Office for prosecution.



  FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE Thursday, August 2, 2012 Detectives Capture Couple Believed to be Responsible for Dozen Residential Burglaries, "Christmas Bandits" Sheriff Mitch Ralston Reports: In mid July, 2012, Sheriffs detectives developed information regarding two individuals believed to be responsible for a series of residential burglaries in Gordon County and surrounding areas. Dubbed the "Christmas Bandits", deputy sheriffs and detectives had been in search of those responsible for a rash of home burglaries in the Sugar Valley - Hill City area since December, 2011. Acting on fresh information from a witness, detectives focused on MARK EDWARD SHORT, age 42, of 101 Walraven Way, Calhoun. On Tuesday, July 31, detectives executed a search warrant at Short's home in Plantation Place Subdivision and recovered about $20,000.00 worth of stolen household electronics, jewelry, collectibles, and tools. Short's wife, TINA SHORT, age 38, of the same address was arrested along with her husband without incident. Thus far, the pair has been charged in connection with 12 residential burglaries in Gordon County. Authorities in Whitfield County are also investigating. Detectives are in the process of returning the property to the rightful owners. The 12 burglaries were reported in a wide variety of communities, from Sugar Valley, to Lily Pond, to Ranger, and were as recent as last week. SHORT was on probation for previous burglary convictions at the time of his arrest. "I am pleased that my detective staff never gave up on these cases, and brought them to a successful resolution. The lead detective on this case held on to it like a pit bull, even when the leads were running out. It's always good to be able to return property to the rightful owners, as what is often stolen is irreplaceable. The people responsible for this will now be held accountable in our Superior Court",  said Sheriff Mitch Ralston.  



FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE... Monday, July 23, 2012 Sheriff Investigating Accidental Deaths of 2 Campers near Ryo Community Sheriff Mitch Ralston Reports: At approximately 6 p.m. Sunday, July 22, 2012, deputy sheriffs were dispatched  to a remote, rural area near the Ryo community in easternmost Gordon County in response to a report of the discovery of 2 bodies. After being unable to make contact by telephone, a family member discovered the bodies of James Lee Asher, age 64, of 4208 Terrace Drive, Ackworth, Georgia, and  David Wayne Johnson, age 50, of 53 Willow Bend, Cartersville, Georgia, inside a camper/trailer on private hunting club lands. Fire/Rescue and Coroner's personnel responded to the scene as well. Investigating officials suspect carbon monoxide poisoning, and no evidence of foul play was discovered. "This appears to have been a tragic accident, and our thoughts and prayers are with the families of the two victims.", said Sheriff Mitch Ralston.




  FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE... Tuesday, July 17, 2012
Remains Discovered Near Calhoun on June 8, 2012 Identified By GBI Crime Lab Sheriff Mitch Ralston Reports: The human remains discovered by a heavy machinery operator in an open field near State Route 156 (Red Bud Road) and Interstate 75 near Calhoun on June 8 have been identified by the GBI Crime Lab. Sheriff's detectives were notified by the GBI Division of Forensic Science (DOFS) that the body is that of Timmy Butler, age 36, whose last known address was given as Park Brook Apartments in Calhoun. Mr. Butler's family had reported him missing to the Sheriff's Office in late June.The identification was made using medical records and physical evidence gathered by Sheriff's detectives. The advanced state of decomposition of the remains made the identification process more difficult. As of this date, both the cause and manner of death are still undetermined by the DOFS Medical Examiner's Office. Although the investigation into the circumstances of the death remains active, detectives have developed no evidence of foul play at the present time. Anyone with any information regarding this matter is urged to call the Sheriff's Major Crimes Unit at 706.879.5487, or the Region 1 GBI Office at 706.624.1424.




FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE Friday, July 13th, 2012 Deputies Respond to Shooting on Booneford Road Sheriff Mitch Ralston Reports: At approxiamtely 12:00 am last night, Deputy Sheriffs responded to a shooting at a private residence in the Booneford Community.  Upon arrival of the responding deputies, they located one white male, age 49, with an apparent gun shot wound to the abdomen.  The victim was treated at the scene and transported by Gordon EMS to Floyd Medical Center where is he is listed in stable condition. A 15 year old juvenile was apprehended at the scene and questioned by detectives with the Sheriffs Office Detective Division.  The juvenile was subsequently arrested and charged with Aggravted Assault and detained at the Rome Youth Detention Center unitl a first appearance hearing can be scheduled with the Juvenile Court of Gordon County.


 

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE...

 

Saturday, July 7th, 2012

 

Deputies Respond to Report of Woman Struck by Automobile at Disturbance at Private Residence

 

 

Sheriff Mitch Ralston Reports:

 

At approximately 3:30 a.m. this morning ( July 7), uniformed deputy sheriffs were dispatched to a private residence on Dews Pond Road in response to a report of a woman being struck by a vehicle. Deputies arrived and determined that a 22 year old woman had been struck by an automobile driven by one JACOB KING, age 19, of 155 Long Point Road, Calhoun, Georgia. The woman sustained serious injury, and was flown to Erlanger Hospital in Chattanooga, Tennessee where she is believed to be in stable condition. KING was arrested and charged with DUI and Underage Possession of Alcohol. Deputies arrested another man, believed to be a relative of the injured woman, JACOB REVETTE, age 18 of 2331 Dews Pond Road for allegedly assaulting KING. REVETTE was charged with Battery and Criminal Damage to Property. The homeowner, one FABIAN KIMBRAL, age 45 of 2331 Dews Pond Road was also arrested and charged with Maintaining a Disorderly House and Contributing to the Delinquincy of Minors. All three men were lodged in the county jail pending bond.




 

 FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE...

 

Friday, June 22, 2012

 

Sheriff Investigating Shooting Incident on Joanne Street

 

 

Sheriff Mitch Ralston Reports:

 

At approximately 10 a.m. this morning, deputy sheriffs and other emergency personnel were dispatched to a private residence on Joanne Street near Calhoun regarding a shooting incident. Upon arrival, deputies found that a 29 year old man had been shot in the leg. The wound was not considered life threatening. The victim was removed and received medical treatment. Detectives arrived on scene, questioned witnesses, and executed a search warrant at the residence. Detectives subsequently arrested Justin G. Phipps, age 28, of 112 Joanne Street and charged him with Aggravated Assault and Possession of a Firearm During the Commission of a Felony. Investigating officers recovered the weapon believed to have been used in the incident. Phipps remains in the county jail pending bond. No other arrests are expected in connection with this event.



 

 

UPDATE: FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE...

Tuesday, June 19th, 2012 Autopsy Results For Unidentified Remains Discovered Near Calhoun June 8th Sheriff Mitch Ralston Reports: Sheriff's detectives investigating the discovery of an unidentified body near Calhoun on Friday, June 8th, have received a preliminary report from the State Crime Laboratory. The early results of the post-mortem examination revealed no evidence of 'foul play', particularly evidence of trauma. The body remains unidentified, and the Crime Laboratory is utilizing the lastest forensic anthropological methods to aid with identification. Anyone with any information regarding this case is urged to call the Sheriff's Major Crimes Unit at 706.629.1244 or the GBI Region 1 Office at 706.624.1424.

 



  FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE... Friday, June 15, 2012 Sheriff's Detectives Arrest Ranger Man, and Armuchee Man, on Unrelated Charges of Child Molestation in Two Seperate Incidents Sheriff Mitch Ralston Reports: On April 22, 2012, deputy sheriffs received a report of an incident of child molestation involving an 11 year old child in the Fairmount community. Sheriff's detectives initiated an investigation along with the Georgia Bureau of Investigation into the allegation which spanned several weeks. After interviews with a number of witnesses and the examination of other evidence, detectives and GBI agents arrested Larry E. Young, age 61, of 315 US Highway 411, Ranger, Georgia. Young was taken into custody without incident and charged with 1 count of child molestation against the victim. He remains in the county jail pending bond proceedings. In a seperate, unrelated incident, on June 9, 2012 deputy sheriffs received a report of multiple incidents of child molestation involving a 6 year old victim and a 12 year old victim in the Sonoraville community. Sheriff's detectives initiated an investigation into the allegations and as a result they arrested Joey S. Wooten, age 42, of 69 Turkey Mountain Road, Armuchee, Floyd County, Georgia. The events are believed to have taken place between January, 2012 and June, 2012. Wooten was arrested without incident By Gordon County and Floyd County authorities on June 13 at his home, and has been charged with 4 counts of child molestation, and 1 count of ulawful distribution of material to a minor (involving alleged pornography). He remains in the county jail pending bond proceedings.



FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE... Tuesday, June 12, 2012 Deputies Arrest Calhoun Man For Possession of Meth With Intent to Distribute Sheriff Mitch Ralston Reports: Around midnight, June 7th / 8th, 2012, deputy sheriffs assigned to the Community Crime Prevention Unit (CCPU) with canine ('K9') support were on patrol in the Plainville community and stopped a suspicious automobile for a traffic violation on State Route 53. The driver, Clifford Beebe, age 31, of 284 Buck Boulevard was subsequently arrested without incident after deputies found a variety of illegal substances. Beebe has been charged with: Possession of Methamphetamine With Intent to Distribute, Possession of Marijuana, and Possession of Schedule III Narcotics, as well as Violation of Probation. He remains in the County Jail.



FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE... Tuesday, June 12, 2012 Sheriff Investigates Apparent Suicide at Resaca I-75 Rest Area Sheriff Mitch Ralston Reports: At aproximately 1 p.m., Monday, June 11, 2012, deputy sheriffs were dispatched to the Interstate 75 Rest Area near Resaca in response to a 911 report of a gunshot wound victim. Deputies arrived and found the body of Anthony Raymond Savelli, age 20, of Ohio. Savelli had died as the result of an apparently self-inflicted gunshot wound. The body had been seen by a passerby who'd then notified E911. Investigating detectives do not suspect foul play. The joint investigation by the Sheriff's Office and Coroner's Office is continuing.



FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE... Tuesday, June 12, 2012 Deputies Arrest Two in Nighttime Residential Burlglary-in-Progress Sheriff Mitch Ralston Reports: At approximately 3:30 a.m. this morning (June 12, 2012), deputy sheriffs were dispatched to an unoccupied, private residence on Viking Drive near Calhoun in response to the report of a burglary in progress. Deputies responded within minutes and apprehended John A. Shaw, age 28, of 167 Azalea Drive, and a female accomplice, Candy Williams, age 36, of 210 Davis Drive at the scene. Detectives recovered a variety of household goods, and have charged Shaw and Williams with burglary. They are both in the County Jail pending bond proceedings.



FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE... Friday, June 8, 2012 Unidentified Remains Found Near Interstate 75 / Red Bud Road Near Calhoun Sheriff Mitch Ralston Reports: At about 10 a.m. today (June 8), a heavy machinery operator reported finding a body in an open field near Interstate 75 and Red Bud Road (SR 156) near Calhoun. Deputy sheriffs were sent to the scene and saw what appeared to be the body of a male individual laying in the field. The location was very near the city limits, so Calhoun police responded as well. Detectives on the scene estimated that the body had been in the area for several days or weeks, as it was in an advanced stage of decomposition. The Georgia Bureau of Investigation (GBI) is assisting the local authorities with the investigation. Both Sheriff's Office and GBI Crime Scene Technicians responded to search for evidence and information.
Personnel from the Calhoun Police and Fire Departments, Gordon County EMS, and Emergency Management all assisted with a search of the area. No idenification was found on or about the body, which has been sent to the State Crime Laboratory in Decatur to undergo a post - mortem examination.  No cause of death has yet been determined.
The body appeared to be that of a male, of undetermined age / race. The body was dressed in blue athletic - type shorts with a yellow lining, black Nike athletic shoes sized approximately 8 1/2 - 9 1/2, and a camouflage baseball cap with the inscription "Milan Supply" on front in red letters and "Penyair Water" on back in blue letters.
Anyone with information regarding this discovery or a missing person fitting this description is urged to call the Sheriff's Office Major Crimes Unit at 706.629.1244 or the Region 1 GBI Office at 706.624.1424.



FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE...UPDATE REGARDING JUNE 1 MURDERS IN RANGER COMMUNITY
Wednesday, June 6th, 2012 Sheriff Mitch Ralston Reports: Douglas Glenn Parker, age 54, charged with the June 1, 2012 murders of his mother Mrs. Edna Fields, age 71, and his sister Rebecka June Wade, age 45 at the Fields home in the Ranger community, is now in the Gordon County Jail. Both Parker and his wife Janet K. Parker, age 54, of 152 Dawnville Road, Dalton, were retreived from Cherokee County , North Carolina where they'd been held in custody since June 1st. Both defendants waived extradition and agreed to return to Georgia. Janet Parker has been charged with Theft after she was found in possession of property believed to have been taken from the Fields home. Detectives and GBI agents investigating the murders have recovered the firearm believed to have been involved in the deaths. Parker had been arrested by the Sheriff's Office for a battery offense against his mother on May 21st, and had been released from custody on $10,000.00 bond. Sheriff's MCU detectives and GBI agents from the Calhoun GBI Office are continuing their investigation, and additional charges may be filed later.



  FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE... Wednesday, June 6th, 2012 Sheriff's Detectives Make Arrests/Issue Warrants in Recent Unrelated Thefts/Burglaries Sheriff Mitch Ralston Reports: On May 24, 2012, the Sheriff's Office received a report of the theft of a piece of farm machinery known as a 'hay tedder' from a rural address on Miller's Ferry Road in the Plainville community. The machinery was valued at over $6000.00. Sheriff's detectives conducted an investigation into the theft which led them to a third party in the Ranger community where the machinery was recovered. Detectives do not believe that this third party was aware that the machinery was stolen. Following fresh leads, detectives subsequently arrested Stanley Lee Taylor, age 28, of 133 Taylor Bridge Road, and charged him with Theft by Taking and Theft by Deception. He is in custody in the county jail pending bond. No other arrests are expected in this case.
On May 29, 2012, the Sheriff's Office received a report of a commercial burglary at a business, Midland Communications, on School House Road in the Red Bud community. The perpetrators attempted to open a safe, albeit unsuccessfully. Investigating detectives developed leads which led them to arrest Larry Wayne Griffin, age 37, of 911 School House Road. Griffin was a former employee of the business. He has been charged with Burglary, and Theft by Taking (felony) regarding the theft of business funds. Griffin is in the county jail pending bond. No other arrests are expected in this case.
On June 4, 2012, deputy sheriffs responded to the report of a residential burglary on Riverbend Road in the Plainville community in which the victim reported the theft of firearms, furniture, and household items. Detectives gathered physical evidence from the scene and canvassed the area. Later that same day, deputies, acting on a tip, went to a home on Miller's Ferry Road near Plainville where they discovered a car and trailer which was found to contain a large amount of the stolen goods. Detectives questioned several persons there, and have subsequently issued warrants for the arrest of:
William Roy Massey, a white/male age 38, LKA in Plainville area, and
Lisa Michelle Thomas, a white/female, age 35, LKA 1902 Millers Ferry Road
Anyone with knowledge of the whereabouts of Massey and/or Thomas are urged to call the Sheriff's Office at 706-629-1244 or 911.



FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE... Saturday, June 2, 2012 Sheriff and GBI Investigating Double-Homicide in Ranger, Suspects in Custody SHERIFF MITCH RALSTON REPORTS:
At approximately 11:45 p.m. last night (June 1), deputy sheriffs were dispatched to a private residence at 932 US Highway 411 in the Ranger community in eastern Gordon County in response to the report of a double homicide. Minutes later deputies arrived and entered the home where they found the bodies of Mrs. Edna Sue Fields, age 71, of 932 US Highway 411, Ranger, and Rebecka June Wade, age 45, of 237 Flora Drive, Calhoun. The bodies had initially been discovered by family members who'd became concerned after Mrs. Wade had been late for an appointment. Both victims had suffered apparent gunshot wounds. Deputies secured the scene and summoned the Sheriff and detectives.
The Sheriff's Office Major Crimes Unit (MCU) and Crime Scene Unit immediately initiated an on scene investigation. Sheriff Ralston also summoned assistance from the local GBI Office to aid detectives with the scene and the continuation of the investigation. Detectives removed numerous articles of physical evidence from the crimes scene and rapidly developed leads which indiciated that the suspect was a family member by whom Ms. Fields had recenctly been victimized. MCU detectives and GBI agents continued their work throughout the night, interviewing witnesses, gathering evidence, and acquiring electronic communication information.
Following leads they'd developed from witnesses and physical evidence from the scene, and utilizing recently acquired technological resources, MCU detectives located the suspect, identified as one Douglas Glenn Parker, age 54, in Murphy, North Carolina. Parker's  last known address was listed as 152 Dawnville Road, Dalton Georgia. Parker is being held in the Cherokee County, North Carolina jail. On Saturday morning (June 2), warrants from Gordon County were issued charging Parker with the murders of Mrs. Fields, believed to be his mother, and Mrs. Wade, believed to be his sister. MCU detectives believe the murders were the result of an ongoing domestic problem within the family. MCU detectives and GBI agents have identified another person of interest whom they believe to have knowledge of the murders. This second person has not been charged in connection with the deaths at this time, but is in police custody. Sheriff Ralston said, "This was a vile crime in an otherwise peaceful community. Two innocent lives have been taken, and the family of the victims are in our thoughts and prayers. While we can't restore a lost loved one, I am pleased that we have resolved this case swiftly and the persons responsible will be held accountable before a jury of Gordon County citizens. I'd like to commend the E911 operators, deputies, MCU detectives, our local GBI Office, and our Coroner's Office for their hard work in this case".
 



FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE... Friday, May 25th, 2012 Sheriff's Major Crimes Unit Charges 3 in Methamphetamine Conspiracy/Trafficking Investigation Sheriff Mitch Ralston Reports: Sheriff's Office Major Crimes Unit detectives have charged 3 men after a two month investigation of Trafficking in Methamphetamine / Conspiracy to Traffic in Methamphetamine. A traffic stop of a suspicious vehicle near the Dews Pond community by deputies in April, 2012 led to the initiation of the case.  The investigation, which reached into neighboring Murray County, involved the Murray County Sheriff's Office, the GBI, and State Parole authorities. Gordon County Sheriff's MCU detectives seized over a pound of processed methamphetamine, and a total of over $50,000.00 in cash. Two searches of two privates residences in Gordon County were conducted, and a related search warrant was executed in Murray County. A Gordon County search warrant executed at the home of one of the defendants near Ranger resulted in the seizure of an extensive amount of documents, and a (parole) search of a second home on Watercrest Drive near Calhoun resulted in the seizure of several ounces of methamphetamine for resale and several thousand dollars in cash. During the search of the Watercrest Drive home, MCU detectives in camouflage were positioning themselves to conduct a surveillance in the woods behind the house  when one of the detectives literally stepped into a buried methamphetamine "drop". State Parole Officers assisted the detectives at the Watercrest Drive address.
  Julius Robert Boswell, a/k/a "Pops", age 71, of 168 Watercrest Drive has been arrested and charged with methamphetmine trafficking, conspiracy, and parole violation. At the time of his arrest, Boswell was on parole for a previous methamohetamine trafficking conviction. Two other defendants are being sought by deputies and detectives on methamphetamine trafficking and conspiracy charges. Sheriff Ralston said, "The MCU detectives did a great job on this case. They all worked long hours, conducted extensive surveillances, and tediously combed through a massive amount of documents in search of evidence. They were in the right place at the right time to find the buried methamphetamine and the hidden money. They 'connected all the dots' to link together the three defendants in this conspiracy".



FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE... Tuesday, May 22, 2012 Sheriff Investigates Hanging Death Sheriff Mitch Ralston Reports: Yesterday afternoon, Monday May 21st, deputy sheriffs were dispatched to a private residence on Daisey Street in the Resaca community in response to a reported hanging. Jennifer Nichole Harris, age 19, was removed from the scene by emergency medical personnel, and was later pronounced dead. The victim was discovered by a family member, who called 911. Detectives do not believe foul play to have been involved in the death. The investigation is ongoing by Sheriff's and Coroner's personnel.



FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE... Monday, April 16, 2012 Deputies Arrest Calhoun Woman For Attempted Armed Robbery of Convenience Store Sheriff Mitch Ralston Reports: At approximately 6 a.m. Sunday morning (April 15, 2012) deputy sheriffs were dispatched to the Mapco convenience store at State Route 53 / State Route 53 Spur near Calhoun in response to the report of an attempted robbery. The clerk there reported being approached by a white/female armed with a hand saw who demanded money. When the clerk refused and activated the store's alarm, the 'saw bandit' fled from the building. About 4 hours later, a deputy checked a car on Interstate 75 near Calhoun which had ran out of gas. The deputy saw a hand saw inside the car, along with other evidence of the robbery earlier that morning. The male occupants were detained for questioning and later released. Based upon the surveillance video from the store and other evidence, sheriff's deputies and detectives arrested Brittany Anne Birdyshaw, age 25, of 203 Dover Road. Birdyshaw was taken into custody at her home without incident and was charged by detectives with Criminal Attempt to Commit Armed Robbery. She is currently being held in the county jail pending bond.
Sheriff Ralston said, "I'm glad no one was injured in this incident. Obviously, no one put a great deal of thought or planning into this, and my deputies were able to resolve the matter quickly".


FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE... Tuesday, April 3, 2012 Inmate Dies In Custody After Allegedly Swallowing Drugs Before Being Arrested Sheriff Mitch Ralston Reports: At approximately 8:50pm, Monday night, April 2, 2012, uniformed deputy sheriffs stopped a suspicious automobile near US 41 / State Route 225 in Calhoun. The driver, subsequently identified as one MATTHEW DUANE COBB, age 28, of Dews Pond Road, Calhoun, Georgia, was arrested for DUI Drugs/Alcohol and other related offenses. A female passenger was also arrested on an outstanding warrant. Detectives were summoned to the scene, and COBB told the officers that he'd swallowed a package of drugs before he was stopped. The deputies took COBB directly to Gordon Hospital Emergency Room where he was treated and released to the county jail. He was held in observation at the jail overnight, but complained to jail staff of difficulty breathing at about 7:15am this morning. An ambulance was dispatched to the jail and COBB was transported to the Emergency Room. He was pronounced dead a short time later. The Georgia Bureau of Investigation (GBI) is investigating the death, and a post-mortem examination will be conducted at the State Crime Laboratory as is required by state law.



   FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE... Thursday, March 29th, 2012 Ranger Man Arrested, Charged With Aggravated Assault, After 2 Hour Standoff With Deputy Sheriffs Sheriff Mitch Ralston Reports: At aproximately 5:50 pm today, uniformed deputy sheriffs were dispatched to a private residence on T. Johnson Road near the (unincorporated) Taylortown community in response to a reported domestic dispute in which shots were reported to have been fired. Deputies located the victims who stated that they'd been threatened by the defendant, subsequently identified as one Herbert McManus, age 47, of 796 T. Johnson Road, Ranger, Georgia, who was armed with a handgun. They also reported that the defendant had fired a number of shots. Deputies surrounded the home, and a Sheriff's Office negotiator attempted to talk with the defendant, who refused to surrender. Detectives obtained a warrant for the defendant's arrest. At the scene, Sheriff Ralston deployed the Sheriff's Office Crisis Response Unit.  The CRU deputies subsequently employed audible diversionary devices ("flash/bangs") to distract the suspect as they forcibly entered the home. The surprised suspect was immediately taken into custody. No one was injured and deputies removed McManus from the scene.
Sheriff's detectives located the weapon believed to have been used in thye assault, a handgun, along with several other firearms inside the home. McManus has been charged with Aggravated Assault, and is awaiting bond proceedings in the county jail. Sheriff Ralston said, " I am pleased that my deputies swiftly and safely resolved a very dangerous situation. The CRU has been specially trained to handle this type of event, and they performed well. Mr. McManus will now have his day in court with a jury of his peers".



        FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE... Wednesday, March 28, 2012 Ohio Couple Arrested For Trafficking in Cocaine & Possession of Marijuana With Intent to Distribute Sheriff Mitch Ralston Reports: On Tuesday night (March 27th, 2012) at about 9:45 pm, uniformed deputy sheriffs assigned to the Community Crime Prevention Unit (CCPU) stopped a Virginia automobile for a traffic violation on Interstate 75 near Calhoun. A subsequent search of this vehicle revealed approximately 1/2 kilo of cocaine and over a pound of processed marijuana. The occupants, Mark A. Calcaterra, age 35, and Nakenya L. Calcaterra, age 36, of 1335 Stewart Street, Dayton, Ohio, were both arrested without incident and charged with Trafficking in Cocaine and Possession of Marijuana With Intent to Distribute. Both are lodged in the county jail pending bond proceedings.



   FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE... Sunday, March 18, 2012 Calhoun Man Arrested in Connection With Death of Infant Sheriff Mitch Ralston Reports: At approximately 2 p.m. yesterday, Saturday, March 17, 2012, emergency medical personnel were dispatched to a private residence on Beason Road near the Farmville community in response to a report of an infant in physical distress. The 3 month old female infant was taken to Gordon Hospital Emergency Room by ambulance. The medical personnel worked diligently to save the baby's life, but she was pronounced dead at the hospital. Medical personnel became suspicious and called for deputy sheriffs to be sent to the emergency room facility. The deputies observed evidence of recent physical injuries consistent with abuse, so sheriff's detectives and a special agent from the local GBI office who specializes in child abuse investigations responded to the hospital. The father of the child, Billy Aaron Jones, age 20, of 634 Beason Road, Calhoun, was subsequently arrested in connection with the child's death. Detectives and GBI agents worked late into the night locating and interviewing potential witnesses, and also executed a search warrant at the residence. Jones will be charged with Felony Murder and Cruelty to Children, and remains in jail pending judicial proceedings. Investigating officers do not expect other arrests in this case. Sheriff Mitch Ralston said, "This was a horrible tragedy in which an innocent life was lost. Our thoughts and prayers are with the family. My detectives and our GBI colleagues moved quickly to resolve this case, and now the defendant will face justice in our local court system."


FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE... Monday, March 5th, 2012 3 From Plainville Arrested in Methamphetamine, Racketeering, Conspiracy: Firearms and Drugs Seized Sheriff Mitch Ralston Reports: Sheriff's Major Crimes Unit (MCU) detectives have arrested 3 people, and are seeking several others in connection with a methamphetamine/racketeering/conspiracy investigation which was initiated last month. Today, detectives and uniformed deputy sheriffs simultaneously executed search and arrest warrants at 2 private residences and a warehouse in the Plainville community in the culmination of the investigation. Three people were arrested at the scenes without incident: Steven Todd Perry, age 37, of 932 Moores Ferry Road, Plainville, charged under the RICO Act with: Conspiracy to Traffic in Methamphetamine, Party to the Crime of Trafficking in Methamphetamine, Sale of Methamphetamine, Sale of Schedule IV Drugs.
Terrie Leigh Swift, age 23, of 1570 Moores Ferry Road, Plainville,, charged under the RICO Act with: Conspiracy to Traffic in Methamphetamine, Trafficking in Methamphetamine, Sale of Methamphetamine.
Wayne Spencer Swingle, age 28, of 1570 Moores Ferry Road, Plainville, charged under the RICO Act with: Conspiracy to Traffic in Methamphetamine, Trafficking in Methamphetamine, Sale of Methamphetamine, Party to the Crimes of Sale of Methamphetamine and Schedule IV Drugs. Detectives are seeking a number of other defendants named in arrest warrants who are still at large.
Executing the search warrants, detectives and deputies seized over 50 firearms, including assault rifles, hand guns, ammunition, and closed circuit electronic surveillance equipment. Deputies also discovered a weapons target on which was drawn a 'sheriff' badge, "loaded" hypodermic syringes, and related items. Several ounces of methamphetamine were obtained as evidence from the locations which were searched. All 3 defendants are being held in the county jail pending bond proceedings. Sheriff Mitch Ralston said, "Our detective unit worked long hours putting this case together. It involved many hours of outdoor surveillance, undercover work, and an array of affidavits and warrants. The deputies who executed the search and arrest warrants did so effectively, apprehending the defendants while insuring no one, innocent or otherwise, was hurt. These defendants will now go into the court system to answer to a jury of people from our community."
                                                        


PUBLIC SERVICE ANNOUNCEMENT...
6 p.m. Friday, March 2, 2012
SHERIFF MITCH RALSTON ANNOUNCES:
NORTHWESTERN GEORGIA IS EXPECTED TO EXPERIENCE A SEVER WEATHER OUTBREAK WITHIN THE NEXT 8 HOURS. THIS STORM FRONT IS PREDICTED TO CONTAIN AND/OR SPAWN VIOLENT THUNDERSTORMS AND/OR TORNADOES. THE FRONT IS EXPECTED TO ARRIVE AT OR NEAR CALHOUN/GORDON COUNTY AT ABOUT 7 P.M. TONIGHT. THIS DANGEROUS STORM SYSTEM HAS HAS ALREADY PRODUCED DEADLY TORNADOES IN TENNESSEE, ALABAMA, AND OTHER STATES.
THE SHERIFF'S OFFICE WILL MAINTAIN NORMAL PATROL ACTIVITIES THROUGHOUT THE COUNTY UNLESS INTERUPTED BY STORM CONDITIONS. IN THE EVENT OF SEVERE OR CATASTROPHIC STORM, THIS OFFICE WILL MAINTAIN PUBLIC ORDER AND SAFETY ACTING IN CONCERT WITH, AND IN SUPPORT OF EMERGENCY MANAGEMENT, FIRE/RESCUE, AND EMS PERSONNEL. OUR PRIMARY MISSION IS THE PRESERVATION OF LIFE AND THE PROTECTION OF PROPERTY.


FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE... Wednesday, February 29th, 2012 Deputy Sheriffs Arrest Indianapolis Couple For Trafficking in Cocaine and 'Ecstasy' Sheriff Mitch Ralston Reports: At about 1:45 p.m. Tuesday afternoon (February 28th), uniformed deputy sheriffs from the Community Crime Prevention Unit (CCPU) stopped an Indiana automobile on Interstate 75 near Calhoun for a traffic violation. A subsequent search of the interior of the car revealed nearly a quarter pound of cocaine and over 100 "ecstacy" tablets. The occupants, Andrew Nelson Scott III, age 40, and Sherry Rena Scott, age 40, both of Indianapolis, Indiana, were arrested without resistance for Trafficking in Cocaine and Ecstacy, and taken to the county jail, where they remain pending bond proceedings.  


 FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE... Friday, February 24th, 2012 Troopers, Deputies Arrest North Carolina Man For Trafficking Marijuana Sheriff Mitch Ralston Reports:
In a continuing joint effort with the State Patrol, a Greensboro, North Carolina man was arrested this morning at approximately 8:30 a.m. on Interstate 75 near Calhoun for trafficking marijuana. State troopers, assisted by deputy sheriffs from the Community Crime Prevention Unit, stopped Alfredo David Castillo in the northbound Interstate lane for a traffic related offense. A subsequent search of the man's Volkswagen Jetta revealed nearly 100 pounds of processed marijuana. Castillo was arrested without incident and his vehicle impounded. Castillo, age 20, of 569 E Main Street, Greensboro, North Carolina, is being held in the county jail pending bond.
Sheriff Mitch Ralston said: "We will continue partnering with our state law enforcement colleagues to vigorously combat the trafficking of illegal drugs, contraband, and fugitives into our county on the Interstate highway system."


      FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE... 3 p.m., Monday, February 20th, 2012 Sheriff, GBI Investigating Shooting Death of Local Man in Domestic Dispute Sheriff Mitch Ralston Reports: At approximately 1 p.m. today, deputy sheriffs were dispatched to a private residence on Rhinehart Drive in the Red Bone Ridges community in eastern Gordon County in response to the report of a shooting incident. Deputies arrived within minutes and found the body of a male individual who appeared to have suffered gunshot wounds. The deputies took a man at the scene into custody in connection with the death. Sheriff's detectives have recovered the weapon believed to have been used in the shooting. The Sheriff's Crime Scene Unit, along with the GBI Crime Scene Unit, is on the scene at this time gathering evidence. Agents from the local GBI Office here in Calhoun are assisting Sheriff's detectives and the County Coroner's Office with the investigation. More details will be made public as the investigation progresses. UPDATE, 8:30 P.M., Monday, February 20th, 2012: The person shot and killed during an apparent domestic dispute on Rhinehart Drive today has been identified as: Steve Gary Rhinehart , age 62, of 179 Rhinehart Drive, Ranger, Georgia. He apparently died as a result of multiple gunshot wounds. Investigating officers believe the shooting resulted as the culmination of a domestic dispute with his son, Matthew Joel Rhinehart, age 35, of the same address. Matthew Rhinehart was immediately arrested at the scene by uniformed deputy sheriffs who'd responded to the 911 call for help. The body of the deceased man was sent to the State Crime Laboratory in Decatur, Georgia to undergo a post-mortem examination. Matthew Rhinehart is being held in the County Jail. GBI agents leading the investigation plan to charge him with Murder. Sheriff Mitch said, "This was a tragic event in which a life was needlessly lost. I am pleased that my deputies responded rapidly and quickly effected the arrest of the accused, as well as recovering what we believe to be the weapon involved. I also want to thank the local office of the GBI for all their investigative help. Mr. Rhinehart will now face a jury of his peers to answer for his actions."  


 FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE... Wednesday, February 15, 2012 Sheriff Arrests Ohio Man For Robbery, Six Others For Gambling Offenses in Related Cases at Resaca Truck Stop
Sheriff Mitch Ralston Reports: At approximately 10:30am yesterday (February 14), deputy sheriffs responded to reports of suspicious activity at the Flying 'J' Truckstop in Resaca. An Illinois man reported to detectives that another man had snatched away cash from him in the vicinity of a "floating" card game in the truckstop parking lot. Meanwhile, the sheriff was travelling on Interstate 75 in an unmarked vehicle and observed a vehicle fitting the description of one involved fleeing from the scene. As the sheriff followed this vehicle away from the truck stop, his vehicle was almost struck by a second, similar automobile travelling in the same direction. The sheriff followed both suspicious vehicles to Exit 318 where they exited. At the bottom of the off- ramp, the occupants of both automobiles "switched" cars and then drove back onto Interstate 75 with the sheriff in pursuit. The sheriff then summoned detectives and state troopers from the local GSP post to stop both cars. The sheriff and his detectives stopped one car as troopers stopped the other near Calhoun. Six men were apprehended and taken to the county jail. Detectives subsequently filed the following charges: John Branham, age 54, of Cinncinate, Ohio, Robbery (unarmed), and Illegal Gambling Walter Wathen, age 44, of Cinncinate, Ohio, Party to the Crime of Illegal Gambling Ronald Burgin, age 55, of Cinncinati, Ohio, Party to the Crime of Illegal Gambling Roy Tucker, age 35, of Covington, Kentucky, Party to the Crime of Illegal Gambling John Lucas, age 61, of Cinncinate, Ohio, Party to the Crime of Illegal Gambling Jonathan Brandenburg, age 37, of Harrison, Ohio, Party to the Crime of Illegal Gambling Everett Scott Holford, age 57, of Peoria Heights, Illinois, Gambling. Holford alleged that he was robbed of money "snatched" out of his hand. Sheriff Ralston praised the 911 operators for obtaining detailed and accurate descriptions from witnesses which facilitated the quick arrests, and said,   "Our community is not the place where this type of foolishness will be tolerated".


FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE... Monday, February 13, 2012 Deputies Arrest Tennessee Man on Interstate 75 For Possession of Marijuana With Intent to Distribute
Sheriff Mitch Ralston Reports: At approximately 4 pm today (FEB 13), deputy sheriffs from the Community Crime Prevention Unit (CCPU) stopped a 2011 Chevrolet Impala travelling north on Interstate 75 in Gordon County for a traffic violation. After noting a suspicious odor, the deputy used his canine 'partner' to conduct a search of the automobile. The search revealed approximately 2 pounds of processed marijuana in the interior of the vehicle. The driver, one Samuel D. Moore, of Greeneville, Tennessee was arrested at the scene. He is charged with Possession of Marijuana With Intent to Distribute, and is lodged in the County Jail pending bond proceedings.


FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE...
Public Service Announcement From the Sheriff's Auxiliary
Monday, February 13th, 2012
Sheriff Ralston Announces 4th Annual "Public Safety Basketball Challenge" Sheriff Mitch Ralston & the Sheriff's Auxiliary announces the "Fourth Annual Public Safety Basketball Challenge" on Saturday, March 3rd, 2012 at the Sonoraville High School Gym. Doors open at 5 pm and the tip off will be at 6 pm. Players will participate from the City of Calhoun Fire and Police Departments, and the Gordon County Fire Department and Sheriff's Office.
Firts Responder police, fire/rescue, sheriff's, and emergency medical vehicles will be on hand for public viewing, along with a Rescue Helicopter.
ADMISSION IS FREE. Donations will be accepted and concessions will be sold with proceeds benefitting the Winner's Club and the Sheriff's Auxiliary.


FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: PUBLIC SERVICE ANNOUNCEMENT... Wednesday, February 8, 2012     Fatal Crash Closes Interstate 75 Southbound Near Exit 320   Sheriff Mitch Ralston Reports: At approximately 4:30 a.m. today, a crash involving a tractor-trailer occured on Interstate 75 Southbound in Gordon County. All lanes are closed, and the roadway was damaged from heavy equipment. My deputies are on the scene along with State Troopers who are investigating the accident. The victim was a male individual from Indiana. Identification is being withheld pending notification of the next of kin. We are waiting on the Georgia DOT to examine the roadway and advise us when the lanes will be reopened.


 FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE... Sheriff's Office Arrests 8 in Methamphetamine Conspiracy  Tuesday, January 31st, 2012 In the culmination of a 2 month investigation by the Sheriff's Office's Major Crimes Unit (MCU) into methamphetamine trafficking here, Sheriff Ralston announced the arrest of 7 men and 1 woman for a variety of conspiracy, drug trafficking/distribution, and weapons violations. The case was an offshoot of an MCU investigation involving the arrest of a Tucker Hollow Road man, James Lamar Massingill for methamphetamine trafficking on December 8th, 2011.
Following several weeks of surveillance, undercover work, and the execution of search and arrest warrants, Sheriff's MCU detectives have arrested and charged the following individuals:
1. Marvin Shane Kinsey, age 39, of 136 Baker Circle, Calhoun, for Trafficking in Methamphetamine, Conspiracy to Traffic in Methamphetamine, weapons violations. He is also charged with probation violation.
2. Terrell Steven Russell, age 51, of 101 Buckhorn Drive, Calhoun, for Possession of Methamphetamine, Possession Schedule IV drugs, and viuolation of probation.
3. Michael D. Davis, age 32, of 232 Love Bridge Road, for Possession of Methamphetamine With Intent to Distribute, Possession of Schedule III Drugs With Intent to Distribute, Possession of Marijuana, and Possession of Dangerous Drugs
4. Cynta Marie Stewart, age 30, of 356 Dover Road, Resaca, for Possession of Methamphetamine With Intent to Distribute, Possession of Schedule III Drugs With Intent to Distribute, Possession of Marijuana, and Possession of Dangerous Drugs
Kinsey, Russell, Davis, and Stewart were all arrested together at 105 Ridgecrest Drive where a search warrant was executed on January 24th..
5. Francisco Abundiz, a/k/a "Cisco", age 19 of 202 Wilson Street, Calhoun, for Trafficking in Methamphetamine, Conspiracy to Traffic in Methamphetamine, Possession of Methamphetamine With Intent to Distribute, (felony) Possession of Marijuana, and several weapons violations.
6. Charles Homer Tankersly, age 40, of 202 Wilson Street, Calhoun, for Possession of Methamphetamine With Intent to Distribute, Possession of Marijuana, and weapons violations.
7. Johnny Lee Hunter, a/k/a "Sleepy", age 17, of Circle Drive, Calhoun, for Possession of Methamphetamine, Possession of Less Than 1 Ounce of Marijuana, and Giving False Statements
8. Cody Robert Murray, age 19, of 202 Wilson Street, Calhoun, for Possession of Methamphetamine With Intent to Distribute, Possession of Schedule IV Drugs, Possession of Less Than 1 Ounce of Marijuana, and weapons violations.
Abundiz,  Hunter, and Tankersly were all arrested Saturday, January 28th, after a 4 hour standoff with authorities, after deputy sheriffs from the Community Crimes Prevention Unit (CCPU) located Abundiz at a house on Wilson Street in Calhoun. Abundiz was wanted at that time pursuant to a warrant from the Sheriff's Office for Failure to Appear in Superior Court for previous drug related charges. Deputies surrounded the residence for about 2 hours during which Abundiz refused to surrender before Sheriff Ralston summoned the Georgia State Patrol's Special Weapons And Tactics (SWAT) team. MCU detectives had developed information that Abundiz was very heavily armed and intended to resist aprehension. The State Patrol SWAT team used an armored vehicle to force entry, and fired chemical irritant agents into the dwelling which quickly convinced those inside to surrender peacefully.  There was no further resistance to arrest, and all of the defendants were jailed without incident.
Later that same day, MCU detectives executed a second search warrant at the 202 Wilson Street address, and took a large quantity of physical evidence into custody.
Murray was arrested Monday night by CCPU deputies at a seperate location. During the course of this investigation, detectives took approximately a quarter pound of methamphetamine, approximately one-half pound of marijuana, 9 illegal or illegally-held firearms, closed circuit surveillance cameras, night vision devices, and $5,000.00 in cash into custody.
Sheriff Ralston expressed his gratitude to the State Patrol's SWAT team for their assistance in apprehending Abundiz and his companions at the home on Wilson Street, and to the Calhoun Police for their support Friday night and Saturday morning in the area.
"All of the Detectives from MCU and deputies from CCPU who worked very diligently on this case, my other deputies and senior personnel who responded to the baricade scene, and all of the other troopers, policemen,  emergency medical personnel, and E911 personnel who did an especially fine job of coordinating communications in a trying situation and who all supported this operation have my sincere thanks for their help. Now these defendants will face a jury of their peers in our court system here to answer for the actions for which they are accused.", said Sheriff Mitch Ralston


    FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE... Tuesday, January 31, 2012 Deputy Sheriffs Find Hanged Man in Resaca Sheriff Mitch Ralston Reports: On Monday afternoon, January 30th, deputy sheriffs and state probation officers went to a residence on Battlefield Parkway in Resaca regarding a probation matter. Deputies forced entry into the residence when no response was given and found the body of the male occupant hanging, apparently dead for some time. Investigating detectives do not believe that foul play was involved. The decedent's identity will not be released until a next-of-kin can be notified. The investigation into the matter by the Sheriff's Office and County Coroner's Office is continuing.


FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE... Friday, January 13th, 2012 Sheriff's Detectives Investigating Injuries Sustained By 2 Month Old Infant in Plainville Sheriff Mitch Ralston Reports: On Wednesday afternoon, January 11th, Sheriff's detectives received a report of a severely injured two month old infant. The child had initially been taken from Plainville to Floyd Medical Center in Rome, Georgia, but was air lifted to Scottish Rite Children's Hospital in Atlanta that same evening. An investigation into the events surrounding the child's injuries was initated by Sheriff's detectives, who subsequently arrested WILLIAM STANLEY CORNETT, age 28, of 212A Scott Drive, Plainville, Georgia. CORNETT was taken into custody by Gordon County deputies at the Scottish Rite Hospital in Atlanta, at approximately 3:30am, January 12th. He has been charged with Aggravated Assault and Cruelty to Children in the First Degree. The child is still hospitalized in critical condition. Detectives executed a search warrant at the CORNETT residence that same night. CORNETT was on probation for a previous criminal conviction(s) in Floyd County, Georgia. CORNETT remains in the county jail pending judicial proceedings.


FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE... Friday, January 6th, 2012 GBI and Sheriff Investigating Death of Michigan Woman Sheriff Mitch Ralston Reports: At approximately 8 pm Thursday evening (January 5), uniformed deputy sheriffs and other emergency personnel were dispatched to the Interstate 75 (Southbound) Rest Area in Resaca in response to the report of a death. A truck driver reported that upon stopping in the rest area, his female acquaintence with whom he was travelling was "unresponsive". Deputies found the body of Ester Powell-Scott, age 52, of Plainwell, Michigan, in the "sleeper" compartment of the tractor/truck. Fire/Rescue personnel attempted but could not revive her. Special Agents of the Regional Georgia Bureau of Investigation (GBI Office)were summoned to the scene to investigate the circumstances surrounding Powell-Scott's death. The body was sent to the State Crime Laboratory in Decatur, Georgia for a post-mortem examination. The County Coroner's Office is also investigating this incident.


FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE... Tuesday, January 3, 2012 'Bowling Ball Bandit' Arrested on I-75 After Scottsville Convenience Store Burglary Sheriff Mitch Ralston Reports: Near midnight on Friday, December 30, 2011, deputy sheriffs responded to an alarm at a convenience store on Highway 53 in the Scottsville community to find that the building had been burglarized by smashing in a window. Deputies found a bowling ball at the scene which detectives believe was used to break the glass. Although deputies arrived 9 minutes after receiving the alarm, the burglar had already fled the scene. The store owner reported that Georgia lottery tickets and over-the-counter medications had been taken.  Approximately 6 hours later, Catoosa County deputy sheriffs arrested one Jeremy Kenneth Thompson, age 25, of Millers Ferry Road, on Interstate 75 near Ringgold, Georgia for Driving Under the Influence. Gordon County Sheriff's detectives were notified and subsequently executed a search warrant on Thompson's automobile. They recovered lottery tickets and over-the-counter medication believed to have been taken in the burglary, as well as broken glass, and also clothing believed to have been worn by the perpetrator in a surveillance video. Thompson is being held in the Catoosa County Jail charged with DUI and Receiving Stolen Property. A warrant has been issued from the Gordon County Sheriff's Office charging him with Burglary. Sheriff Ralston praised the Catoosa County deputies for their alertness and initiative, and said that Thompson's case will now be referred to our local Gordon County court system to be resolved.


 2011 Press Releases


   PUBLIC SAFETY ANNOUNCEMENT... Saturday, December 31, 2011 Sheriff Urges Caution and Care on New Years Eve  Sheriff Mitch Ralston Announces: "Don't drink and drive. Ever. Be aware of road conditions and traffic volume. Be especially cautious if you are handling fireworks. Let's all join together to make this a happy and safe New Years Eve."

 


FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE...

Thursday, December 29, 2011

Detectives Arrest 2 in Connection With Entering Autos, Thefts

Sheriff Mitch Ralston Reports:

Between December 23, and Decmber 26, 2011, the Sheriff's Office received reports of 6 automobiles being burglarized in the Newtown Community. Detectives initiated an investigation and have subsequently arrested 2 men: Billy Ross Burgess, age 18, of 416 Beamer Circle, and Christopher Rocky Sewell, age 27, of 117 Georgia Drive in connection with the incidents. Ross has  been charged with 6 counts of Entering an Automobile to Commit Theft, Theft by Deception, and 1 count of Burglary in connection with an incident at a private home in the same area. Sewell has been charged with 1 count of Receiving Stolen Property, after being arrested at a local fast food restaurant on South Wall Street by deputy sheriffs. Sewell was discovered sleeping at a table with his head resting upon a bag of what deputies found to contain stolen hand/power tools. Sewell was free on parole from the state prison system at the time of his arrest.

" These men will now face a jury from this county. The citizens who provided information to the investigating officers in this case are a good example of this community supporting the Sheriff's Office", said Sheriff Mitch Ralston.


 

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE...

Thursday, December 29, 2011

Calhoun Man Arrested By Deputies For Battery/Obstructing Officers/Terroristic Threats/ etc. in Domestic Disturbance

Sheriff Mitch Ralston Reports:

At approximately 7: p.m., Wednesday, December 28, deputy sheriffs were dispatched to 628 Craigtown Road in unincorporated Gordon County in response to a report of a man beating a woman. Upon arrival, a uniformed deputy observed a man, subsequently identified as one Calvin Daniel Quinton, age 27, of #3 628 Craigtown Road, holding and beating an adult female on the ground outside the residence. The man was taken into custody after violently resisting arrest. The female victim was taken to Gordon Hospital via ambulance. Neighbors witnessed the incident. Quinton has been charged by Sheriff's detectives with:  Assault, Battery, Obstructing a 911 Call, Terroristic Threats/Acts, (Felony) Obstruction of a Peace Officer, and Interfering With Government Property regarding damage to a Sheriff's patrol car. He remains in the county jail pending bond proceedings.


 

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE...
Thursday, December 22, 2011
Severe Weather Event in Gordon County, Curfew in Effect Until 7 a.m. Friday Morning
Sheriff Mitch Ralston Reports:

At approximately 5:15pm today, a severe weather system struck several areas in Gordon County, in the Gardner Springs, Plainview, Sonoraville, Farmville, and Talking Rock communties. There was extensive damage to many structures, trees and power lines downed, and roadways impeded. Extra deputy sheriffs, state troopers, and other emergency personnel have been deployed in the affected areas. 

The Board of Commissioners has declared a State of Emergency in the County due to the weather damage. The situation remains hazardous due to downed power lines and debris. Pursuant to the State of Emergency, a CURFEW will be in effect in the affected communties and surrounding areas between 10 p. m. tonight (DEC 22) and 7 a.m. tomorrow morning (DEC23). Non residents should not enter into the storm affected areas during the curfew hours. Many areas remain without electricity, and power crews are on scene working to restore power.

"I appreciate the public's patience, and concern in looking after their neighbors, and commend all the first responders and volunteers who have worked throughout the night in this event" , said Sheriff Ralston.


FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE...
Wednesday, December 21, 2011
"Sheriff's Sale" Advertised is Not a Legitimate Sheriff's Sale
Sheriff Mitch Ralston Reports:

The "Sheriff's Sale" in several editions of the Calhoun Times between December 7 and December 21, 2011 in previous weeks, making reference to OCGA 9-13-140(a), advertising firearms and an automobile(s) for sale to the highest bidder on the first Tuesday in January, 2012 at the Gordon County Courthouse, is NOT a legitimate Sheriff's Sale. This "sale" was NOT authorized or approved by the Sheriff.


FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE…
Tuesday, December 20th, 2011
Shooting Death in Fairmount Investigated by Sheriff and GBI
Sheriff Mitch Ralston Reports:

On Saturday morning, December 17th, 2011, deputy sheriffs and sheriff’s detectives were dispatched to the downtown business district of Fairmount in response to the report of a shooting. A Fairmount police officer had responded initially and found that one man had been shot and killed. The Fairmount policeman was joined in minutes by personnel from the Sheriff’s Office. One man was detained at the scene and the weapon believed to have been involved was recovered.

The scene was secured and the GBI was summoned to Fairmount by the Sheriff to lead the investigation. Crime scene technicians from the Sheriff’s Office and the Regional GBI Office spent several hours at the shooting location, which was in a parking lot in front of a vacant business, gathering physical evidence.

The GBI agents and detectives have interviewed numerous eyewitnesses, as well as others, and have been in constant communication and consultation with the District Attorney’s Office.

The decedent is identified as one Brenton D. Cook, age 43, of Crandall, Murray County, Georgia. He was pronounced dead at the scene. An autopsy at the State Crime Laboratory    was subsequently conducted with results pending.

On Monday afternoon, December 19th, the man who’d been detained in connection with the shooting, Jason M. Chastain, age 36, of Fairmount, Georgia, was taken before the Gordon County Magistrate Court where a ‘probable cause’ hearing was conducted. The GBI agent in charge of the investigation testified in detail before the court regarding the circumstances of the shooting. The case involved elements of self defense. The Court found that there was insufficient probable cause at that time to detain Chastain any longer. Chastain was released from custody Monday evening.

The investigation into the shooting is still ongoing by the GBI, the Sheriff’s Office and the Coroner’s Office. No further details will be made public until the conclusion of the investigation.


FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE...
Saturday, December 17, 2011
Resaca Man Arrested For Aggravated Child Molestation
Sheriff Mitch Ralston Reports: 

On November 28, 2011, the Sheriff's Office Detective Division initiated an investigation into the report of a child molestation involving a 5 year old child. As a result of this investigation, Sheriff's detectives arrested Steven Paul Patterson, age 25, of 145 Nickelsville Road, Resaca, and have charged him with Aggravated Child Molestation. The charges stem from allegations of abuse in 2009/2010. Patterson is being held in the County Jail pending bond proceedings.

 

 


FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE...
Friday, December 16th, 2011
Deputies Graduate from Regional Police Academy,
Sheriff Mitch Ralston Reports:

On Friday, December 9th, 2011, three deputy sheriffs graduated from the Regional Police Academy in Dalton, Georgia, after undergoing 10 weeks of Basic Peace Officer Training. John Vick, Rex Anderson, and Dalyn Pulliam all graduated along with new peace officers from across northwest Georgia in a ceremony at Dalton City Hall. Vick and Anderson have both been employed by the Sheriff's Office since 2009, and Pulliam since 2010. Vick received two of the three top awards in his class, the Leadership Award, and the highest marksmanship (firearms) award.

" I am pleased with the performance of these 3 deputies in their basic training, and particularly proud that Deputy Vick earned two oustanding honors", said Sheriff Mitch Ralston.


FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE...
Wednesday, December 14th, 2011
Deputy Sheriffs Receive Heroism Awards From Governor Nathan Deal at the State Capital
Sheriff Mitch Ralston Reports:

Tuesday afternoon, December 13th, 2011, two Gordon County deputy sheriffs and a former deputy all received the prestigious 'Governor's Public Safety Award for Heroism' at a ceremony at the State Capital in Atlanta. Deputy sheriffs Chad Phillips and Josh Cochran, and former deputy Jeremy Battle who is now employed by the State Patrol, were all decorated by Governor Deal for their actions in rescuing a motorist trapped inside a burning automobile on Interstate 75 near Resaca on September 5th, 2010. The deputies received their awards in a ceremony honoring public safety officials from throughout Georgia.

"This is the first occasion wherein Gordon County Sheriff's Office employees have received such an honor, and I am very proud of Josh, Chad, and Jeremy. They are a credit to the people of our community and this state", said Sheriff Ralston. 


 

 

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE...
Friday, December 9, 2011
Deputies Investigate Series of Residential Burglaries in Sugar Valley-Hill City Community
Sheriff Mitch Ralston Reports:

Over the past week the Sheriff's Office has received reports of 5 residential burglaries in the Sugar Valley-Hill City community. Electronics, televisions, jewelry, computers, and in 1 instance, childrens' Christmas presents have been stolen. Detectives are seeking two vehicles in connection with these crimes:

A black or dark blue / grey Ford Explorer SUV believed to be occupied by 2 white/males. This vehicle was seen in the area of Highway 136 near Sugar Valley on December 6, and was captured on surveillance video at a nearby convenience store. Law enforcement laboratories were unable to enhance the digital video to allow the clear identification of the occupants or the license plate.

The second vehicle is a green / gold Ford Expedition or Explorer, believed to be occupied by a large statured Hispanic male. A witness observed this suspect at a burglary scene and gave chase but unfortunately didn't call 911 until he returned home. 

Sheriff Ralston has increased patrols in the Sugar Valley / Hill City communties, and detectives are working overtime to follow all available leads. Anyone with any information regarding these events is urged to call the Sheriff's Detective Division at 706.879.5481, or 911.


FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE...
Friday, December 9, 2011
Major Crimes Unit Arrests 3 in Connection With Methamphetamine Possession and Trafficking
Sheriff Mitch Ralston Reports: 

On Thursday afternoon, December 8, 2011, Sheriff's detectives from the Major Crimes Unit arrested 3 men at a private residence on Tucker Hollow Road in a methamphetamine trafficking investigation.  Two search warrants have been executed. Detectives seized over half a pound of processed methamphetamine, over $1500.00 in US currency, written ledger books, a computer, a sophisticated electronic video surveillance system, a 9mm pistol, and a 2008 BMW automobile. The defendants were identified as:

 

1. James Lamar Massingill, age 33, of 251 Tucker Hollow Road, Calhoun, charged with Trafficking in Methamphetamine, Possession of a Firearm During the Commission of a Crime, and Conspiracy

2. Francisco Magana Carranza, age 33, of 3747 Macon Road, Columbus, Georgia, charged with Possession of Methamphetamine, Conspiracy, and traffic related offenses.

3. Carlos Garcia Reyes, age 34, of 2219 14th Street, Columbus, Georgia, charged with Possession of Methamphetamine.

A fourth man, one Walter Ramirez, approached the detectives at the scene and was also arrested after a records check revealed the existence of an outstanding warrant for Battery. Ramirez was not charged with an offense related to drug distribution.

The 'street value' of the methamphetamine is estimated at $14,000.00. The investigation had been ongoing for several months. All of the defendants are in custody at the Gordon County jail pending bond proceedings.


FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE...
Tuesday, December 6th, 2011
"Missing" Fugitive From Gordon County Arrested in Florida
Sheriff Mitch Ralston Reports: 

On August 12, 2011, RICHARD BERRY GILBERT was reported missing from his home in Plainville to the Sheriff's Office. A family member told deputies that he had been missing since August 9th. His truck was found abandoned in Bartow County, Georgia on August 14th. On August 16, Sheriff's detectives issued an arrest warrant charging GILBERT with Child Molestation. Detectives believed that GILBERT voluntarily left Gordon County to avoid arrest.

 

On Tuesday morning, December 6th, 2011, GILBERT was arrested by Sumter County, Florida deputy sheriffs on an on-ramp onto Interstate 75 near Wildwood after a records check. He was taken into custody pursuant to the Gordon County arrest warrant without incident. 

"Mr. Gilbert will now be returned here to face a Gordon County jury and answer for his actions., said Sheriff Mitch Ralston.

 

 


FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE...
Wednesday, November 23, 2011
Sheriff Urges Safety on This Holiday Weekend
Sheriff Mitch Ralston Announces:

"Over this holiday weekend, I urge everyone to be especially careful on the roadways. There is always an increased volume of automobile traffic around Thanksgiving, and I will have extra deputies patrolling the county this weekend. Let's all do our part to ensure a safe and happy Thanksgiving."


FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE...
Wednesday, November 23, 2011
Deputies Arrest 4 For Receiving Stolen property in Connection With Area Store Thefts
Sheriff Mitch Ralston Reports:

On Monday, November 21, 2011 a uniformed deputy sheriff observed a Ford Explorer SUV fitting the description of a vehicle involved in a reported shoplifting at a Dollar General Store in Nickelsville on Highway 225 near Calhoun. The deputy stopped this vehicle and found a large amount of stolen merchandise inside. The 4 occupants of the SUV were all arrested and charged with Receiving Stolen Property. Detectives catalogued over $2000.00 of stolen property which was returned to the rightful owners. The persons arrested were

  • Tammy Marie Jenkins, age 36, of Chatsworth, Georgia
  • Melissa Jean Haley, age 29, of Chatsworth, Georgia
  • Felisha Dawn Pirtle, age 32, of Chatsworth, Georgia
  • Bobby Shaun Pack, age 27, of Chatsworth, Georgia

 All 4 are being held in the county jail awaiting bond proceedings.


FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE...
Tuesday, November 22, 2011
Deputies Interrupt Residential Burglary in Progress
Sheriff Mitch Ralston Reports: 

At approximately noon today, uniformed deputy sheriffs responded to the report of a burglary in progress at a private residence on Liberty Road near Calhoun in unincorported Gordon County. A deputy arrived within minutes and apprehended an Adairsville man inside the vacant house, subsequently identified as one Matthew Thomas Dotson, age 28, of 6101 Highway 140, Adairsville. Dotson was holding a pair of wire cutters and copper wire in his hands when he was arrested. Two women, subsequently identified as Karen Doreen Cook, age 47, of 264 Ward Mountain Road, Adairsville, and Misty Dawn Patterson, age 33, of 282 Ward Mountain Road, Adairsville were also arrested there. Investigating officers also found more copper wire in a pickup truck at the scene. Dotson was charged by detectives with Burglary and Possession of Tools For The Commission of a Crime. Cook and Patterson were both charged with Party to the Crime of Burglary. All 3 are in jail awaiting bond proceedings.

 

 


FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE...
3 Arrests in Saturday (November5) Robbery Murder
Tuesday, November 8th, 2011
Sheriff Mitch Ralston Reports: 

"On Saturday, November 5th, a 'home invasion' robbery murder occured in the Blackwood community here which resulted in the death of Jason D. Hammond. Our thoughts and prayers go out to Mr. Hammonds' family in their time of grief. I want to reassure the public that this was not a random act. It was premeditated, planned, and executed. My deputies and detectives responded quickly to the scene of the crime, as did my chief deputy and myself, and through team work we were able to quickly apprehend 2 of the men responsible within 6 hours of the crime. I called in the GBI and I want to praise the agents who led the subsequent investigation, as well as the United States Marshal's Service and the Chattanooga Police who captured the 3rd suspect yesterday evening. Many of my deputies worked tirelessly throughout the weekend alongside our local GBI agents to sucessfully resolve this case. I'd also like to thank the members of the public who provided information which led to the recovery of evidence and the capture of the 3rd suspect. The defendants in this senseless crime will now face a jury of Gordon County citizens to answer for their actions." 

 

said Sheriff Mitch Ralston


FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE...
Saturday, November 5th, 2011
Sheriff and GBI Investigating Homicide on Union Grove Road
Sheriff Mitch Ralston Reports: 

At approximately 2 a.m. this morning (Saturday, November 5th) deputy sheriffs responded to a private residence on Union Grove Church Road regarding a reported homicide. Deputies arrived and found the victim's body, and were told by witnesses that three (3) black/males had came to residence, demanded money, and subsequently shot the victim. The witnesses said that the three suspects then fled from the home. Detectives were summoned to the scene and a manhunt for the suspects ensued.

 

One individual is in custody and is being questioned by detectives, as are several eyewitnesses. The identity of the victim is being witheld pending notification of next-of-kin.

Deputies are searching for a blue Kia Sedona van, beaing Georgia license plate BSR 2830 in connection with this incident. If anyone sees this automobile they should NOT approach it, but should call 911 immediately.

UPDATE: 10:45 a.m. Saturday, November 5, 2011, the blue Kia Sedona van bearing Georgia license plate BSR2830 has been located, and a second individual is in custody at this time.

UPDATE: 6 p.m. Saturday, November 5th, 2011, the investigation into this incident is continuing. The victim is identified as Jason David Hammond, age 42, of 394 Union Grove Church Road. The body has been transported to the GBI Crime Laboratory in Decatur, Georgia for post mortem examination. The GBI's Crime Scene Unit has completed the examination of the murder scene, and a number of articles of physical evidence have been collected for further processing. Special Agents from the Region 1 GBI Office are working in conjunction with Sheriff's Office personnel in the investigation. Two individuals remain in custody, and have been questioned by detectives and agents.

UPDATE: 6:20 p.m. Sunday, November 6th, 2011, GBI agents and Sheriff's detectives have identified 3 suspects in connection with this incident. One remains at large. Investigating agents and detectives do not believe that this was a random incident, and have evidence that the crime was drug related.

UPDATE: 3 p.m., Monday, November 7, 2011, Two (2) local men have been formally charged in connection with this homicide, Brent Damon Carey, age 28, of 415 Old Boone Ford Road, Calhoun, Georgia, and Claude Travis Simpson, a/k/a 'Man', age 33, 330 Cedar Hill Drive, Calhoun, Georgia. Both were apprehended Saturday morning, November 5th. Both are charged with Murder and Armed Robbery. Authorities are still searching for a third defendant.

UPDATE: 8:30 P.M. Monday, November 7th, 2011: After a standoff with the police in Chattanooga, Tennessee, Deounta Curtis, age 22, of Calhoun, surrendered and is in custody there. He is charged with Murder and Armed Robbery along with the other two defendants in this case. There are no more fugitives being sought by authorities in connection with this investigation as of this time. 


 

 

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE...
Friday, November 4, 2011
Deputies Arrest California Man in Connection with Sexual Assault on Passenger Bus on I 75
Sheriff Mitch Ralston Reports: 

At approximately 7 a.m. this morning, deputy sheriffs responded to the report of a disturbance on a Greyhound passenger bus near Calhoun on Interstate 75. Deputies arrived and met with a woman who reported to them that a male passenger had touched her inappropriately as she was sleeping in her seat. She awoke and confronted the man, and the driver subsequently stopped on the roadside. The assailant fled from the bus on foot, but was located a short time later near a motel on Exit 312 by a state trooper who received the 911 "lookout". The assailant was identified as one Justin Olen Scales, age 28, of 2406 Kent Street, Los Angeles, California. He was charged with Sexual Battery by deputies, who also discovered that he was wanted in California for violation of parole. Scales is being held in the county jail.

 

 


FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE...
Tuesday, November 1, 2011
Two Men Arrested by Sheriff's Office In Connection With Armed Robbery of Taxi Driver
Sheriff Mitch Ralston Reports: 

On Friday night, October 28th, deputy sheriffs responded to the report of an armed robbery of a taxi driver near a mobile home park on Carter Street. The driver reported to the deputies that he'd been robbed of $700.00 in cash by a duo of latino males at knifepoint. He said that the pair made their getaway on foot. Deputies and detectives searched the area without result. Monday morning, October 31st, acting on further information from the victim, Sheriff's detectives identified two perpetrators, Eriberto Avila, age 18, of 307 Larkspur Drive, Calhoun, and David Zavala, age 18, of 123 Carter Street, Calhoun. Detectives and deputies from the Community Crime Prevention Unit initiated a manhunt for the pair which lasted late into Monday night, when Zavala was located and arrested as he arrived, by taxi, at an apartment complex on Carter Street. Later that same night, the officers apprehended Avila at the residence of a female acquaintence on Roland Hayes Parkway near the Curryville community. Both have been charged with Armed Robbery and are being held in the County Jail.

 

 


FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE...
Tuesday, November 1, 2011
Sheriff's Office Arrests 2 in Connection with String of Residential Burglaries
Sheriff Mitch Ralston Reports: 

On Thursday afternoon, October 27th, 2011, the Sheriff's Office received a report of a residential burglary on Gardner Springs Road in unincorporated Gordon County. Deputies had reason to believe that a small, dark red van had been involved in that burglary as well as several other recent residential burglaries. A short time later, a uniformed deputy sheriff saw a van fitting that description on Curtis Parkway in Calhoun. The deputy stopped the van, which was occupied by one Timothy Daniel Lumpkin, age 41, of 207 Hensley Road, and Brigette Marie Wiegand, age 28, also of 207 Hensley Road. Deputies also discovered a large quantity of stolen property in the van. Lumpkin and Wiegand were both arrested and charged with burglary.  That same afternoon Sheriff's detectives obtained and executed a search warrant at the Lumpkin/Wiegand home on Hensley Road, where they recovered a large amount of stolen jewelry and electronics, as well as a variety of drugs. Detectives have been able to link Lumpkin and Wiegand with seven (7) residential burglaries in Gordon County reported since the beginning of October. The duo are also being investigated by Murray County Sheriff's authorities in connection with residential burglaries there. Both defendants have been charged with multiple counts of burglary, as well as violation of probation, and remain in the Gordon County jail. "Good police work resulted in these arrests and the recovery of a large amount of stolen property, and now these defendants will face justice before a jury of Gordon County citizens." said Sheriff Mitch Ralston.

 

 


PUBLIC SERVICE ANNOUNCEMENT
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE...
Monday, October 31, 2011
Sheriff Offers Halloween Safety Tips
Sheriff Mitch Ralston Announces: 

Please make sure your children have a safe and happy Halloween. Children should be accompanied by a responsible adult. Wear reflective materials which are highly visible at dusk/dark Carry a flashlight after darkness has fallen. Be mindful of traffic. Parents should examine candy and other treats before they are consumed.

 

The Sheriff's Office will have extra patrols throughout the evening on Halloween.


FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE...
Monday, October 24, 2011
Sheriff & Auxiliary Honors Former Deputy
Sheriff Mitch Ralston Announces: 

On Thursday, October 6, 2011, Gordon County Sheriff Mitch Ralston and the Sheriff's Auxiliary honored former Gordon County Deputy Lamar Stephens at the monthly Auxiliary meeting. Sheriff Ralston presented Mr. Stephens with a "Sheriff's Distinguished Service Award" for his service in the early 1970s under former Sheriff Pat Baker. Mr. Stephens, 86, retired from a career in the United States Navy and later worked for the Lockheed Corporation becoming a deputy sheriff in 1973. Mr. Stephens said that he'd spent "over 40 years in some type of uniform".


FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE...
Thursday, October 6th, 2011
Sheriff Investigates Home Invasion Robbery in Resaca, Suspects Captured After High Speed Pursuit in Tennessee
Sheriff Mitch Ralston Reports: 

At approximately 7:30 p.m. last night, Wednesday, October 5th, deputy sheriffs and detectives were dispatched to a private residnce on Fite Bend Road in Resaca in response to a report of a "home invasion" armed robbery. Deputies arrived to discover that two male individuals described as a white/male and a dark complected/male, armed with a handgun and wearing masks,had forced entry into the home. These two males demanded money and then forcibly tied the woman-resident's hands with electrical cord. The robbers fired a shot into the ceiling to further terrify and intimidate the victim. After ransacking the house, stealing a computer, financial cards, and cash, and threatening the lone victim, the two males fled the scene, in a dark SUV and in the victim's own car. The woman's husband returned home from work, freed his wife and called 911.  At approximately 3:30 a.m. this morning, the stolen car was observed by a Tennessee State Trooper in Bradley County, Tennessee. A high speed chase ensued which ended in a crash. Two men, identified as Jackie Camper, age 25, of East Ridge, Tennessee, and Augustin Hernandez, age 29, of Dalton, Georgia, wer both injured in the crash and are both in hospitals in Tennessee. They both face charges in connection with stolen property and traffic offenses in Tennessee. Based upon physical evidence at the scene which connects firearms found inside the stolen car to the crime scene and other physical and testimonial evidence, Gordon County detectives have filed charges of Armed Robbery , False Imprisonment, Aggravated Assault, and Burglary against both men. The Sheriff's Office is coordinating efforts to return the men to Gordon County through the process of extradition.

 

Sheriff Mitch Ralston said "This heinous crime is unusual in our community, and I am pleased with the detective work that went into solving the case in a quick fashion. I especialy commend the Tennessee trooper who found the stolen vehicle and initiated the apprehension of these dangerous felons. I look forward to seeing these two face justice in our Superior Court."


FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE...
Friday, September 30th, 2011
Deputies Chase Stolen Automobile, Suspects Burn Car and Flee on Foot
Sheriff Mitch Ralston Reports: 

At about 3:45 a.m. this morning (Sept. 30), a deputy sheriff answered an alarm call at a private residence on Highway 53 West near the Scottsville community. The deputy spoke with the complainant who told him that there was a problem with the telephone lines interfering with the alarm system. The deputy then began checking nearby telephone lines and discovered a suspicious vehicle in an open field near the intersection of Highway 53 and Millers Ferry Road. When the deputy approached this vehicle, he saw that the driver was wearing  dark clothes and a black ski mask. When the deputy ordered the driver out of the automobile, an accomplice appeared from hiding behind the car. Ignoring the deputy's verbal commands, the pair sped away. The deputy pursued the car a short distance through a gate,  whereupon the occupants abandoned the vehicle. As the deputy was approaching the car a second time, it burst into flames and was soon totally engulfed. Subsequent investigation revealed that the car had been stolen from Rome, Georgia in August. Detectives believe that the perpetrators used a butane torch, later found inside, to set the car on fire before they ran away. Both suspects are believed to be white/males. The car was a total loss. If anyone has any information regarding this matter, they are urged to call the Sheriff's Detective Division at 706.629.1244.

 

 


FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE...
Friday, September 30th, 2011
Sheriff's Detectives Arrest 5 Local Men in Drug Distribution Investigation
Sheriff Mitch Ralston Reports: 

An 18 month investigation into the distribution of marijuana, methamphetamine, and Schedule II narcotics culminated Wednesday with the arrest of 5 local men:

 

 

  • Roy Richard Dixon, a/k/a 'Pickle', age 73, of 2688 Highway 225, Calhoun, charged with 2 counts Sale/Distribution of Schedule II Narcotics, Possession of Schedule II Narcotics, and Violation of Probation.
  • Kenny Joe Dixon, age 50, of 324 McDaniel Road, Calhoun, charged with 4 counts of Sale/Distribution of Marijuana
  • Stevie Jacks, age 57, of 1420 Old Dalton Road, Calhoun, charged with 7 counts of Sale/Distribution of Marijuana, and Violation of ProbationSam Brown, age 32, of 498 Moores Ferry Road, Calhoun, charged with Sale/Distribution of Marijuana
  • Sammy Don Harris, age 61, of 146 Holcombe Road, Calhoun, charged with 15 counts of Sale/Distribution of Marijuana, 1 sale/Distribution of Methamphetamine, and Violation of Probation.

All of the arrests were effected Wednesday without incident. State Probation Officers accompanied the Sheriff's Personnel in arresting those defendants on probation. Kenny Joe

Dixon has been released on $10,000.00 bond, and Sam Brown has been released on $5000.00 bond. The other defendants are all in the county jail pending probation revocation proceedings.


FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE...
Tuesday, September 27, 2011
Deputies Arrest 2 in Burglary-In-Progress
Sheriff Mitch Ralston Reports: 

At approximately 4 p.m., Monday afternoon, September 26, 2011, a supervisory deputy sheriff received a telephone call from a concerned citizen who observed two suspicious characters at the old XL Corporation building on US Highway 41 North. This supervisor responded directly to the scene where he apprehended two local men in the process of burglarizing the building. Charles Yetman, age 20, of Lavista Drive in Calhoun, and Austin Fain, age 18, of Roland Hayes Parkway, Calhoun, were both arrested at the scene. Deputies recovered copper from the suspects believed to have been taken from the vacant building. Detectives charged both men with Burglary and Possession of Tools for the Commission of a Crime. "Our best 'eyes and ears' in this community are our own citizens", said Sheriff Ralston.

 

Any citizen seeing suspicious activity in or around vacant private or commercial property is urged to call 911.


FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE...
Monday, September 19, 2011
Ordinance Enforcement Deputy Completes Training
Sheriff Mitch Ralston Reports: 

Deputy Sheriff William Daniel, the Sheriff's Office's 'Code Enforcement Officer', recently graduated from Local Government Code Enforcement training at the Carl Vinson Institute of Government at the University of Georgia. The training concentrated on the legal aspects and enforcement of local (county government) ordinances. Deputy Daniel completed the exit exam with a perfect test score. He is also certified in Erosion Control, as well as having received all other training mandatory for peace officers.

 

"I am pleased to have William on my staff; he is an asset to this Office and is the best code enforcement officer in Georgia", said Sheriff Mitch Ralston.


FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE...
Saturday, September 17th, 2011
Deputy Involved in Fatal Accident With Pedestrian
Sheriff Mitch Ralston Reports: 

At approximately 11 p.m. Friday night, September 16th, 2011, a deputy sheriff on routine patrol on US Highway 41 north of Calhoun was involved in a fatal accident with a pedestrian. The deputy was travelling south on the 4 lane highway in the vicinity of 1336 US 41 when a pedestrian walked in front of the sheriff's patrol car and was struck and killed. The deceased man was identified at the scene as one Gerald E. Williams, age 78, whose last known address was 6488 Murfreesboro Road, Lebanon, Tennessee. He was pronounced dead at the scene. Williams had been reported to 911 as having been in danger from traffic in the roadway on State Route 53 near the Floyd County line earlier the same day. He'd been taken by ambulance to Gordon Hospital and later released. Williams was hitch-hiking on Interstate 75 on Monday (September 12th) when another Gordon County deputy picked him up and transported him to Whitfield County. The area on Highway 41 where the fatal accident occured is not well lighted. The deputy involved was not injured. The Georgia State Patrol and the Gordon County Coroner’s Office are conducting the investigation into this event.

 

 


FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Friday, September 16, 2011
Sheriff Arrests Man For Manufacturing Marijuana, Trafficking, Weapons Violations in the Ryo Community
Sheriff Mitch Ralston Reports: 

On Thursday, September 15th, 2011, Sheriff's detectives received a tip about a marijuana growing operation at a residence in a remote location in the Ryo community in easternmost Gordon County, near the Pickens County line. Acting on this information, the detectives obtained a search warrant for the home and surrounding premises. Late Thursday afternoon, detectives and deputies from the Community Crime Prevention Unit executed the search warrant at the residence of DANIEL SHELTON BROWN, age 48, of 497 Ramblin Road, Fairmount, Georgia. Upon entering the home, deputies discovered and seized 19 illegally possessed firearms, and approximately 1 pound of marijuana. Outside, the deputies followed a garden (water) hose to 11 large marijuana plants, ranging from 6 to 9 feet in height. Detectives found evidence indicating that marijuana seeds had been obtained from Europe. BROWN was arrested at the scene without incident and taken to the county jail. Detectives took a variety of evidence into custody, and seized a "4 wheeler" ATV believed to have been used to facilitate the cultivation of the marijuana crop. Detectives seized a total of over 40 pounds of marijuana, BROWN has been charged with: Trafficking in Marijuana, Manufacturing Marijuana, and Violation of the Georgia Firearms & Weapons Act (Felon in Possession of Firearms), 19 counts.

 

Sheriff Mitch Ralston said "The discovery and seizure of this contraband, in the easternmost part of our County, illustrates my commitment to all of the citizens of Calhoun and Gordon County. No part of Gordon County will be neglected and will always receive law enforcement protection".


FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Wednesday, September 7th, 2011
Deputies Interrupt Burglary in Ranger Community
Sheriff Mitch Ralston Reports: 

Tuesday evening, September 6th, 2011, a deputy sheriff was on routine patrol in the Ranger community in eastern Gordon County when he observed a suspicious automobile at a vacant commercial property on Highway 411. The building had previously been used as an assietd living facility and later as a rehabilitation center. The deputy approached the car and subsequently arrested the two occupants, Harold Evan Cummings, age 37, of 12074 Fairmount Highway, Fairmount, Georgia, and Evilyn Maner, age 62, of the same address. The deputies also recovered plumbing fixtures believed to have been stolen from within the building. Both Cummings and Maner were charged by detectives with Burglary and Possession of Tools for the Commission of a Crime. They are both lodged in the County Jail pending bond proceedings.

 

 


FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE...
Thursday, September 1, 2011
Sheriff Investigates Two Unrelated Deaths
Sheriff Mitch Ralston Reports:  

On Monday, August 29th, 2011, deputy sheriffs responded to the report of a man having jumped out of a moving automobile on State Route 53 (west) near Switch Road. The victim, identified as one Emilio A. Barrera-Barajas, age 27, of 909 Sandy Dunes, Dalton, Georgia, was transported via ambulance to Floyd Medical Center in Rome, Georgia where he succumbed to his injuries on August 30th. The driver of the automobile was not injured. The event is being investigated by the Coroner's Office and the Sheriff's Detective Division. The investigating officers do not believe that foul play was involved in the incident.

In a seperate, unrelated matter:

At approximately 11:30pm, Wednesday night, August 31st, deputy sheriffs and detectives responded to the report of a hanged person at 514A Circle Drive near Calhoun. The victim, identified as one Elisbeth Anne Tyler, age 27, of 514A Circle Drive, Calhoun, Georgia, was pronounced dead at the scene. The body has been transported to the State Crime Laboratory in Decatur, Georgia to undergo a post-mortem examination. The event is being investigated by the Coroner's Office and the Sheriff's Detective Division. The investigating detectives do not believe that foul play was involved in this death.


FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE...
Tuesday, August 23, 2011
Detectives Seek Public's Assistance in Identifying Person of Interest
Sheriff Mitch Ralston Reports:

The Sheriff's Office Detective Division is seeking assistance from the public in identifying a person of interest depicted in the accompanying photographs. Detectives wish to question this person regarding an incident at the Mapco convenience store at Highway 41 / Highway 53 in Calhoun at aproximately 1 a.m. Sunday morning, August 21st. If anyone has any information concerning this person, they ae urged to call the Sheriff's Detective Division at 706.879.5481.


FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE...
Wednesday, August 17, 2011
High Speed Chase Ends in Arrest of Cartersville Man
Sheriff Mitch Ralston Reports:

At aproximately 10 p.m. Saturday night, August 13th, a deputy sheriff observed an automobile travelling in excess of 98 miles per hour on Interstate 75 near State Route 225. The deputy attempted to pull the vehicle over, but the driver refused to stop. The deputy gave chase and the driver of this vehicle fled at a high rate of speed from the Interstate to State Route 225 and then onto US 41 toward Calhoun. Once on US 41, the driver of the vehicle drove southward in the opposing lane of traffic.  Realizing the pursuit was entering an area with heavy traffic and a greater potential for injury to innocent people, the deputy used his patrol car to force the violator from the roadway. The automobile chase ended when the violator abandoned his still-moving vehicle in the parking lot of a business near the intersection of US 41 and Thomas Street. The driver, subsequently identified as one Morroco Jacobi Wilkey, age 28, of 37 Bishop Mill Drive, Cartersville, Georgia, then fled on foot but was quickly apprehended by the deputy sheriff. Wilkey was taken to Gordon Hospital after being apprehended due to the deputies suspecting that he'd swallowed drugs. Wilkey was subsequently charged with Speeding, Reckless Driving, DUI, Fleeing and Attempting to Elude an Officer, Driving With a Suspended License, and Possession of Marijuana. Wilkey is being held in the Gordon County Jail pending judicial proceedings.

The arresting deputy sheriff is a former 4-time All Pro member of the Atlanta Falcons, and was described by Sheriff Ralston as being "very quick on his feet".


FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE...
Wednesday, August 17th, 2011
Sheriff Investigates Death of 17 Year Old
Sheriff Mitch Ralston Reports: 

At approximately 6 p.m. yesterday, August 16th, deputy sheriffs responded to the report of a hanged person on Haynes Road in the Oakman community in eastern Gordon County. Deputies arrived to find an unresponsive 17 year old male in a wooded area behind a private residence. He had been discovered by family members who called 911. A uniformed deputy and EMS personnel attempted to revive the victim by administering CPR. The victim was removed from the scene by ambulance and subsequently pronounced dead. Investigating detectives do not believe that foul play was involved in the death. The investigation is continuing in conjunction with the County Coroner's Office.

"The death of any young person, in any circumstance, is especially tragic. Please keep the victim's family in your thoughts and prayers", said Sheriff Ralston.


FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE...
Monday, August 15th, 2011
Sheriff Seeks Help From the Public in Finding Missing Man
Sheriff Mitch Ralston Reports:

On Friday night, August 12, 2011, deputy sheriffs responded to the report of a missing Plainville man, identified as one RICHARD BERRY GILBERT, age 49, of 241 Scott Lake Road, Plainville, Gordon County, Georgia. Family members advised the deputies that Mr. GILBERT had been missing since approximately 8:30 p.m., Tuesday, August 9th. They also said that Mr. GILBERT was last seen on Scott Lake Road in Plainville, wearing a blue tee shirt, khaki (short) pants, and brown boots. Mr. GILBERT'S truck was discovered near the White, Georgia community by Bartow County authorities on Sunday, August 14th. However no one was located with or nearby the vehicle. Anyone with any information regarding Mr. GILBERT'S whereaboust are urged to call the Gordon County Sheriff's Detective Division at 706.629.1244, or 911.

UPDATE, Tuesday, August 16th, 2011: Today (August 16, 2011) Sheriff's Detectives obtained an arrest warrant charging RICHARD BERRY GILBERT with one (1) count of Child Molestation. The allegation involves a 5 year old child, and is understood to have occured in the Plainville community within the preceding 11 months. GILBERT is being sought by local and state authorities on this warrant. Detectives have reason to believe that GILBERT voluntarily left from this jurisdiction.

Anyone with knowledge of GILBERT'S whereabouts is urged to call 911 immediately.


FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE...
Tuesday, August 9th, 2011
Sheriff Renegotiates Jail Food Contract to Save County $108,000.00 

Sheriff Mitch Ralston is pleased to announce that in June, 2011, the end of the previous fiscal year, , the inate meals contract with Trinity Foods Service was successfully renegotiated from a price of $1.92 per individual meal down to $1.77 per individual meal. Based upon an average daily jail population of 300 inmates, this will save over $108,000.00 over the 3 year contract period.

"I am very aware of the economic stress that our community and the local government faces, and my staff and I will continue every possible cost-cutting measure available to us while continuing to deliver the very best law enforcement and jail services possible", said Sheriff Ralston.


FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE...
Tuesday, August 9th, 2011
Detectives Arrest Calhoun Man For Child Molestation
Sheriff Mitch Ralston Reports:

On July 27, 2011, detectives responded to the report of a child molestation believed to have occured at a private residence on Chatsworth Highway in Gordon County. After an investigation was conducted, detectives arrested one Terry Glenn Harkins, age 37, of 957 Chatsworth Highway, Calhoun, for child molestation against a female child under the age of 16. Harkins surrendered himself at the county jail. He was subsequently released on $25,000.00 bond.


FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE...
Tuesday, August 9th, 2011
Detectives Arrest Calhoun Couple For Cruelty to Children, Injured Child at Erlanger Medical Center
Sheriff Mitch Ralston Reports:

On Tuesday, August 2, 2011, Sheriff's detectives responded to the report of a severly injured child at Gordon Hospital Emergency Room. The two month old child, who'd sustained multiple bone fractures, bruises, and a dislocated joint, was subsequently transferred to the TC Thompson Children's Hospital at Erlanger Medical Center in Chattanooga, Tennessee. After an investigation was conducted, detectives arrested Michael Randolph, age 24, and his wife Jennifer Randolph, age 23, of 1388 US Highway 41, Calhoun, Georgia. Michael Randolph was charged with Aggravated Battery and Cruelty to Children, and Jennifer Randolph was charged with Cruelty to Children. Michael Randolph is still in custody; Jennifer Randolph has been released on bond.

 

 

 

 

 

 

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE...

Thursday, July 28, 2011

Deputies & State Officers Discover Marijuana Plants, Arrest Juvenile

Sheriff Mitch Ralston Reports:

At aproximately 3:30 p.m. today, deputy sheriffs and state law enforcement officers from the Georgia DNR, State Patrol, Aviation Authority and the Georgia Army National Guard were conducting an aerial (helicopter) search in the vicinity of Landon Court in the Newtown Community when they discovered eight (8) large marijuana plants growing in a wooded area. A ground team was dispatched to confiscate the plants, and deputy sheriffs detained a fourteen year old juvenile who lived nearby in connection with the marijuana. The juvenile was processed and released. The helicopter team was operating in Gordon County at Sheriff Ralston's invitation.

 

 

 

 

 

 

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE...

Sheriff's Major Crimes Unit Arrests 13 Defendants in Racketeering-Conspiracy-Methamphetamine Trafficking Investigation Spanning 1 Year

Friday, July 22nd, 2011

SHERIFF MITCH RALSTON REPORTS:

The Sheriff's Office Detective Division's Major Crimes Unit (MCU) has arrested 13 defendants in a Racketeering/Conspiracy/Methamphetamine Trafficking case spanning one year. In June, 2010, MCU detectives initiated an investigation into the activities of several individuals in the Calhoun area based upon information received from informants and physical evidence in a seperate, unrelated case from last year. Detectives secretly recorded hours of conversation between co-defendants, conducted covert surveillance, arranged undercover transactions of drugs and money, and executed search and arrest warrants over the 12 month period. The investigation culminated with the arrest of 13 defendants this week:

1. RICKY PAUL HOLT, a/k/a "FAT RICK" age 54, 135 Calloway Circle, Cartersville, Georgia, Trafficking Methamphetamine, Conspiracy to Traffic Methamphetamine, Racketeering

2. VIRGINIA HAMRICK, age 36, 1342 1/2 US HWY 41 North, Calhoun, Georgia, Conspiracy to Traffic Methamphetamine, Racketeering

3. MALINDA INGLE, age age 43, 125 DEan Road, Resaca, Georgia, Conspiracy to Traffic Methamphetamine, Racketeering

4. CRYSTAL CARSON, age 30, 475 Possum Hollow Road, Ranger, Georgia, Conspiracy to Traffic Methamphetamine, Racketeering

5. JAMES TERRELL ANDERSON, age 44, 799 Mount Olive Road, Fairmount, GA, Sale of Methamphetamine, Racketeering

6. KEVIN DWAYNE BRYANT, age 39, 282 Airport Circle, Resaca, Georgia, Sale of Methamphetamine, Conspiracy to TRaffic Methamphetamine, Racketeering

7. TERESA BERNICE RIDLEY, age 31, 113 Kenmoreland Circle, Calhoun, Georgia, Trafficking Methamphetamine, Sale of Methamphetamine, Conspiracy to Traffic Methamphetamine, Racketeering

8. JOSE C. FELICIANO, age 22, 114 Kenmoreland Circle, Calhoun, Georgia, Trafficking Methamphetamine, Sale of Methamphetamine, Conspiracy to Traffick Methamphetamine, Possession of Marijuana With Intent to Distribute, Racketeering

9. JAMES WILLIAM BURNS, age 46, 2324 Trimble Hollow Road, Adairsville, Georgia, Sale of Methamphetamine, Conspiracy to Traffic Methamphetamine, Racketeering

10. MICHAEL JUDD, age 47, 2312 Trimble Hollow Road, Adairsville, Georgia, Sale of Methamphetamine, Trafficking Methamphetamine, Conspiracy to Traffic Methamphetamine, Racketeering

11. BRANDON HEATH EDGE, age 32, 114 Kenmoreland Circle, Calhoun, Georgia, Conspiracy to Traffic Methamphetamine, Possession of Methamphetamine, Possession of Marijuana, Sale of Methamphetamine, Racketeering

12. JACKIE LAMAR HILBURN, age 51, 1278 Sugar Valley Road, Calhoun, GA. Possession of Methamphetamine, Racketeering

13. EDWARD SHANE HARKINS, age 41, 167 Smith Road, Sugar Valley, Georgia Possession of Methamphetamine, Racketeering

 

A search warrant executed at the home of JUDD revealed methamphetamine buried in the ground sealed in a metal pipe. Detectives have reason to believe that the methamphetamine involved in this case originated with a 'cartel' in Northern Mexico. Detectives also seized processed methamphetamine containers in the form of glass beakers which were inscribed with a sophisticated code in broken spanish and cypher symbols. Processed methamphetamine totalling several hundred grams and over $11, 000.00 in cash was seized in the investigation, which MCU detectives dubbed "Operation WINDTALKER"

 

"In keeping with my policy of targeting these corrupt organizations that profit from conspiracy and methamphetamine trafficking, the MCU initiated this investigation last year. I commend the MCU detectives who put many hard hours of good police work into this case. Their efforts have been successful. I also thank our District Attorney's Office for their advice and support throughout this investigation. Without them, the prosecution of these RICO cases would not be possible. I also want to thank our citizens for having patience with us during these long, exhaustive investigations. I am well aware of the trust and responsibility our community has put in my staff and I, and we will work the long hours and make the extra effort to ensure that Gordon County is not a safe haven for drug traffickers", said Sheriff Mitch Ralston

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE...

Tuesday, July 19th, 2011

Detectives Charge Ackworth Man in Connection With Air Conditioner Thefts From Local Churches

Sheriff Mitch Ralston Reports:

Gordon County Sheriff's detectives from the Field Crimes Unit have charged an Acworth, Georgia man with a number of felony offenses in connection with the thefts of air conditioner units from seven (7) local churches in June - July, 2011. On July 14th, 2011, a witness in the Ramhurst community in southern Murray County called 911 to report the theft of air conditioning units from a nearby church. A 'lookout' was broadcast to law enforcement officers in the area and a State Trooper from (local) Post 43 observed a van matching the witness' description near Ramhurst. The trooper stopped the van and discovered several air conditioning units, believed to have been stolen from the Murray County church inside the vehicle.

The driver, identified as one BILLY JACK CRISP, age 35, of 118 Main Lake Drive, Acworth, Bartow County, Georgia, was arrested at the scene and taken to the Murray County Jail. Gordon County detectives, who have been investigating the theft of air conditioning units from a number of local churches for several weeks, have charged CRISP with Theft and Vandalism of Places of Worship in connection with incidents at Hopewell Baptist Church in Oakman, Fairview Church of God in Oakman, Union Grove Baptist Church in the Union Grove community, Mount Olive Baptist church near Fairmount, White Graves Baptist Church near Oakman, Wesley Chapel Methodist Church in the Sonoraville community, and Victory Temple Church of God near Calhoun.

The investigation of the thefts and disposal of stolen property ranged widely across north Georgia, involving Bartow, Cherokee, Gilmer, Gordon, Murray, and Pickens Counties. The Sheriff's Offices in each county coordinated efforts and shared information and leads. CRISP is being held in the Murray County Jail pending bond proceedings. The investigation is ongoing and more arrests/charges are expected.

 

 

 

 

 

 

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE...

Friday, July 8th, 2011

Sheriff's Office Investigating Rash of Thefts at Local Churches

Sheriff Mitch Ralston Reports:

Over the past two weeks, four local churches have suffered the thefts of outside air conditioner units. These air conditioning units are very likely being sold for scrap metal after being stolen. The four churches have all been in the Fairmount/Ranger/Oakman vicinity, in eastern Gordon County, and are in isolated locations. Extra patrols in these areas are in place, and detectives are following up on a number of possible leads in conjunction with the Bartow County Sheriff's Office. A number of churches in northern Bartow County have suffered similar thefts in roughly the same time period.

 

Sheriff Ralston asks for the public's help in reporting any suspicious people or automobiles in the vicinity of churches. Detectives have reason to believe that a small, red, pick up truck might be involved in the thefts. The Sheriff urges anyone seeing suspicious activity, especially in isloated areas, to call 911. A reward is available to anyone furnishing information which leads to the arrest and conviction of the person(s) responsible for these thefts.

 

Sheriff Ralston said, "I am especially concerned and disgusted with anyone who would vandalize or steal from our churches, I have ordered our Community Crime Prevention Unit and Field detectives to concentrate on arresting the people committing these thefts and bringing them before our Courts".

 

 

 

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE...

Thursday, July 7th, 2011

Killer Paul Buchannon Pleads "Guilty" to Murder of Christy McKnight and Other Charges From July, 2010 in Gordon County Superior Court

Sheriff Mitch Ralston Reports:

Paul Buchannon, who has been held in custody in the Gordon County Jail since his arrest by deputy sheriffs on July 29th, 2010, entered a plea of "guilty" to charges of murdering Christy McKnight, shooting two other persons, and an array of related charges in Superior Court today.  He was sentenced to life in prison without parole. Buchannon was arrested in the Hill City community after an intensive manhunt last July, which ended after Buchannon confronted deputies with a handgun in a wooded area and was shot and wounded. Buchannon began a violent crime spree last July 29th when he entered a residence in Resaca and shot McKnight's son and nephew. Both young men survived, but Buchannon kidnapped McKnight and drove her to Hill City. There, he forced McKnight onto the railroad tracks and murdered her by shooting her through the neck. Deputy sheriffs found her body while searching the area on foot.

 

Sheriff Ralston commended all of the officers involved in the manhunt and Buchannon's capture, but singled out members of his Major Crimes squad for special praise. "My Major Crimes Unit detectives performed superbly in collecting, preserving, and presenting all possible evidence in this complicated investigation. They provided the District Attorney with a very thorough and well prepared investigative file, which played a major role in compelling this defendant to plead 'guilty' thus sparing surviving family members from a trial, which also would have been very costly. The Major Crimes squad has been successful in solving three homicides since I formed the Unit in 2009. I am pleased to know that a vicious murderer will never be free again".

 

 

 

 

 

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE...

Wednesday, July 6th, 2011

Sheriff's Office Investigates Death of 5 Year Old

Sheriff Mitch Ralston Reports:

At approximately 8:45 a.m. this morning, deputy sheriffs and other emergency personnel responded to the report of a drowned child at a private residence on Woody Road in southwestern Gordon County. Witnesses reported to deputies that the victim, a 5 year old child, was found unresponsive in a neighbor's swimming pool. The child was removed from the scene by emergency medical personnel but did not survive. The incident is being investigated by the Sheriff's Detective Division and the County Coroner's Office. The child's body will undergo a post mortem examination at the State Crime Laboratory in Decatur, Georgia pursuant to Georgia law.

 

 

 

 

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE…

Thursday, June 30th, 2011

Sheriff Mitch Ralston Reports:

 

At approximately 9:30pm, Monday, June 27th, 2011, uniformed deputy sheriffs stopped a suspicious automobile on Interstate 75 (Southbound) for a traffic violation. After questioning the passenger in this car, subsequently identified as one Ronix Rosemond, age 40, of 613 Wild Turkey Road, Savannah, Georgia, deputies placed him under arrest for Possession of Marijuana and Hindering Officers. The driver was not arrested. Rosemond was transported to the County Jail where deputies recovered a plastic bag containing suspected marijuana from his mouth. He subsequently told deputies and booking officers he’d eaten marijuana while being transported to jail.

 

Rosemond was placed in a booking cell and checked periodically by jail officers.  At approximately 6 am the following morning (June 28th) he was examined by a member of the jail medical staff and displayed no symptoms of medical distress. Later at about 9:45 am, Rosemond appeared ill and was taken by ambulance to Gordon Hospital. At approximately 1 am this morning, the Sheriff’s Office was advised that Rosemond had died. The body will be taken to the State Crime Laboratory where a post mortem examination will be performed. The death is being investigated by the GBI and the Coroner’s Office as required by State laws.

 

 

 

 FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE...

Monday, June 27th, 2011

Sheriff Mitch Ralston Reports:

Sheriff's Office & GBI Investigating Death of 12-Month Old Boy

At approximately 11 a.m., Sunday, June 26th, deputy sheriffs responded to the report of a child being seriously injured at an address on Orchard Way in the Boone Ford/Sonoraville community. The child was treated at Gordon Hospital and later transferred to Erlanger Medical Center in Chattanooga, Tennessee. At approximately 3 a.m. today, the child expired. The boy was 12 months old.  The body will be sent to the State Crime Laboratory in Decatur, Georgia for a post-mortem examination pursuant to Georgia law. Sheriff's detectives and agents from the Region 1 GBI field office are investigating the circumstances surrounding the injury and death.

 

 

 

 

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE...

Sheriff's Detectives Arrest Rocky Face, Georgia Man for Rape

Monday, June 27th, 2011

Sheriff Mitch Ralston Reports:

At approximately 9:30 p.m., Friday night, June 24th, the Sheriff's Office received a report of a rape at a private residence on Nickelsville Highway in the Resaca community. Responding deputy sheriffs and detectives located the victim, a 17 year old local resident, who reported being forcibly raped by a man with whom she'd become acquainted through 'Facebook' and 'Skype' over a period spanning several months. She reported that this was the first instance in which she'd actually met the man.

The man, subsequently identified as one CHARLES ZACHARY DANE MORGAN, age 19, of Rocky Face, Georgia, fled into the woods when the 911 call was placed, but later turned himself in to responding deputies near the scene.

He was subsequently arrested by detectives and charged with one count of Rape.

He was taken before a Magistrate who denied bond, and will appear in Gordon County Superior Court at a later date.

Sheriff Ralston urges parents to closely monitor the activities of children engaged in social networks via the internet.

 

 

 

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE...

Friday, June 17th, 2011

Detectives Seek Assistance From the Public in Identifying Individual in Surveillance Video

Sheriff Mitch Ralston Reports:

The Sheriff's Office Detective Division is investigating a theft at the Gordon County EMA building on State Highway 53 at approximately 6:30pm, June 15th, 2011. A surveillance camera captured footage depicting an unidentified individual and a white pick up truck at the scene. Sheriff Ralston asks that anyone who can identify this individua/ and/or vehicle call the Detective Division at 706-629-1244 or 706-879-5481.

This video takes approximately 3-4 minutes to download, please be patient...

 click here for video file

 

 

 

 

 

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE...

Tuesday, June 14th, 2011

Detectives Interrupt Burglary in Progress in Sonoraville

SHERIFF MITCH RALSTON REPORTS:

At approximately 3:15pm, Monday, June 13th, 2011, a report of a residential burglary-in-progress on Erwin Hill Church Road in the Sonoraville was broadcast via radio to all deputy sheriffs. Two Sheriff's Detectives were nearby and quickly responded. The plainclothed deputies subsequently apprehended one ANTHONY GUGLIOTTA, age 40, of 244 Blalock Road, Adairsville, Georgia at the scene. The offender was attempting to hide behind a tree. The detectives recovered a file and wirecutters from the offender's person. GUGLIOTTA was taken into custody without incident and charged with Criminal Trespass and Criminal Attempt to Commit Burglary. Detectives also arrested a woman believed to cohabitate with GUGLIOTTA, one HEATHER NEWPORT, age 25, of 244 Blalock Road, Adairsville, Georgia on an outstanding warrant for an unrelated charge.

Sheriff Ralston urges citizens to be on the lookout for suspicious persons during daylight hours, when most residential burglaries occur, particularly in the vicinity of vacant or abandoned homes.

 

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE...

 

Tuesday, June 14th, 2011

Local Citizens Help Deputy Sheriffs Apprehend Cocaine Trafficker in Resaca

SHERIFF MITCH RALSTON REPORTS:

Monday morning, June 13th, 2011, uniformed deputy sheriffs assigned to the Community Crime Prevention Unit (CCPU) stopped a suspicious automobile from Ohio in Resaca. After a search of the car revealed over a pound of processed cocaine, the driver of the vehicle, identified as one PERCY LEROY JONES, age 31, of 232 5th Avenue, Huntington, West Virginia, attempted to flee from the two deputies on foot. A chase ensued down a steep embankment into a wooded area. Three local men saw the deputies chasing the offender, stopped their own vehicles, and helped the deputies run down and apprehend JONES. A deputy was slightly injured during the pursuit. The local men greatly assisted in the quick capture of this violator. JONES was arrested without further incident and lodged in the County Jail, charged with Possession of Cocaine, Trafficking in Cocaine, and Obstructing Law Enforcement Officers.

Sheriff Ralston commented, "It's great to live in this community where our citizens not only support their local law enforcement officers, but are willing to actively assist deputies in an emergency. I want to personally thank each of these men. I'm very proud of our community"

 

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE...

 

Monday, June 6th, 2011

Detectives Investigate Death of Toddler

Sheriff Mitch Ralston Reports:

On Wednesday, June 1st, 2011, Sheriff's detectives responded to Floyd Medical Center in Rome, Georgia concerning the report of an injured 2 year old child. Detectives have reason to believe that the injuries were the result of a water-related incident at a private residence in the Plainville community that same day. The child was transferred to Scottish Rite Children's Hospital in Atlanta where he passed away Friday afternoon, June 3rd. Detectives are in consultation with the Georgia Bureau of Investigation's Crime Laboratory, and a post-mortem examination has been performed. A joint investigation involving the Department of Family & Childrens Services, The Georgia Bureau of Investigation, the Gordon County Coroner's Office, and the Sheriff's Office is continuing.

 

 

 

 

 

 

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE...

Thursday, May 26th, 2011

Detectives Investigate Reported Robbery at Interstate Rest Area

Sheriff Mitch Ralston Reports:

At approximately 11:45 a.m. today, deputy sheriffs were dispatched to the Interstate 75 Rest Area near Adairsville concerning the report of a robbery. A professional driver reported that 4 men had snatched a wallet from him and fled the scene in an automobile. Within minutes, State Troopers had stopped the car fitting the description near I-75/State Highway 53. The 4 occupants were detained for questioning and released after the alleged victim declined to press charges. No arrests were made and Sheriff's detectives consider the matter closed.

 

 

 

 

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE...

Monday, May 23, 2011

Detectives Investigate Aggravated Assault Incident, One Arrested

Sheriff Mitch Ralston Reports:

 

At approximately 10 a.m. Sunday morning (May 22), deputy sheriffs were dispated to the report of an aggravated assault at 331 Langston Road in the Sonoraville community. Responding deputies subsequently arrested one MORGAN BRADSHAW, age 18, of Columbia, Tennessee and charged her with Aggravated Assault against a male acquaintence. Detectives recovered the knife believed to have been used in the assault. The suspect sustained non- life threatening injuries crashing through a glass door. The victim sustained non-life threatening injuries as well which did not require medical treatment. BRADSHAW is lodged in the County Jail pending court appearance.

 

 

 

 

 

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE...

Thursday, May 19th, 2011

Deputy Sheriffs Arrest Two Alabama Men For Drug Trafficking, Seize Cocaine Valued at $180,000.00

Sheriff Mitch Ralston Reports:

At approximately 7:30pm Wednesday evening (May 18th), uniformed deputy sheriffs assigned to the Sheriff's Office Community Crime Prevention Unit (CCPU) stopped a suspicious Alabama automobile for a traffic violation near the Intersection of Interstate 75 and State Highway 53 in Gordon County. The car did not immediately stop for the deputy's blue lights, and turned into a nearby service station/convenience store as if to get fuel. The car still did not come to a standstill but an off duty Sheriff's detective in his private vehicle at the service station saw what was happening and blocked in the suspicious car. The CCPU deputies, assisted by their drug-detection dog, subsequently searched the car and discovered a half dozen kilos of cocaine. The two occupants, TERRIAS DONTA CAIN, age 26, of 1306 Montreat Drive, Athens, Alabama, and MICHAEL D. MOSLEY, age 24, of 1201 Browns Ferry Street, Athens, Alabama were both arrested without incident and charged with Trafficking in Cocaine. Both men are in the County Jail pending court appearance. The cocaine is valued at $180,000.00.

 

 

 

 

 

 

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE...

Saturday, May 14th, 2011

Fight Over "Ford vs. Chevy" Ends With 1 Hospitalized And 1 In Jail

Sheriff Mitch Ralston Reports:

At approximately 1 a.m. this morning, May 14, 2011, deputy sheriffs received a report of a aggravated assault incident near Calhoun. Responding deputies determined that several individuals were engaged in driving four-wheel-drive vehicles (off road) in a field off Beamer Road when an argument between two men escalated into a fight. Witnesses told detectives that what had began as a fist-fight ended when one of the men produced a knife and stabbed the other. Detectives subsequently arrest ZACHARY WOODY, age 21, of 160 Walraven Way, Calhoun, Georgia and have charged him with Aggravated Assault. The victim was hospitalized with serious injuries. Investigating detectives recovered the knife believed to have been used in the incident, and were told by witnesses that the assault stemmed from a disagreement over the superiority of Ford vehicles versus Chevrolet vehicles. Detectives also believe that alcohol was a factor.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE...

May 11th, 2011

Sheriff & Staff Participate in 'Law Enforcement Torch Run' For Georgia Special Olympics

Sheriff Mitch Ralston Announces:

On Tuesday, May 10th, along with the City of Calhoun Police Department and the local Post 43 of the Georgia State Patrol, the Sheriff and staff members participated in the Law Enforcement Torch Run, an annual event which raises awareness and funding for the "Georgia Special Olympics". The 'Torch Run' has been supporting Special Olympics in Georgia for over a quarter century. Law enforcement officers from the various agencies in the jurisdiction participated in the run. Runners recruited sponsors who contributed to the Special Olympics. "This year's run was a great success. And I join with Police Chief Moss and Sergeant First Class Tucker in congratulating the law enforcement personnel who participated, and all of the individuals and organizations who graciously donated to this worthy cause. Our law enforcement folks really enjoyed helping with such a great cause", said Sheriff Mitch Ralston.

The 'Torch Run' is held in conjunction with 'National Peace Officers Memorial Week' each year, and is part of a series of activities in which the Sheriff's Office participates.

 

 

 

 

 

 

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE...

Tuesday, May 3, 2011 

Gordon County Relief Effort For Tornado-Stricken Dade County a Success

Sheriff Mitch Ralston Reports:

"Mission Accomplished"

"I would like to take this opportunity to thank each and every individual citizen and every organization who graciously and generously donated to the relief effort for Dade County, which suffered badly in the recent outbreak of tornadoes. The people of Gordon County are kind people, with generous hearts for their neighbors. My staff and I delivered approximately 5 box-truck loads of badly needed water, food, and emergency supplies in 3 convoys over the past weekend. Our people really "stepped up to the plate" when the calls for help came in, and I assure you that your efforts were sincerely appreciated by our neighbors in Trenton and Dade County. I attended a government meeting with the officials in Dade County Sunday, and both the Dade County Sheriff and the Board of Commissioners sent their heartfelt thanks to all of you. I am very proud and humbled to serve as the sheriff of this county. The Lord blessed us during the tornado outbreak, and I am glad that we had an opportunity to pass along the blessing."

The Sheriff's Office will continue to deploy deputies to Dade County, and also to Catoosa County which requested assistance yesterday, until Friday, May 6, 2011.

Citizens wishing to contribute to ongoing relief efforts in Georgia, Alabama, and Tennessee are urged to contact the local American Red Cross.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE...

Monday, May 2, 2011; Sheriff's Office Investigating Two Unrelated Shootings

Sheriff Mitch Ralston Reports:

Sunday morning, May 1, 2011, deputy sheriffs responded to 60 Angus Court, Talking Rock Properties in the Ranger community in eastern Gordon County regarding the report of a shooting. Deputies found the body of LARRY DEWAYNE BATTLES, age 52, of that same address, inside the home. He had suffered what appeared to be a self-inflicted gunshot wound. The body was initially found by a family member who called 911. Investigating detectives do not suspect foul play. The investigation is continuing in conjunction with the Gordon County Coroner's Office.

In an unrelated matter, Sunday afternoon, May 1, 2011, deputy sheriffs were dispatched to 379 Sisson Bend Road in the Resaca community in northern Gordon County in response to a report of a shooting. Deputies found CHARLES ANDREW DESHEA, age 34, of 379 Sisson Bend Road, Resaca, Georgia, severely injured from an apparently self-inflicted gunshot wound. He was removed from the scene by emergency medical personnel and later taken to Erlanger Medical Center in Chattanooga, Tennessee. He was subsequently pronounced dead on Monday, May 2, 2011. Investigating detectives do not suspect foul play in this incident.

 

 

 

URGENT PUBLIC SERVICE ANNOUNCEMENT

 

 

 

Friday, 29th April, 2011

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

To All Gordon County Sheriff’s Personnel & the People of Gordon County:

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

I have been advised by Dade County, Georgia Sheriff Patrick Cannon that the people of Dade County are in dire need of the following supplies:

 

 

 

·       Bottled water

 

 

 

·       Personal hygiene items: soap, wipes, dental care items, toiletries, etc.

 

 

 

·       Disposable baby diapers

 

 

 

·       Batteries (all types)

 

 

 

·       Canned food / ready-to-eat food

 

 

 

All such supplies may be delivered to the Sheriff’s Office and will be transported to Dade County by myself & staff on Sunday, May 1st.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

As you all know, Trenton/Dade County was struck by devastating tornadoes during the outbreak on Wednesday, April 27th. Please remember and help our neighbors in this time of need.

 

 

Mitch Ralston

Sheriff of Gordon County

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE...

Thursday, April 28, 2011

Sheriff Assists Neighboring Counties After Tornados

Sheriff Mitch Ralston Reports:

The Gordon County Sheriff's Office is assisting neighboring counties after the devastating tornado outbreak on Wednesday, April 27th. Sheriff Ralston has offered official assistance in the form of manpower and jail space to other northwest Georgia sheriffs whose counties suffered tornado damage. The storms necessitated the evacuation of the Dade County Jail in Trenton, and over 50 Dade County inmates have been transferred to the Gordon County Jail. The Dade County Sheriff has sent Dade County officers and jail medical staff to Gordon County to deal with the needs of their inmates while housed here. Dade County Sheriff Patrick Cannon's residence was totally destroyed Wednesday night while he was directing law enforcement activities from his Office. Gordon County deputies have been placed on standby in case they are needed in the storm-stricken counties. 

Sheriff Ralston expressed his appreciation to all of the Calhoun and Gordon County public safety services for their level of prepardness for the tornado outbreak, which fortunately did not produce any injuries or deaths in Gordon County. Sheriff Ralston also said he appreciated all of the citizens of Gordon County who volunteered to help out in the Sugar Valley community in clearing roads and assisting their neighbors. "Please keep all of the victims of these tragedies and their families in your thoughts and prayers. I am especially thankful that our community did not suffer as badly as many have. As God blessed us here, I know the people of this county want to help their neighbors in this time of need."

 

Sheriff Mitch Ralston and Chief Deputy Robert Paris reaching out to neighboring counties on behalf of the Calhoun/ Gordon County community after the violent tornado outbreak of April 27th.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

PUBLIC SERVICE ANNOUNCEMENT

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE, 3:30p.m. Wednesday, April 27th, 2011...

Sheriff Mitch Ralston Advises:

Gordon County is bracing for the arrival of a "super cell" storm system later this evening. This system has already resulted in extensive damage and several deaths in states to our west. An apparent tornado struck the Sugar Valley community this morning resulting in much property damage but fortunately no injuries there have been reported. Extra deputy sheriffs have been called in for duty and will be deployed at strategic locations throughout the county in anticipation of the storm front. Citizens should remain alert and monitor media sources for updated weather reports. In the event of a tornado warning, take shelter below ground, such as in a basement, if possible. If no below-ground shelter is available, move to the lowest floor and into the center of the building. Citizens are urged to call 911 for emergencies only during this event.

 

 

 

 

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE...

Tuesday, April 19th, 2011

Deputies Arrest Kentucky Man For Possession of Marijuana With Intent to Distribute After Automobile Search

Sheriff Mitch Ralston Reports:

On the morning of April 13th, 2011, a uniformed deputy sheriff assigned to the 'Community Crime Prevention Unit' (CCPU) was on patrol in Resaca when he stopped a suspicious automobile bearing a Kentucky license plate. A subsequent search of the car by the deputy and his canine 'partner' revealed several pounds of processed marijuana hidden within. The driver, one Christopher Don Ware, age 28, of 729 Denali Street, Bowling Green, Kentucky was arrested without incident and charged with VGCSA Possession of Marijuana With Intent to Distribute and lodged in the County Jail.

 

 

 

 

 

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE...

 

Friday, April 15th 2011

Deputies Make Arrest at Stakeout at Local Business

Sheriff Mitch Ralston Reports:

On Thursday night, April 14th, Sheriff's detectives were conducting a 'stakeout' (surveillance) at a local business on State Route 53 Spur, in anticipation of a possible crime being committed there. At approximately 12:20 a.m., detectives and uniformed deputy sheriffs encountered a suspicious automobile in the business parking lot occupied by a Rome, Georgia man. The deputies approached the suspicious vehicle and subsequently arrested the occupant, JAMES M. COUZZART, age 41 of 57 Mayo Road, Rome, Georgia and charged him with Criminal Trespass, Violation of the Georgia Controlled Substances Act, and Possession of Tools for the Commission of a Crime.

 

 

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE...

 

Friday, April 15th 2011

Deputies Respond to Hanging Incident

Sheriff Mitch Ralston Reports:

Thursday afternoon April 14th, 2011, deputy sheriffs were dispatched to 131 Pine Street SW in unincorporated Gordon County in response to the report of a hanging incident. JAMES WILLIAM BURNS, age 27, of 131 Pine Street was reportedly found hanging by family members who then called 911. BURNS was transported to Gordon Hospital where he was subsequently pronounced dead. Investigating detectives have no reason to suspect that foul play was involved. The investigation by the Sheriff’s Office and the Gordon county coroner’s Office is continuing.

 

 

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE...

 

Friday, April 15th 2011

Detectives Arrest Fairmount Man For Aggravated Child Molestation

Sheriff Mitch Ralston Reports:

On Wednesday, April 13th, 201l, the Sheriff’s Office received a report of a child molestation alleged to have occurred in late March, 2011. Investigating detectives subsequently arrested on JACOB LAMAR FRANKLIN, age 23, of 279 Mount Pleasant Road, Fairmount, Georgia, and charged him with Aggravated Child Molestation and Child Molestation. The crimes are alleged to have occurred against a 14 year old female in the Sonoraville community. FRANKLIN is being held in the County Jail ending bond proceedings.

 

 

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE...

 

Thursday, April 7th, 2011

Sheriff's Detectives Solve Burglary, Recover $6K in Stolen Jewelry

Sheriff Mitch Ralston Reports:

Gordon County Sheriff's Detectives have solved a residential burglary which occured in the McDaniel Station Community on April 1st, 2011. Acting on information acquired through the new BWI Pawn Shop computerized monitoring system, detectives recovered jewelry valued in excess of $6,000.00. Following leads generated by the recovery of the stolen jewelry, detectives arrested DAKOTA W. HILL, age 20, of 140 Joshua Trail, Calhoun, Georgia, and charged him with Burglary. Detectives also learned that HILL was on probation through the Department of Corrections for a previous burglary offense in Gordon County. He is lodged in the County Jail pending judicial proceedings.

 

 

 

 

 

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE...

Tuesday, March 29th, 2011

Detectives Arrest man For Aggravated Child Molestation, Weapons Offense

SHERIFF MITCH RALSTON REPORTS:

On March 22nd, 2011, Sheriff's Detectives received a report of child molestation involving two female children, ages 11 and 13, in the Dews Pond community. That same day, detectives and uniformed deputies went to the suspect's residence on Singletree Drive to investigate the complaint. There, deputies discovered the suspect, and an illegally possessed weapon. The suspect, identified as one THURMAN WALKER HILLEGEIST, age 37, of 231 Singletree Drive, was arrested immediately for being a convicted felon in possession of a firearm. Detectives subsequently charged HILLEGEIST with 2 counts of Aggravated Child Molestation, and 2 counts of Child Molestation. He is lodged in the County Jail pending bond proceedings.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE...

SHERIFF'S OFFICE NEEDS YOUR HELP LOCATING A FUGITIVE:

Monday, March 28th, 2011

SHERIFF MITCH RALSTON ASKS:

The Gordon County Sheriff's Office needs the public's assistance locating a fugitive:

 

LEON D. CURTIS, age 30, Year of Birth= 1980, black/male, bald/shaved head, reported to have a tattoo on his chest. This individual may be driving/occupying a late model Volkswagen Jetta. His last known address is believed to be 400 Greeson Loop.

The Sheriff's Office wants CURTIS in connection with Aggravated Battery against a 3 year old female child, and Violation of Parole.

If you see this individual DO NOT APPROACH HIM! Call 911 and report his whereabouts to law enforcement authorities immediately.

 

 Leon Curtis was ARRESTED in Alabama on Thursday, March 31, 2011 by the US Marshal's Service. Thank you to everyone in the public who assisted the Sheriff's Office in this matter.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE...

Monday, March 28th, 2011

Deputy Sheriffs Apprehend One of Tennessee's "Top Ten" Fugitives in Resaca

SHERIFF MITCH RALSTON REPORTS:

At approximately 10p.m., Saturday night, March 26th, 2011, the Gordon County Sheriff's Office received a tip from the Tennessee Bureau of Investigation (TBI) that one of Tennessee's 'top ten most wanted' fugitives was reported to be at or near the Flying J truck stop in Resaca. Uniformed deputy sheriffs responded within minutes and surrounded the truck stop. The deputies, who had a description of the fugitive, entered and quickly located him inside the restaurant. John Barry Hale, age 54, of 2100 Center Point Road, surrendered peacefully and was taken into custody without incident. Hale was lodged in the County Jail pending extradition arrangements. Hale was being sought by Tennessee authorities in connection to a charge of "Aggravated Sexual Battery against a Victim Under 13" according to the TBI.

 

 

 

 

 

 

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE...

Friday, March 25th, 2011

Deputies Respond To Small Aircraft Crash in McDaniel Station Community

SHERIFF MITCH RALSTON REPORTS:

At approximately 5:30p.m., Friday afternoon, March 25, 2011, deputy sheriffs were dispatched along with Fire/Rescue Units, Emergency Management, and State Troopers, to a farm pasture in the McDaniel Station community in response to a report of a small plane crash. Deputies and emergency personnel were guided to the wreckage by witnesses. The pilot, who was injured but conscious, was removed from the scene by ground ambulance and reportedly transported to Floyd Medical Center. The wreckage appeared to be that of an "ultralight" or "experimental" type small aircraft. The FAA was notified by Emergency Management personnel. The identity of the pilot had not been verified at the time he was removed from the crash site. Witnesses told a deputy sheriff that they had observed the plane flying at tree top level, and heard the engine "sputter" just before the crash. Deputies reported that the crash site was on wet, muddy ground, clear of trees, which may have lessened the severity of the impact.

 

 

 

 

 

 

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE...

Friday, March 18th, 2011

DEPUTY SHERIFF STRUCK BY AUTO WHILE SUPERVISING INMATE WORK CREW...

SHERIFF MITCH RALSTON REPORTS:

At approximately 9:50 a.m. this morning, March 18th, 2011, a uniformed deputy sheriff was supervising an inmate work crew collecting garbage on the Red Bud Road near the Crane Eater Community when his Sheriff's Office truck was struck in the rear by another automobile. The deputy suffered injuries and was taken to Gordon Hospital by ambulance. No inmate workers were struck or injured. The other automobile, a Jeep SUV, turned over and came to rest in the roadway. The Sheriff's Office truck was parked off the roadway, on the right-of-way with warning signs posted and blue lights in operation at the time of the collision. The driver of the Jeep, identified as one BILLY EUGENE HALL, age 47, (last known address) of 512 Peters Street, Calhoun, Georgia, was also transported to the hospital where he was arrested by the Georgia State Patrol for DUI and other traffic charges. Troopers from State Patrol Post 43 are continuing their investigation into the crash. Sheriff Ralston said that "this incident is a reminder of the dangers faced by deputy sheriffs every day, even when engaged in 'public service' duties." Motorists should be aware of inmate work crews on County Roads and State Highways and exercise caution.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE...

Wednesday, March 16th, 2011

Ordinance Violation Investigation Leads to Meth Trafficking Arrest

SHERIFF MITCH RALSTON REPORTS:

On Tuesday afternoon, March 15th, 2011, uniformed deputy sheriffs responded to a reported (county) ordinance violation on Ryo Mountain Road in eastern Gordon County when they encountered 2 men in an automobile acting suspiciously. The deputies stopped the automobile and approached the men, who were armed, to question them. Upon searching one of the men, who was subsequently identified as one JESSIE TYRONE SELLERS, age 38, of 946 Ryo Mountain Road, the deputies discovered approximately one and one quarter ounces of methamphetamine and a bag of marijuana. After a brief struggle, SELLERS was subdued and taken into custody. The automobile and several hundred dollars in cash were also taken into custody. The second man was not arrested. SELLERS is lodged in the County Jail charged with Trafficking in Methamphetamine, Possession of methamphetamine and marijuana, and Obstructing Law Enforcement Officers. The "street" value of the drugs is estimated to be approximately $16,000.00.

 

 

 

 

 

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE...

Tuesday, March 15th, 2011

SHERIFF'S OFFICE HONOR GUARD MARCHES IN ATLANTA ST. PATRICK'S DAY PARADE

SHERIFF MITCH RALSTON REPORTS:

On Saturday, March 11th, 2011, the Gordon County Sheriff's Office Honor Guard performed in the 129th Annual St. Patrick's Day Parade in Atlanta. The parade was held in downtown Atlanta on Peachtree Street and included pipes & drums, floats, Irish dancers, police and fire units, and a host of other participants. The Parade Grand Marshal was Mr. Paul Gleeson, the Irish Consul General. The Gordon County Honor Guard was the only law enforcement unit from outside metro Atlanta accepted to participate in the parade. Acknowledging Gordon County's rich history of Scotch-Irish pioneers, the Honor Guard carried the flag of Ulster along with the traditional flags. The deputies who attended the parade were all volunteers who received no compensation other than the satisfaction of representing the Sheriff and the people of Gordon County. The Honor Guard performs at ceremonial services in our community and at the request of other law enforcement agencies in Georgia.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE...

Thursday, March 10th, 2011

Deputy Sheriff Finds Hidden Meth While Serving Warrant:

SHERIFF MITCH RALSTON REPORTS:

On Friday morning, March 4th, 2011, a uniformed deputy sheriff was located at J&J Transmission Shop at 248 Richardson Road in Calhoun attempting to execute a civil arrest order when he encountered one Tracy Lee Teague at the business. The deputy was searching the interior of the business for the defendant named in the arrest order when he opened an appliance and discovered 2 pounds of processed crystal methamphetamine. Teague was placed under arrest without incident. The deputy also discovered a pistol from which the serial number had been obliterated. The drugs and firearm were taken into custody as evidence, and Teague was taken to the County Jail. The sheriff summoned assistance from the Calhoun City Police in the follow up investigation. Teague was charged with Violation of the Georgia Controlled Substances Act and remains in Jail. The methamphetamine has a 'street' value of $40,000.00

"We are committed to stemming the flow of illegal methamphetamine which is being imported into Calhoun and Gordon County, in conjunction with our law enforcement and prosecutorial partners, by all means at our disposal", said Sheriff Mitch Ralston.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

SHERIFF MITCH RALSTON ANNOUNCES:

Sheriff's Auxiliary Announces 3rd Annual City-County Charity Basketball Game Benefitting the Winners Club...

The 3rd Annual Calhoun City-Gordon County Charity Basketball Game will be held at 6 p.m. Saturday, March 5th, 2011 at the Gordon Central High School Gymnasium. The game features teams composed of city firefighters and police officers versus county firefighters and deputy sheriffs. The City team is the reigning champion, and will be returning a strong offense and skilled defensive lineup. However, with the a new player-coach and a new strategy, hope springs eternal and the County team hopes to capture it's first title. The City squad is known for it's quickness on the court, height, and rapid fire 3 pointers. The County team has added some height and ability to this year's squad, and has evolved away from "driveway basketball" tactics.

An assortment of public safety vehicles and equipment will be on display for children and adults before tip off at 6 p.m.

ADMISSION IS FREE! The annual event is sponsored by Sheriff Mitch Ralston's Auxiliary, and proceeds benefit the Winners Club. 

 

 

 

 

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE...

Sheriff Mitch Ralston Reports:

Deputies Find Methamphetamine Hidden in Secret Compartment in Walking Cane During Traffic Stop

 

A uniformed deputy sheriff was on routine patrol in the Dews Pond Community near midnight on February 20 / 21, 2011 when he stopped a suspicious automobile for speeding on Dews Pond Road. When the driver of the pick up truck could not produce a license, the deputy became suspicious and obtained written consent to search the vehicle. Inside, deputies noticed a walking stick topped by an ornamental duck head. The deputies unscrewed the head of the walking cane and discovered a hidden compartment containing several grams of packaged methamphetamine. The driver, Jason Lance Southerland, age 30, of 143 Scott Road, Chatsworth, Georgia; along with the passenger, Johnny Lynn Hobbs, age 38, of 4294 Old Dixie Highway, Dalton, Georgia, were both arrested at the scene. Both were charged with Possession of Methamphetamine, and Southerland was also charged with Speeding and Open Container. Both are lodged in the County Jail pending bond proceedings.

 

 

 

 

 

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE...

Monday, February 14th, 2011

Sheriff's CCPU Intercepts Drug Shipment:

At approximately 10 p.m., Thursday, February 10th, 2011, a uniformed deputy sheriff assigned to the Community Crime Prevention Unit (CCPU) stopped a suspicious automobile on Interstate 75 near the Highway 53 exit. The deputy approached the driver of this automobile, who said he was travelling to Fairmount, and conducted a "pat down" search, finding a baggie of marijuana. The deputy with his canine 'partner' subsequently searched the automobile and was attempting to take the driver into custody when he  escaped and fled across the interstate highway on foot. Other deputy sheriffs and Calhoun police officers responded to the scene but were unable to find the suspect. Deputies found over a pound of processed/packaged marijuana and several hundred pills believed to be Xanax and Oxycodone inside the car, which was determined to be a rental vehicle. Arrest warrants have been issued charging Ariim Chekenya Burden, age 34, of 1715 Stanwood Drive, Kennesaw, Georgia with: VGCSA Possession of Marijuana With Intent to Distribute, and VGCSA Possession of Schedule II and IV Drugs With Intent to Distribute. If anyone has information regarding Burden's whereabouts, please call the Gordon County Sheriff's Office at 706.629.1244 or 911. One of the ongoing missions of the Community Crime Prevention Unit is to stem the tide of illegal drugs into Gordon County via the highway systems, through stragegic patrolling and the use of canines. Sheriff Ralston thanked the Calhoun Police for their rapid response to the deputy's call for aid during the incident.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE...

Monday, January 24th, 2011

Sheriff Investigates Second Deadly Tractor Accident This Month

Sheriff Mitch Ralston Reports:

At approximately 12:30 p.m. today, Monday, January 24th, 2011, uniformed deputy sheriffs and emergency fire/rescue and emergency medical personnel were dispatched to a farm at 1423 Resaca-LaFayette Highway near Resaca in response to a report of a farm tractor accident. Apparently while operating a farm tractor in a pasture area, the driver, identified as MARVIN LOMAX, age 70, of 1423 Resaca-LaFayette Highway, was killed when a tree fell across the tractor's cab. This is the second incident in January wherein a death occured in a farm tractor accident. The investigation is being carried out by the Sheriff's Office and the Gordon County Coroner's Office.

 

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE...

 

Friday, January 21, 2011

Sheriff Mitch Ralston Announces:

On Wednesday, January 19, 2011, Sheriff Mitch Ralston and a delegation of 8 other Georgia sheriffs and their staff members were invited to meet newly elected Georgia Attorney General Sam Olens at a luncheon hosted by the Cobb County Sheriff's Office in Marietta. Attorney General Olens spoke with the officials about a range of topics, including the duties of the Attorney General's Office, pending legislation which will affect Georgia sheriffs, capital punishment, and other legal issues. Attorney general Olens pledged to make himself and his staff more accessible to local elected officials, which was well received by Sheriff Ralston and the other officers. Sheriff Ralston has worked to reestablish good relations with state elected officials, and looks forward to cooperating with the Attorney general and his staff.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE...

Thursday, January 20th, 2011

Sheriff Mitch Ralston Reports:

The Sheriff's Office is pleased to report that last week's winter storm did not result in any extraordinary overtime costs, or any damage to Sheriff's Office automobiles, equipment, or facilities. An emergency plan, developed by Sheriff Ralston in 2009, was implemented on Sunday night, January 9th, and continued throughout the following 72 hours. The plan involved the reassignment and deployment of four-wheel-drive vehicles, the rescheduling of hourly employees during peak service periods each day, and the deployment of supervisory personnel, who are not paid on an hourly basis, to perform extra patrols. Surplus 4WD vehicles obtained from the federal government's Excess Property program, as well as 4WD automobiles seized in drug-related investigations, were used in place of regular patrol cars. A number of deputy sheriffs volunteered to work during the storm without compensation.

Sheriff Ralston praised all of the other County agencies involved in the storm response, for their efficiency and hard work in severe weather conditions. This was very much a 'team effort'.

The Sheriff also thanks all of the residents of Gordon County forexercising caution in the winter storm conditions, and all of the private citizens who helped clear roadways and checked on friends and neighbors.

"I am proud to be a member of the community we share, and my heart was warmed by the response from ordinary people in looking after one another. I am humbled to serve the best county in our state."

 

 

 

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE...

Deadly Tractor Accident Investigated

SATURDAY, JANUARY 15th, 2011

Sheriff Mitch Ralston Reports:

At about 4:30 p.m. Saturday afternoon, January 15th, uniformed deputy sheriffs were dispatched to a farm at 919 Pine Hill Road south of the Sonoraville community near Bartow County regarding a tractor accident. Responding deputies, along with Fire/Rescue and EMS personnel, arrived to find that a farm tractor had apparently overturned into a stock pond, trapping the driver. The victim was subsequently identified as HOWARD GARLAND, age 83, of Rydal, Georgia. An aquaintence of the victim attempted to rescue him from the enclosed-cab tractor. The victim was transported to Gordon Hospital by ambulance, but was later pronounced dead. The acquaintence, who told deputies he'd witnessed the accident, was also removed by ambulance appearing to have been suffering from hypothermia. 

 

 

 

 

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE...

Domestic Disturbance Leads to Arrest for Aggravated Assault

FRIDAY, JANUARY 14TH, 2011

SHERIFF MITCH RALSTON REPORTS:

Shortly after midnight, Friday, January 14th, 2011, uniformed deputy sheriffs responded to the report of a domestic disturbance at 628B Craigtown Road in unincorporated Gordon County. Deputies were met by a male victim, who had suffered a severe physical beating, sitting outside in the subfreezing weather who told them he'd been assaulted by his female domestic partner. Detectives subsequently arrested one MARILYN GARZA, age 39, of 628B Craigtown Road, Calhoun in connection with the assault. Detectives believe that GARZA assaulted the victim with a variety of houshold itmes including a chair, glass bottles, and a tea kettle. The victim was treated and released from a local hospital, and the injuries are not believed to be life threatening. The investigating detectives have charged Ms. GARZA with Aggravated Assault. It is not certain at this time what triggered the disturbance. She is lodged in the County Jail pending bond proceedings.

 

 

PUBLIC SERVICE ANNOUNCEMENT:

 

Updated: 11:30 a.m. Tuesday, January 11th, 2011

Winter Storm in Gordon County...

A major winter storm has deposited a significant amount of snow/ice onto Gordon County and the rest of North Georgia. Up to 6 inches of snow has fallen as of 7 a.m. today, creating very treacherous driving conditions on roadways. State and county road maintenance crews are on scene now throughout the county. The Georgia DOT is urging people to stay off the roadways. 

Motorists should be especially aware of icy conditions on bridges and overpasses.

Citizens are cautioned against coming into contact with power lines which may fall in snow/icy conditions. Downed power lines should be reported to the appropriate utility company or Emergency 911.

Sheriff Ralston has deployed extra deputy sheriffs to patrol throughout the county during peak activity times for the duration of the hazardous weather, and response to nuisance calls which do not involve danger to persons or property may be delayed.

Interstate 75, State Routes, and some heavily travelled county roads are passable, but are still not safe.

Sheriff Mitch Ralston urges everyone to avoid unnecessary travel.

Gordon County Superior Court proceedings have been suspended for Tuesday, January 11th, 2011.

Superior Court information may be obtained by calling 706-879-2306.

Stay tuned to NOAA Weather Radio or commercial media outlets for more information regarding hazardous weather.

 

 

 

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:

Monday, December 27th, 2010

Extra Patrols Scheduled For New Years Eve:

The Gordon County Sheriff's Ofice will deploy additional manpower this New Years Eve. Extra patrol personnel, including Sheriff Ralston and his command staff, will be working throughout the county during the peak activity hours, and will be concentrating on highway/road safety.

Sheriff Ralston urges people to celebrate the new year in a safe fashion, and never drink and drive. Partygoers should have a designated driver, or consider alternative transportation, such as a taxi. Citizens should call 911 if they see a suspected drunk driver.

 

 

 

 

 

PUBLIC SERVICE ANNOUNCEMENT:

 6 p.m.      Saturday, December 25th, 2010

SHERIFF URGES CAUTION DRIVING IN WINTER WEATHER:

Gordon County has experienced a winter storm today which is expected to last through tomorrow, Sunday, December 26th, 2010. Snow and ice have accumulated on State Highways and County Roads, making driving potentially treacherous. Motorists should exercise extreme caution, and be especially aware of 'black ice'. Bridges and overpasses are particularly dangerous during winter storms.  Unnecessary travel should be avoided until road conditions have improved. 

 

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE...

 

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Deputy Sheriffs Arrest Tennessee Fugitive

Sheriff Mitch Ralston Reports:

On Tuesday afternoon, December 14th, 2010, acting on a tip from the Henry County, Tennessee Sheriff's Office, uniformed deputy sheriffs captured a fugitive from Tennessee, identified as one DAVID WAYNE FELOCK, age 33, of Henry County, Tennessee. The deputies located FELOCK at No. 10 Ridge Row Apartment 4, near Calhoun. FELOCK was found hiding under a bed, and did not resist arrest. He had been hunted by the Henry County, Tenness Sheriff's Office for over 2 years for a probation violation offense, and was listed as one of Henry County, Tennessee's "10 Most Wanted". FELOCK is lodged in the Gordon County Jail pending extradition proceedings.

 

 

PUBLIC SERVICE ANNOUNCEMENT...

 

SUNDAY, DECEMBER 12, 2010

Sheriff Urges Caution Driving During Winter Weather:

Gordon County is under a Winter Weather Advisory until 7 a.m. Monday morning, December 13, 2010. There is a possibility of adverse winter weather including snow and ice conditions on the roadways. Motorists should exercise caution, avoid excess speed, and be aware of the possibility of the formation of "black ice". Stay tuned to local and regional media weather broadcasts or the National Weather Service for weather-related updates.

 

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE...

 

Monday, December, 6th, 2010

Deputy Nabs International Fugitive

At approximately 4 a.m. Saturday, December 4t, 2010, a uniformed deputy sheriff was on routine patrol on Interstate 75 South when he stopped a late model Ford Taurus for speeding. The deputy was suspicious of the driver and upon conducting computer inquiries, determined that he was wanted by INTERPOL as a fugitive from the country of Romania. The Sheriff's Office was advised that VASILE IONEL TOMESCU, age 28, alegedly of 1934 East Quincy, Orange, California, was being sought as a fugitive by the government of Romania in connection with "human trafficking". The notification included a warning that TOMESCU could be considered "armed and dangerous". TOMESCU was arrested by the deputy sheriff and lodged in the county jail.  Investigating detectives then notified officials from Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) and the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), who responded to the Sheriff's Office. A detainer has been placed on TOMESCU by ICE officials.

Sheriff Ralston praised the deputy's alertness in apprehending this fugitive.

 

 

 

 

 

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE...

Thursday, December 2nd, 2010     Deputy Sheriffs Make 2 Arrests in Burglary-in-Progress at Red Bud

Sheriff Mitch Ralston Reports:

At approximately 1:45 p.m. yesterday, December 1st, 2010, uniformed deputy sheriffs were dispatched to the Hunts Gin intersection in the Red Bud Community in response to a report of a burglary in progress. An alert citizen had observed a suspicious vehicle and promptly notified 911. The first deputy on the scene quickly confronted two males later identified as Jeffrey Ray Coker, age 24, of 33 Horse Show Road, Adairsville, Georgia, and Brian James Giafaglione, age 24, of 4696 Red Bud Road. The deputy arrested both men without resistance. A pickup truck at the scene contained a load of metal objects of various description, which detectives believe would have been sold as scrap. The stolen property was returned to the rightful owner. Investigating detectives have charged both men with 2 counts of burglary; the second charges stemmed from a similar incident at the same location on November 29th, 2010. Both men are being held in the county jail pending bond procedings.

 

 

 

 

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE...

 

Wednesday, December 1st, 2010          Cartersville Man Arrested in Connection With the Theft of a Farm Tractor

Sheriff Mitch Ralston Reports:

Gordon County Sheriff's detectives are investigating an incident wherein a Cartersville man was arrested in connection with the theft of a farm tractor from Smith Equipment Company on US Highway 41 in Gordon County.    At approximately 2:30 a.m. this morning, Adairsville, Georgia police stopped Brandon Grunseth, age 28, of 19 Mountain View Court, Cartersville, Georgia on US Highway 41. Grunseth was driving a farm tractor later determined to have been stolen from Smith Equipment Company shortly before being confronted by officers. The tractor, valued at approximately $25,000.00, has been returned to the rightful owners. Grunseth told investigating detectives that he'd "borrowed" the tractor to drive home to Cartersville. Detectives do not believe that alcohol or drugs played a part in this incident. Sheriff Ralston praised the Adairsville Police for their alertness and quick response in apprehending Grunseth, who is being held in the Gordon County Jail charged with theft.

 

 

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE...

 

Friday, November 19th, 2010         Deputies Respond to Death Report

Sheriff Mitch Ralston Reports:

At approximately 10 p.m., Thursday night, November 18th, 2010, deputy sheriffs were dispatched to a private residence at 245 Banks Chapel Road in the Ranger community in eastern Gordon County regarding a death. There, the deputies found the body of Mr. Bobby Smith, age 61, of that same address. Mr. Smith had initially been discovered by a concerned family member who'd called 911. Deputies have no reason to suspect foul play. The investigation by the Coroner's Office is continuing.

 

 

Friday, November 19th, 2010      Ranger Man Reports Being Shot

 

Sheriff Mitch Ralston Reports:

At approximately 4 a.m. Friday morning, November 19th, 2010, deputy sheriffs were summoned to 731 Pleasant Hill Road in the Ranger community in eastern Gordon County in response to the report of a shooting. Upon arrival, deputies found Ryan Parker, age 21, of 731 Pleasant Hill Road, Ranger, Georgia, who appeared to have suffered a gunshot wound to his upper torso/shoulder. Parker reported to deputy sheriffs that he'd been shot by an unidentified assailant on nearby Knight Road who'd fled the scene. A search of the surrounding area by deputies and detectives produced no suspects. Parker was transported by ambulance to Floyd Medical Center. The investigation is ongoing.

UPDATE, Saturday, November 20, 2010: After an intensive investigation by the Sheriff's Major Crimes Unit (MCU), detectives investigating the alleged assault against Ryan Parker yesterday near Ranger, Georgia have determined that Parker actually shot and wounded himself. Detectives also recovered the pistol believed to have been involved in the self-inflicted shooting. The uniformed deputy sheriffs who responded to the incident yesterday morning were immediately suspicious of Parker's report, noticing that the physical evidence did not coincide with his statements. Parker was treated at Floyd Medical Center in Rome, Georgia. His wound is not believed to be life threatening. Detectives have not established a clear motive for the shooting, but do not believe that it was accidental. Detectives anticipate that Parker will be charged with falsely reporting a crime to law enforcement officers.

 

 

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE...

 

Wednesday, November 9, 2010      Deputies Respond to Death Report

Sheriff Mitch Ralston Reports:

At approximately 8:30 a.m. this morning, Wednesday, November 9th, 2010, Sheriff's deputies and detectives were summoned to 372 Brody Drive in the Resaca community in response to the report of an unattended death. Deputies determined that JERRY W. SNEED, age 56, of 372 Brody Drive had been found in bed unresponsive by a family member who called 911. At this point detectives have no reason to believe that foul play was involved. The body was sent to the GBI Crime Laboratory in Decatur, Georgia for post mortem examination. The investigation is continuing by Sheriff's detectives and the Gordon County Coroner's Office.

 

 

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE...

 

Wednesday, November 9, 2010      Sheriff Acquires New K9s

Sheriff Mitch Ralston Announces:

The Gordon County Sheriff's Office now has two new canine (K9) "deputies", 'Zyco', a Dutch Gruendale male, and 'Katja', a Belgian Malinois female. The dogs were acquired after the death of Sheriff's K9 'Bennie', who succumbed to canine-cancer earlier this year. The dogs and their officer-handlers underwent a rigorous 4 week training course in Alabama prior to certification. Both dogs are trained in the detection of illegal drugs, and 'Katja' is cross-trained to trail and track people. The dogs were purchased with funds raised from the October K9 training seminar hosted by the Sheriff's Office, and with funds condemned in drug trafficking investigations. The dogs will be deployed in the Patrol Division and the Community Crime Prevention Unit (CCPU).

 

Left to right: Sheriff Mitch Ralston, Deputy William Channell and 'Zyco', Deputy Corey Tate and 'Katja'

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE...

Saturday, October 30th, 2010

DEPUTY SHERIFF INVOLVED IN AUTOMOBILE CRASH

Sheriff Mitch Ralston Reports:

At approximately 5:35 a.m. this morning, Saturday, October 30th, 2010, a uniformed deputy sheriff was on routine patrol on US Highway 41 near Resaca when he was involved in a head-on collision with another automobile. Although seriously injured, the deputy was able to radio for help. Both drivers had to be extracted from their vehicles by emergency responders. The deputy was flown to Erlanger medical Center in Chattanooga, Tennessee by helicopter. The other driver was flown to North Fulton Hospital by helicopter. His condition is not known at this time. The collision is being investigated by the Georgia State Patrol.

 

 

Update: Deputy Sheriff Involved in Automobile Crash...

 

Monday, November 1st, 2010

Sheriff Mitch Ralston Reports:

The deputy sheriff involved in the automobile collision on US Highway 41 early Saturday morning, October 30th, is identified as :

Deputy Cameron B. Cartledge , age 27. Cartledge has been employed by the Gordon County Sheriff's Office since July, 2006, and was assigned to the Uniform Patrol Division at the time of the incident. Cartledge is still under intensive care at Erlanger Medical Center in Chattanooga, Tennessee for serious injuries received in the crash.

The other driver has been identified by the State Patrol as one JOSE GONZALEZ-REYES a/k/a JOSE GONZALEZ, age 20 of 390 Nickelsville Road, Resaca, Georgia. His place of birth in previous arrest reports is listed as Mexico. State troopers are charging GONZALEZ-REYES with Driving Under the Influence, Driving on the Wrong Side of the Road, and Driving Without Headlights in Darkness. Investigating troopers believe that GONZALEZ-REYES crossed over the center line on US Highway 41 and struck Cartledge's patrol car head-on. GONZALEZ-REYES was also injured and was flown to an Atlanta area hospital.

Officials from Immigration & Customs Enforcement (ICE) have forwarded a "Detainer" regarding GONZALEZ-REYES to the Sheriff's Office.

Jail and Court records indicate that GONZALEZ-REYES has been arrested on at least 2 previous occasions in Calhoun / Gordon County : On December 30th, 2007, he was arrested by Calhoun Police for Aggravated Assault. He pled 'guilty' to the lesser charge of Reckless Conduct on February 28th, 2008 and received a sentence of 12 months on probation. On November 30th, 2009, GONZALEZ-REYES was arrested by deputy sheriffs for Battery. He enter a plea of 'guilty' on April 1st, 2010 and received a sentence of 12 months on probation. Both "Final Disposition" documents concerning GONZALEZ-REYES' Superior Court cases denote "advised of ICE consequences".

Sheriff's detectives assisting the State Patrol with the investigation determined that the van which GONZALEZ-REYES was driving at the time of the crash had been stolen from a private residence in Resaca only a few minutes before the incident. The owner of the van is confined to a wheelchair. Sheriff's detectives will be charging GONZALEZ-REYES with Burglary and Motor Vehicle Theft in addition to the charges filed by the State Patrol.

"Please keep Deputy Cartledge and his family in your thoughts and prayers. His condition will be updated as he progresses. If anyone wants to assist Deputy Cartledge and his family during their extended hospital stay they can contact my staff, or the Sheriff's Auxiliary", said Sheriff Ralston.

  Deputy Cartledge's Patrol Car                                  Deputy Cameron Cartledge

  Stolen Van                                                                    Jose Gonzalez-Reyes

 

 

 

 

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE...

MONDAY, OCTOBER 25th, 2010

Sheriff Mitch Ralston Reports:

MAJOR METHAMPHETAMINE TRAFFICKING ARREST:

At approximately 11:15 p.m., Sunday night, October 24th, 2010, Georgia state troopers stopped a late model SUV from Iowa on Interstate 75 North near the Red Bud Road. The troopers found the vehicles and occupants suspicious and called the Sheriff's Community Crime Prevention Unit (CCPU) for assistance. The troopers and deputies took the SUV to a nearby automobile shop and conducted a thorough search of the vehicle. The officers found approximately 8 pounds of packaged methamphetamine, in double sealed plastic bags, submerged in the vehicle's gasoline tank. The drugs, valued at $100,000.00, were taken into custody as evidence, and the driver, identified as one SANDRA LOPEZ, age 28, of 2825 SE 14th Street, Lot 59, Des Moines, Iowa, was arrested and charged with Trafficking in Methamphetamine. She is lodged in the Gordon County Jail pending bond proceedings. "This is another successful effort in joint counter-drug enforcement between the State Patrol and the Sheriff's CCPU", said Sheriff Ralston.

 

 

 

 

 PUBLIC SERVICE ANNOUNCEMENT

 

Wednesday, October 20th, 2010

SHERIFF MITCH RALSTON ANNOUNCES:

"Halloween will be celebrated soon. I urge all parents and guardians of small children who'll be trick-or-treating to take proper safety precautions to ensure a fun and safe holiday. Please consider these tips:

1. Children should not  trick-or-treat without a responsible adult.

2. Use extra caution in or about heavy traffic areas.

3. Trick-or-treaters should wear reflective clothing and/or carry a light.

3. Be cautious when trick-or-treating at unfamiliar homes.

4. Do not consume candy or treats in packages which have been opened.

5. Do not allow children to accept anything which appears suspicious.

6. Adults should examine all candy and treats before they are consumed by children.

7. Report any suspicious or unsafe activity by calling 911.

Trick-or-treaters can visit the Sheriff's Office lobby for treats. Please join me in keeping our children safe this Halloween."

 

 

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE...

 

Wednesday, October 13th, 2010

Sheriff Mitch Ralston Announces:

A ceremony honoring First Sergeant John David Blair, who was killed in action in Afghanistan on June 20th, 2009, will be held at 10 a.m. Wednesday, October 20th, 2010 at the intersection of US Highway 41 / State Route 53 in Calhoun. A resolution honoring 1stSGT Blair dedicating the intersection as the "John David Blair Memorial Intersection" and authorizing the placement of memorial signs was adopted by the Georgia General Assembly in April, 2010. The signs were purchased by the Sheriff's Auxiliary members.

1stSGT Blair was a member the Georgia Army National Guard's 48th Brigade Combat Team, and had been a deputy sheriff for a number of years.

 

 

 

 

 FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE...

Thursday, October 7th, 2010

Sheriff Mitch Ralston Reports:

At approximately 7:70 a.m., Monday, October 4th, 2010, a uniformed deputy sheriff attempted to stop an automobile travelling in excess of 100 miles per hour (mph) on Interstate 75 (north bound) near Resaca. The driver of the automobile refused to stop and the chase continued from Gordon County into Whitfield County with other deputy sheriffs as well as state troopers joining in the pursuit. Whitfield County deputies deployed 'stop sticks' in the vehicle's path, and a state trooper forced the suspect vehicle from the roadway near Dalton. The suspect vehicle struck a guardrail and came to a stop. The driver, identified as one VINCENT GERALD FORD, age 47, of 5722 Moody Sawyer Road, Hixon, Tennessee was arrested without incident, and taken to the Gordon County Jail. He was charged with Fleeing and Attempting to Elude Officers, Speeding, and Reckless Driving. Officers do not believe that intoxicants were involved in this incident, and do not know why FORD chose to flee from them.

 

 

 

 

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE...

UPDATE 9:30 a.m. Saturday, September 25, 2010

MISSING 12 YEAR OLD GIRL FOUND IN TEXAS

Gordon County Sheriff's detectives received information this morning from Immigration Customs Enforcement (ICE) officials in Brownsville, Texas that JULIESSA TABOACA-DIAZ, age 12, who was reported missing to the Sheriff's Office on September 22, 2010 and was the subject of an intensive regional search by authorities, has been located and detained at the Texas-Mexico border. The missing girl and an adult, male companion were detained after computerized records alerted officers that she had been reported missing from Gordon County. The companion, identified as one WILSON VICENTE', a/k/a "Wilson Lugar", age 21, of Calhoun, Georgia, has been taken to Port Isabel Detention Center in Texas. VICENTE' will be charged by Sheriff's detectives with "Interstate Interference With Custody". Detectives believe VICENTE' to be a Guatamalan national. The Sheriff's Office will refer the case to the District Attorney's Office regarding extradition and prosecution proceedings. Sheriff Ralston said, "We are relieved that this child has been located and will soon be reunited with her family. I sincerely thank all of the local, state, and federal authorities who participated with us in this investigation."

 

 

 

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Detectives Need Help Locating Missing 12 Year Old Girl:

Gordon County Sheriff's Detectives are looking for JULIESSA TABOACA-DIAZ, age 12. She was reported missing from her home in the Sonoraville-Dews Pond Community at approximately 9 a.m. today, September 22, 2010. She is described as a hispanic/latina female, 5'00" in height, 107 lbs, brown eyes, shoulder length black hair. She was last seen in her home at about 10 p.m. during the night of September 21. Detectives do not know how she may be dressed. Detectives do not have evidence at this time that she was abducted. Anyone seeing or having contact with her is urged to call 911 immediately.

UPDATE, 4:30pm Thursday, September 23, 2010:

Sheriff's deputies & detectives are still searching for Juliessa Taboaca-Diaz, reported missing to the Sheriff's Office yesterday, September 22. Detectives have not developed any evidence that the child was abducted. Juliessa's mother reported to detectives this afternoon that she had received a telephone call from the child, and that Juliessa had said that she was aware that authorities were searching for her and that "she was okay". Detectives do not know where the call originated, but are investigating further into the matter. Anyone having contact with this child is urged to call 911.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Sheriff's K9 'Benny' Passes Away

September 20, 2010

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE...

Sheriff Mitch Ralston Announces:

 

"It is with sadness and regret that we announce the passing of K9 'Benny', one of our drug sniffing canine 'partners'". 'Benny' had suffered from a form of canine cancer which was detected only a few weeks earlier. 'Benny', who was only 3 years old, started in the Sheriff's Office in April, 2008, and participated in scores of drug - related arrests and prosecutions. 'Benny' was a Belgian Malinois, specially trained in the detection of narcotics and marijuana. He had been assigned to the Community Crime Prevention Unit along with his handler Deputy Corey Tate since January, 2010. 'Benny' was a favorite among local school children, and appeared often at schools and other functions. He will be missed.

 

A brief, private memorial ceremony honoring 'Benny's' service to the community will be held at the Sheriff's Office on Friday, September 24th, 2010.

 

 

 

 

Deputy Sheriffs Surprised by Liquor Still While Serving Arrest Warrant

  September 20, 2010

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE...

Sheriff Mitch Ralston Reports:

On Saturday afternoon, September 18th, 2010, Gordon County deputy sheriffs were executing an arrest warrant at a private residence on Lance Road near the Red Bud community. The deputies had received a tip that Michael E. Swims, age 30, of 180 Lance Road, Calhoun, Georgia, who was being sought on an outstanding probation warrant, was at the home at that time. Upon approaching the house, a deputy looked through an open window into an outbuilding and saw a small, portable liquor 'still' in operation. The 'still' was composed of 2 ordinary kitchen pressure cookers, electric hot plates, and a bucket  containing the copper tubing 'worm' device. Deputies also found approximately 3 gallons of non-tax-paid liquor. Swims was arrested without incident and cooperated with the deputies. In addition to the original probation violation, he was charged with (misdemeanor) possession of non-tax-paid distilled spirits. "This obviously was not a major criminal enterprise", said Sheriff Ralston, who reminds the citizens that although Georgia law allows for home brewing of beer and/or wine, the manufacture of distilled spirits is "still" prohibited.

 

Deputy Sheriffs Graduate From Police Academy - Monday, September 20, 2010 FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE... Sheriff Mitch Ralston Announces: On Friday, September 17th, 2010, Deputy Sheriffs Les Prine and Elbert Shelley graduated from the Regional Police Academy in Dalton, Georgia, after completing the 11 weeks of basic training required by the State for all peace officers. Prine has been employed by the Sheriff's Office for 3 years. Shelley has been employed by the Sheriff's Office for a year and a half, and is a former professional football player, having played for the Atlanta Falcons in the 1990s. Deputy Prine was awarded the Academy's HIRC Award, which is an acronym for "Honor, Integrity, Respect, & Courage". The basic training included constitutional and state law, arrest procedures, investigative techniques, accident investigation, self defense, first aid, and communications skills.

 

 

Man Arrested For Meth Possession in Vacant House - Thursday, September 16, 2010 FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE... Sheriff Mitch Ralston Reports: On Monday evening, September 13th, 2010, uniformed deputy sheriffs responded to a house on Brittany Drive in the Sonoraville community regarding the report of suspicious activity in a vacant home.There, deputy sheriffs arrested one Carlton David Jefts, age 35, of no fixed address, for Possession of Methamphetamine, and Giving False Name to Officers. He was found hiding under a mattress. The methamphetamine taken into custody was valued at approximately $500.00. Jefts was lodged in the County Jail pending bond proceedings.

 

 

Ohio Man Arrested For Burglary - Friday, September 10, 2010 FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE... Sheriff Mitch Ralston Reports: At approximately 7pm, Thursday, September 9th, 2010, uniformed deputy sheriffs responded to the report of a burglary at the Cherokee Capital Fair grounds on Highway 53 near Calhoun. Upon arrival, deputies found that most of the stolen property had been discovered by a witness. The deputies rapidly identified the suspect, who fled from them on foot into a wooded area but was quckly chased down and apprehended. The stolen property was returned to the victims, who were from a local church preparing a vendor - booth at the fair grounds. The suspect, William Terry Kearney, age 44, of Ohio, was lodged in the County Jail charged with Burglary and Receiving Stolen Property.

 

 

4 Arrested on Meth, Marijuana Charges - Wednesday, September 08, 2010 FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE... Sheriff Mitch Ralston Reports: On Friday, September 3rd, 2010, Gordon County deputy sheriffs were dispatched by E911 to 142 Old Highway 41 in unincorporated Gordon County in response to a report of a wanted parole violator. Upon arrival, uniformed deputies apprehended Dallie Beason, age 49, of 317 Circle Drive, Calhoun. Beason was found to have been wanted on an outstanding warrant for parole violation. Deputies also arrested Rosa M. Patterson, age 43, of 128 King Street, Calhoun, Renee McRee, age 39, of 648 South Tennessee Street, Cartersville, and Steven Michael Jacks, age 56, of 142 Old Highway 41, Calhoun. Sheriff's detectives subsequently obtained and executed a search warrant for the residence. They discovered a large amount of methamphetamine, marijuana, written records, drug related paraphenalia, and several thousand dollars in cash which was all taken into custody as evidence. All four were arrested without incident and lodged in the county jail. All have been charged with Possession of Methamphetamine With Intent to Distribute and (Felony) Possession of Marijuana.

 

 

Gainsville Man Arrested Relic Hunting in Resaca Cemetery - Sunday, September 05, 2010 FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE... Sheriff Mitch Ralston Reports: At approximately 7:15 a.m. Saturday morning, September 4th, 2010, a Gordon County deputy sheriff responded to the report of barking dogs on Defoor Road in Resaca. Upon arrival , the deputy searched the area including the nearby Resaca Community Cemetery. There, the deputy found a man with a shovel near a freshly dug hole in the ground. He was later found to be in possession of a metal detector and several items of what appear to be civil war battle relics.The man, subsequently identified as one Frank P. Barnhill, age 52, of 4835 Squirrel Creek Drive, Gainesville, Georgia, was arrested without incident and lodged in the county jail. He was preliminarily charged with Criminal Trespass, but investigating officers are consulting with prosecuting attorneys regarding additional charges.

 

 

Deputies Rescue Man From Burning Car in I-75 Crash Near Resaca - Sunday, September 05, 2010 FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE... Sheriff Mitch Ralston Reports: At approximately 5:15 a.m. Sunday morning, September 5th, 2010, Gordon County deputy sheriffs responded to the report of a serious automobile accident near Exit 317 in the south bound lanes of Interstate 75 near Resaca. The deputies arrived on-scene within 3 minutes and found a 1996 Buick Regal engulfed in flames on the roadside. A passerby had stopped to help, but couldn't open the car door. While one deputy used fire extinguishers to beat back the flames, 2 other deputies forced open the passenger door and dragged the sole occupant out of the fire and smoke filled car. The car repeatedly burst into flames while the deputies effected the rescue. The driver, subsequently identified as one Dan Gloth, age 56, of 403 Oak Ridge Drive, Cartersville, Georgia, was flown by helicopter to Erlanger Medical Center in Chattanooga, Tennessee where he remains hospitalized. Sheriff Mitch Ralston said "These men are outstanding examples of public servants who care about our community and do not hesitate to place their own lives in jeopardy to save the life of another person. They are a credit to the Sheriff's Office, to this community, and to their families. I am very proud of them." Click to see video of rescue The cause of the crash is being investigated by the State Patrol.

 

 

Sheriff Investigates Death of Juvenile - Tuesday, August 31, 2010 FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE... Sheriff Mitch Ralston Reports: The Sheriff's Office Detective Division is investigating the death of a 15 year old juvenile. Deputy sheriffs and detectives responded to a subdivision in the Dews Pond community near Sonoraville last night (August 30) at approximately 9pm. The deceased was discovered by a family member. The body will be sent to the GBI State Crime Laboratory in Decatur, Georgia in accordance with the laws regarding the death of juveniles. Detectives do not suspect foul play.

 

 

 

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE...

Tuesday, July 19th, 2011

Detectives Charge Ackworth Man in Connection With Air Conditioner Thefts From Local Churches

Sheriff Mitch Ralston Reports:

Gordon County Sheriff's detectives from the Field Crimes Unit have charged an Acworth, Georgia man with a number of felony offenses in connection with the thefts of air conditioner units from seven (7) local churches in June - July, 2011. On July 14th, 2011, a witness in the Ramhurst community in southern Murray County called 911 to report the theft of air conditioning units from a nearby church. A 'lookout' was broadcast to law enforcement officers in the area and a State Trooper from (local) Post 43 observed a van matching the witness' description near Ramhurst. The trooper stopped the van and discovered several air conditioning units, believed to have been stolen from the Murray County church inside the vehicle.

The driver, identified as one BILLY JACK CRISP, age 35, of 118 Main Lake Drive, Acworth, Bartow County, Georgia, was arrested at the scene and taken to the Murray County Jail. Gordon County detectives, who have been investigating the theft of air conditioning units from a number of local churches for several weeks, have charged CRISP with Theft and Vandalism of Places of Worship in connection with incidents at Hopewell Baptist Church in Oakman, Fairview Church of God in Oakman, Union Grove Baptist Church in the Union Grove community, Mount Olive Baptist church near Fairmount, White Graves Baptist Church near Oakman, Wesley Chapel Methodist Church in the Sonoraville community, and Victory Temple Church of God near Calhoun.

The investigation of the thefts and disposal of stolen property ranged widely across north Georgia, involving Bartow, Cherokee, Gilmer, Gordon, Murray, and Pickens Counties. The Sheriff's Offices in each county coordinated efforts and shared information and leads. CRISP is being held in the Murray County Jail pending bond proceedings. The investigation is ongoing and more arrests/charges are expected.

 

 

 

 

 

 

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE...

Friday, July 8th, 2011

Sheriff's Office Investigating Rash of Thefts at Local Churches

Sheriff Mitch Ralston Reports:

Over the past two weeks, four local churches have suffered the thefts of outside air conditioner units. These air conditioning units are very likely being sold for scrap metal after being stolen. The four churches have all been in the Fairmount/Ranger/Oakman vicinity, in eastern Gordon County, and are in isolated locations. Extra patrols in these areas are in place, and detectives are following up on a number of possible leads in conjunction with the Bartow County Sheriff's Office. A number of churches in northern Bartow County have suffered similar thefts in roughly the same time period.

 

Sheriff Ralston asks for the public's help in reporting any suspicious people or automobiles in the vicinity of churches. Detectives have reason to believe that a small, red, pick up truck might be involved in the thefts. The Sheriff urges anyone seeing suspicious activity, especially in isloated areas, to call 911. A reward is available to anyone furnishing information which leads to the arrest and conviction of the person(s) responsible for these thefts.

 

Sheriff Ralston said, "I am especially concerned and disgusted with anyone who would vandalize or steal from our churches, I have ordered our Community Crime Prevention Unit and Field detectives to concentrate on arresting the people committing these thefts and bringing them before our Courts".

 

 

 

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE...

Thursday, July 7th, 2011

Killer Paul Buchannon Pleads "Guilty" to Murder of Christy McKnight and Other Charges From July, 2010 in Gordon County Superior Court

Sheriff Mitch Ralston Reports:

Paul Buchannon, who has been held in custody in the Gordon County Jail since his arrest by deputy sheriffs on July 29th, 2010, entered a plea of "guilty" to charges of murdering Christy McKnight, shooting two other persons, and an array of related charges in Superior Court today.  He was sentenced to life in prison without parole. Buchannon was arrested in the Hill City community after an intensive manhunt last July, which ended after Buchannon confronted deputies with a handgun in a wooded area and was shot and wounded. Buchannon began a violent crime spree last July 29th when he entered a residence in Resaca and shot McKnight's son and nephew. Both young men survived, but Buchannon kidnapped McKnight and drove her to Hill City. There, he forced McKnight onto the railroad tracks and murdered her by shooting her through the neck. Deputy sheriffs found her body while searching the area on foot.

 

Sheriff Ralston commended all of the officers involved in the manhunt and Buchannon's capture, but singled out members of his Major Crimes squad for special praise. "My Major Crimes Unit detectives performed superbly in collecting, preserving, and presenting all possible evidence in this complicated investigation. They provided the District Attorney with a very thorough and well prepared investigative file, which played a major role in compelling this defendant to plead 'guilty' thus sparing surviving family members from a trial, which also would have been very costly. The Major Crimes squad has been successful in solving three homicides since I formed the Unit in 2009. I am pleased to know that a vicious murderer will never be free again".

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE...

Wednesday, July 6th, 2011

Sheriff's Office Investigates Death of 5 Year Old

Sheriff Mitch Ralston Reports:

At approximately 8:45 a.m. this morning, deputy sheriffs and other emergency personnel responded to the report of a drowned child at a private residence on Woody Road in southwestern Gordon County. Witnesses reported to deputies that the victim, a 5 year old child, was found unresponsive in a neighbor's swimming pool. The child was removed from the scene by emergency medical personnel but did not survive. The incident is being investigated by the Sheriff's Detective Division and the County Coroner's Office. The child's body will undergo a post mortem examination at the State Crime Laboratory in Decatur, Georgia pursuant to Georgia law.

 

 

 

 

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE…

 

Thursday, June 30th, 2011

Sheriff Mitch Ralston Reports:

 

At approximately 9:30pm, Monday, June 27th, 2011, uniformed deputy sheriffs stopped a suspicious automobile on Interstate 75 (Southbound) for a traffic violation. After questioning the passenger in this car, subsequently identified as one Ronix Rosemond, age 40, of 613 Wild Turkey Road, Savannah, Georgia, deputies placed him under arrest for Possession of Marijuana and Hindering Officers. The driver was not arrested. Rosemond was transported to the County Jail where deputies recovered a plastic bag containing suspected marijuana from his mouth. He subsequently told deputies and booking officers he’d eaten marijuana while being transported to jail.

 

Rosemond was placed in a booking cell and checked periodically by jail officers.  At approximately 6 am the following morning (June 28th) he was examined by a member of the jail medical staff and displayed no symptoms of medical distress. Later at about 9:45 am, Rosemond appeared ill and was taken by ambulance to Gordon Hospital. At approximately 1 am this morning, the Sheriff’s Office was advised that Rosemond had died. The body will be taken to the State Crime Laboratory where a post mortem examination will be performed. The death is being investigated by the GBI and the Coroner’s Office as required by State laws.

 

 

 

 

 FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE...

 

Monday, June 27th, 2011

Sheriff Mitch Ralston Reports:

Sheriff's Office & GBI Investigating Death of 12-Month Old Boy

At approximately 11 a.m., Sunday, June 26th, deputy sheriffs responded to the report of a child being seriously injured at an address on Orchard Way in the Boone Ford/Sonoraville community. The child was treated at Gordon Hospital and later transferred to Erlanger Medical Center in Chattanooga, Tennessee. At approximately 3 a.m. today, the child expired. The boy was 12 months old.  The body will be sent to the State Crime Laboratory in Decatur, Georgia for a post-mortem examination pursuant to Georgia law. Sheriff's detectives and agents from the Region 1 GBI field office are investigating the circumstances surrounding the injury and death.

 

 

 

 

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE...

 

Sheriff's Detectives Arrest Rocky Face, Georgia Man for Rape

Monday, June 27th, 2011

Sheriff Mitch Ralston Reports:

At approximately 9:30 p.m., Friday night, June 24th, the Sheriff's Office received a report of a rape at a private residence on Nickelsville Highway in the Resaca community. Responding deputy sheriffs and detectives located the victim, a 17 year old local resident, who reported being forcibly raped by a man with whom she'd become acquainted through 'Facebook' and 'Skype' over a period spanning several months. She reported that this was the first instance in which she'd actually met the man.

The man, subsequently identified as one CHARLES ZACHARY DANE MORGAN, age 19, of Rocky Face, Georgia, fled into the woods when the 911 call was placed, but later turned himself in to responding deputies near the scene.

He was subsequently arrested by detectives and charged with one count of Rape.

He was taken before a Magistrate who denied bond, and will appear in Gordon County Superior Court at a later date.

Sheriff Ralston urges parents to closely monitor the activities of children engaged in social networks via the internet.

 

 

 

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE...

Friday, June 17th, 2011

Detectives Seek Assistance From the Public in Identifying Individual in Surveillance Video

Sheriff Mitch Ralston Reports:

The Sheriff's Office Detective Division is investigating a theft at the Gordon County EMA building on State Highway 53 at approximately 6:30pm, June 15th, 2011. A surveillance camera captured footage depicting an unidentified individual and a white pick up truck at the scene. Sheriff Ralston asks that anyone who can identify this individua/ and/or vehicle call the Detective Division at 706-629-1244 or 706-879-5481.

This video takes approximately 3-4 minutes to download, please be patient...

 click here for video file

 

 

 

 

 

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE...

Tuesday, June 14th, 2011

Detectives Interrupt Burglary in Progress in Sonoraville

SHERIFF MITCH RALSTON REPORTS:

At approximately 3:15pm, Monday, June 13th, 2011, a report of a residential burglary-in-progress on Erwin Hill Church Road in the Sonoraville was broadcast via radio to all deputy sheriffs. Two Sheriff's Detectives were nearby and quickly responded. The plainclothed deputies subsequently apprehended one ANTHONY GUGLIOTTA, age 40, of 244 Blalock Road, Adairsville, Georgia at the scene. The offender was attempting to hide behind a tree. The detectives recovered a file and wirecutters from the offender's person. GUGLIOTTA was taken into custody without incident and charged with Criminal Trespass and Criminal Attempt to Commit Burglary. Detectives also arrested a woman believed to cohabitate with GUGLIOTTA, one HEATHER NEWPORT, age 25, of 244 Blalock Road, Adairsville, Georgia on an outstanding warrant for an unrelated charge.

Sheriff Ralston urges citizens to be on the lookout for suspicious persons during daylight hours, when most residential burglaries occur, particularly in the vicinity of vacant or abandoned homes.

 

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE...

 

Tuesday, June 14th, 2011

Local Citizens Help Deputy Sheriffs Apprehend Cocaine Trafficker in Resaca

SHERIFF MITCH RALSTON REPORTS:

Monday morning, June 13th, 2011, uniformed deputy sheriffs assigned to the Community Crime Prevention Unit (CCPU) stopped a suspicious automobile from Ohio in Resaca. After a search of the car revealed over a pound of processed cocaine, the driver of the vehicle, identified as one PERCY LEROY JONES, age 31, of 232 5th Avenue, Huntington, West Virginia, attempted to flee from the two deputies on foot. A chase ensued down a steep embankment into a wooded area. Three local men saw the deputies chasing the offender, stopped their own vehicles, and helped the deputies run down and apprehend JONES. A deputy was slightly injured during the pursuit. The local men greatly assisted in the quick capture of this violator. JONES was arrested without further incident and lodged in the County Jail, charged with Possession of Cocaine, Trafficking in Cocaine, and Obstructing Law Enforcement Officers.

Sheriff Ralston commented, "It's great to live in this community where our citizens not only support their local law enforcement officers, but are willing to actively assist deputies in an emergency. I want to personally thank each of these men. I'm very proud of our community"

 

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE...

 

Monday, June 6th, 2011

Detectives Investigate Death of Toddler

Sheriff Mitch Ralston Reports:

On Wednesday, June 1st, 2011, Sheriff's detectives responded to Floyd Medical Center in Rome, Georgia concerning the report of an injured 2 year old child. Detectives have reason to believe that the injuries were the result of a water-related incident at a private residence in the Plainville community that same day. The child was transferred to Scottish Rite Children's Hospital in Atlanta where he passed away Friday afternoon, June 3rd. Detectives are in consultation with the Georgia Bureau of Investigation's Crime Laboratory, and a post-mortem examination has been performed. A joint investigation involving the Department of Family & Childrens Services, The Georgia Bureau of Investigation, the Gordon County Coroner's Office, and the Sheriff's Office is continuing.

 

 

 

 

 

 

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE...

Thursday, May 26th, 2011

Detectives Investigate Reported Robbery at Interstate Rest Area

Sheriff Mitch Ralston Reports:

At approximately 11:45 a.m. today, deputy sheriffs were dispatched to the Interstate 75 Rest Area near Adairsville concerning the report of a robbery. A professional driver reported that 4 men had snatched a wallet from him and fled the scene in an automobile. Within minutes, State Troopers had stopped the car fitting the description near I-75/State Highway 53. The 4 occupants were detained for questioning and released after the alleged victim declined to press charges. No arrests were made and Sheriff's detectives consider the matter closed.

 

 

 

 

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE...

Monday, May 23, 2011

Detectives Investigate Aggravated Assault Incident, One Arrested

Sheriff Mitch Ralston Reports:

 

At approximately 10 a.m. Sunday morning (May 22), deputy sheriffs were dispated to the report of an aggravated assault at 331 Langston Road in the Sonoraville community. Responding deputies subsequently arrested one MORGAN BRADSHAW, age 18, of Columbia, Tennessee and charged her with Aggravated Assault against a male acquaintence. Detectives recovered the knife believed to have been used in the assault. The suspect sustained non- life threatening injuries crashing through a glass door. The victim sustained non-life threatening injuries as well which did not require medical treatment. BRADSHAW is lodged in the County Jail pending court appearance.

 

 

 

 

 

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE...

Thursday, May 19th, 2011

Deputy Sheriffs Arrest Two Alabama Men For Drug Trafficking, Seize Cocaine Valued at $180,000.00

Sheriff Mitch Ralston Reports:

At approximately 7:30pm Wednesday evening (May 18th), uniformed deputy sheriffs assigned to the Sheriff's Office Community Crime Prevention Unit (CCPU) stopped a suspicious Alabama automobile for a traffic violation near the Intersection of Interstate 75 and State Highway 53 in Gordon County. The car did not immediately stop for the deputy's blue lights, and turned into a nearby service station/convenience store as if to get fuel. The car still did not come to a standstill but an off duty Sheriff's detective in his private vehicle at the service station saw what was happening and blocked in the suspicious car. The CCPU deputies, assisted by their drug-detection dog, subsequently searched the car and discovered a half dozen kilos of cocaine. The two occupants, TERRIAS DONTA CAIN, age 26, of 1306 Montreat Drive, Athens, Alabama, and MICHAEL D. MOSLEY, age 24, of 1201 Browns Ferry Street, Athens, Alabama were both arrested without incident and charged with Trafficking in Cocaine. Both men are in the County Jail pending court appearance. The cocaine is valued at $180,000.00.

 

 

 

 

 

 

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE...

Saturday, May 14th, 2011

Fight Over "Ford vs. Chevy" Ends With 1 Hospitalized And 1 In Jail

Sheriff Mitch Ralston Reports:

At approximately 1 a.m. this morning, May 14, 2011, deputy sheriffs received a report of a aggravated assault incident near Calhoun. Responding deputies determined that several individuals were engaged in driving four-wheel-drive vehicles (off road) in a field off Beamer Road when an argument between two men escalated into a fight. Witnesses told detectives that what had began as a fist-fight ended when one of the men produced a knife and stabbed the other. Detectives subsequently arrest ZACHARY WOODY, age 21, of 160 Walraven Way, Calhoun, Georgia and have charged him with Aggravated Assault. The victim was hospitalized with serious injuries. Investigating detectives recovered the knife believed to have been used in the incident, and were told by witnesses that the assault stemmed from a disagreement over the superiority of Ford vehicles versus Chevrolet vehicles. Detectives also believe that alcohol was a factor.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE...

May 11th, 2011

Sheriff & Staff Participate in 'Law Enforcement Torch Run' For Georgia Special Olympics

Sheriff Mitch Ralston Announces:

On Tuesday, May 10th, along with the City of Calhoun Police Department and the local Post 43 of the Georgia State Patrol, the Sheriff and staff members participated in the Law Enforcement Torch Run, an annual event which raises awareness and funding for the "Georgia Special Olympics". The 'Torch Run' has been supporting Special Olympics in Georgia for over a quarter century. Law enforcement officers from the various agencies in the jurisdiction participated in the run. Runners recruited sponsors who contributed to the Special Olympics. "This year's run was a great success. And I join with Police Chief Moss and Sergeant First Class Tucker in congratulating the law enforcement personnel who participated, and all of the individuals and organizations who graciously donated to this worthy cause. Our law enforcement folks really enjoyed helping with such a great cause", said Sheriff Mitch Ralston.

The 'Torch Run' is held in conjunction with 'National Peace Officers Memorial Week' each year, and is part of a series of activities in which the Sheriff's Office participates.

 

 

 

 

 

 

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE...

Tuesday, May 3, 2011 

Gordon County Relief Effort For Tornado-Stricken Dade County a Success

Sheriff Mitch Ralston Reports:

"Mission Accomplished"

"I would like to take this opportunity to thank each and every individual citizen and every organization who graciously and generously donated to the relief effort for Dade County, which suffered badly in the recent outbreak of tornadoes. The people of Gordon County are kind people, with generous hearts for their neighbors. My staff and I delivered approximately 5 box-truck loads of badly needed water, food, and emergency supplies in 3 convoys over the past weekend. Our people really "stepped up to the plate" when the calls for help came in, and I assure you that your efforts were sincerely appreciated by our neighbors in Trenton and Dade County. I attended a government meeting with the officials in Dade County Sunday, and both the Dade County Sheriff and the Board of Commissioners sent their heartfelt thanks to all of you. I am very proud and humbled to serve as the sheriff of this county. The Lord blessed us during the tornado outbreak, and I am glad that we had an opportunity to pass along the blessing."

The Sheriff's Office will continue to deploy deputies to Dade County, and also to Catoosa County which requested assistance yesterday, until Friday, May 6, 2011.

Citizens wishing to contribute to ongoing relief efforts in Georgia, Alabama, and Tennessee are urged to contact the local American Red Cross.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE...

Monday, May 2, 2011; Sheriff's Office Investigating Two Unrelated Shootings

Sheriff Mitch Ralston Reports:

Sunday morning, May 1, 2011, deputy sheriffs responded to 60 Angus Court, Talking Rock Properties in the Ranger community in eastern Gordon County regarding the report of a shooting. Deputies found the body of LARRY DEWAYNE BATTLES, age 52, of that same address, inside the home. He had suffered what appeared to be a self-inflicted gunshot wound. The body was initially found by a family member who called 911. Investigating detectives do not suspect foul play. The investigation is continuing in conjunction with the Gordon County Coroner's Office.

In an unrelated matter, Sunday afternoon, May 1, 2011, deputy sheriffs were dispatched to 379 Sisson Bend Road in the Resaca community in northern Gordon County in response to a report of a shooting. Deputies found CHARLES ANDREW DESHEA, age 34, of 379 Sisson Bend Road, Resaca, Georgia, severely injured from an apparently self-inflicted gunshot wound. He was removed from the scene by emergency medical personnel and later taken to Erlanger Medical Center in Chattanooga, Tennessee. He was subsequently pronounced dead on Monday, May 2, 2011. Investigating detectives do not suspect foul play in this incident.

 

 

 

 

URGENT PUBLIC SERVICE ANNOUNCEMENT

 

 

 

 

Friday, 29th April, 2011

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

To All Gordon County Sheriff’s Personnel & the People of Gordon County:

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

I have been advised by Dade County, Georgia Sheriff Patrick Cannon that the people of Dade County are in dire need of the following supplies:

 

 

 

·       Bottled water

 

 

 

·       Personal hygiene items: soap, wipes, dental care items, toiletries, etc.

 

 

 

·       Disposable baby diapers

 

 

 

·       Batteries (all types)

 

 

 

·       Canned food / ready-to-eat food

 

 

 

All such supplies may be delivered to the Sheriff’s Office and will be transported to Dade County by myself & staff on Sunday, May 1st.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

As you all know, Trenton/Dade County was struck by devastating tornadoes during the outbreak on Wednesday, April 27th. Please remember and help our neighbors in this time of need.

 

 

Mitch Ralston

Sheriff of Gordon County

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE...

Thursday, April 28, 2011

Sheriff Assists Neighboring Counties After Tornados

Sheriff Mitch Ralston Reports:

The Gordon County Sheriff's Office is assisting neighboring counties after the devastating tornado outbreak on Wednesday, April 27th. Sheriff Ralston has offered official assistance in the form of manpower and jail space to other northwest Georgia sheriffs whose counties suffered tornado damage. The storms necessitated the evacuation of the Dade County Jail in Trenton, and over 50 Dade County inmates have been transferred to the Gordon County Jail. The Dade County Sheriff has sent Dade County officers and jail medical staff to Gordon County to deal with the needs of their inmates while housed here. Dade County Sheriff Patrick Cannon's residence was totally destroyed Wednesday night while he was directing law enforcement activities from his Office. Gordon County deputies have been placed on standby in case they are needed in the storm-stricken counties. 

Sheriff Ralston expressed his appreciation to all of the Calhoun and Gordon County public safety services for their level of prepardness for the tornado outbreak, which fortunately did not produce any injuries or deaths in Gordon County. Sheriff Ralston also said he appreciated all of the citizens of Gordon County who volunteered to help out in the Sugar Valley community in clearing roads and assisting their neighbors. "Please keep all of the victims of these tragedies and their families in your thoughts and prayers. I am especially thankful that our community did not suffer as badly as many have. As God blessed us here, I know the people of this county want to help their neighbors in this time of need."

 

Sheriff Mitch Ralston and Chief Deputy Robert Paris reaching out to neighboring counties on behalf of the Calhoun/ Gordon County community after the violent tornado outbreak of April 27th.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

PUBLIC SERVICE ANNOUNCEMENT

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE, 3:30p.m. Wednesday, April 27th, 2011...

Sheriff Mitch Ralston Advises:

Gordon County is bracing for the arrival of a "super cell" storm system later this evening. This system has already resulted in extensive damage and several deaths in states to our west. An apparent tornado struck the Sugar Valley community this morning resulting in much property damage but fortunately no injuries there have been reported. Extra deputy sheriffs have been called in for duty and will be deployed at strategic locations throughout the county in anticipation of the storm front. Citizens should remain alert and monitor media sources for updated weather reports. In the event of a tornado warning, take shelter below ground, such as in a basement, if possible. If no below-ground shelter is available, move to the lowest floor and into the center of the building. Citizens are urged to call 911 for emergencies only during this event.

 

 

 

 

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE...

Tuesday, April 19th, 2011

Deputies Arrest Kentucky Man For Possession of Marijuana With Intent to Distribute After Automobile Search

Sheriff Mitch Ralston Reports:

On the morning of April 13th, 2011, a uniformed deputy sheriff assigned to the 'Community Crime Prevention Unit' (CCPU) was on patrol in Resaca when he stopped a suspicious automobile bearing a Kentucky license plate. A subsequent search of the car by the deputy and his canine 'partner' revealed several pounds of processed marijuana hidden within. The driver, one Christopher Don Ware, age 28, of 729 Denali Street, Bowling Green, Kentucky was arrested without incident and charged with VGCSA Possession of Marijuana With Intent to Distribute and lodged in the County Jail.

 

 

 

 

 

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE...

 

Friday, April 15th 2011

Deputies Make Arrest at Stakeout at Local Business

Sheriff Mitch Ralston Reports:

On Thursday night, April 14th, Sheriff's detectives were conducting a 'stakeout' (surveillance) at a local business on State Route 53 Spur, in anticipation of a possible crime being committed there. At approximately 12:20 a.m., detectives and uniformed deputy sheriffs encountered a suspicious automobile in the business parking lot occupied by a Rome, Georgia man. The deputies approached the suspicious vehicle and subsequently arrested the occupant, JAMES M. COUZZART, age 41 of 57 Mayo Road, Rome, Georgia and charged him with Criminal Trespass, Violation of the Georgia Controlled Substances Act, and Possession of Tools for the Commission of a Crime.

 

 

 

 

 

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE...

 

Friday, April 15th 2011

Deputies Respond to Hanging Incident

Sheriff Mitch Ralston Reports:

Thursday afternoon April 14th, 2011, deputy sheriffs were dispatched to 131 Pine Street SW in unincorporated Gordon County in response to the report of a hanging incident. JAMES WILLIAM BURNS, age 27, of 131 Pine Street was reportedly found hanging by family members who then called 911. BURNS was transported to Gordon Hospital where he was subsequently pronounced dead. Investigating detectives have no reason to suspect that foul play was involved. The investigation by the Sheriff’s Office and the Gordon county coroner’s Office is continuing.

 

 

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE...

 

Friday, April 15th 2011

Detectives Arrest Fairmount Man For Aggravated Child Molestation

Sheriff Mitch Ralston Reports:

On Wednesday, April 13th, 201l, the Sheriff’s Office received a report of a child molestation alleged to have occurred in late March, 2011. Investigating detectives subsequently arrested on JACOB LAMAR FRANKLIN, age 23, of 279 Mount Pleasant Road, Fairmount, Georgia, and charged him with Aggravated Child Molestation and Child Molestation. The crimes are alleged to have occurred against a 14 year old female in the Sonoraville community. FRANKLIN is being held in the County Jail ending bond proceedings.

 

 

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE...

 

Thursday, April 7th, 2011

Sheriff's Detectives Solve Burglary, Recover $6K in Stolen Jewelry

Sheriff Mitch Ralston Reports:

Gordon County Sheriff's Detectives have solved a residential burglary which occured in the McDaniel Station Community on April 1st, 2011. Acting on information acquired through the new BWI Pawn Shop computerized monitoring system, detectives recovered jewelry valued in excess of $6,000.00. Following leads generated by the recovery of the stolen jewelry, detectives arrested DAKOTA W. HILL, age 20, of 140 Joshua Trail, Calhoun, Georgia, and charged him with Burglary. Detectives also learned that HILL was on probation through the Department of Corrections for a previous burglary offense in Gordon County. He is lodged in the County Jail pending judicial proceedings.

 

 

 

 

 

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE...

Tuesday, March 29th, 2011

Detectives Arrest man For Aggravated Child Molestation, Weapons Offense

SHERIFF MITCH RALSTON REPORTS:

On March 22nd, 2011, Sheriff's Detectives received a report of child molestation involving two female children, ages 11 and 13, in the Dews Pond community. That same day, detectives and uniformed deputies went to the suspect's residence on Singletree Drive to investigate the complaint. There, deputies discovered the suspect, and an illegally possessed weapon. The suspect, identified as one THURMAN WALKER HILLEGEIST, age 37, of 231 Singletree Drive, was arrested immediately for being a convicted felon in possession of a firearm. Detectives subsequently charged HILLEGEIST with 2 counts of Aggravated Child Molestation, and 2 counts of Child Molestation. He is lodged in the County Jail pending bond proceedings.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE...

SHERIFF'S OFFICE NEEDS YOUR HELP LOCATING A FUGITIVE:

Monday, March 28th, 2011

SHERIFF MITCH RALSTON ASKS:

The Gordon County Sheriff's Office needs the public's assistance locating a fugitive:

 

LEON D. CURTIS, age 30, Year of Birth= 1980, black/male, bald/shaved head, reported to have a tattoo on his chest. This individual may be driving/occupying a late model Volkswagen Jetta. His last known address is believed to be 400 Greeson Loop.

The Sheriff's Office wants CURTIS in connection with Aggravated Battery against a 3 year old female child, and Violation of Parole.

If you see this individual DO NOT APPROACH HIM! Call 911 and report his whereabouts to law enforcement authorities immediately.

 

 Leon Curtis was ARRESTED in Alabama on Thursday, March 31, 2011 by the US Marshal's Service. Thank you to everyone in the public who assisted the Sheriff's Office in this matter.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE...

Monday, March 28th, 2011

Deputy Sheriffs Apprehend One of Tennessee's "Top Ten" Fugitives in Resaca

SHERIFF MITCH RALSTON REPORTS:

At approximately 10p.m., Saturday night, March 26th, 2011, the Gordon County Sheriff's Office received a tip from the Tennessee Bureau of Investigation (TBI) that one of Tennessee's 'top ten most wanted' fugitives was reported to be at or near the Flying J truck stop in Resaca. Uniformed deputy sheriffs responded within minutes and surrounded the truck stop. The deputies, who had a description of the fugitive, entered and quickly located him inside the restaurant. John Barry Hale, age 54, of 2100 Center Point Road, surrendered peacefully and was taken into custody without incident. Hale was lodged in the County Jail pending extradition arrangements. Hale was being sought by Tennessee authorities in connection to a charge of "Aggravated Sexual Battery against a Victim Under 13" according to the TBI.

 

 

 

 

 

 

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE...

Friday, March 25th, 2011

Deputies Respond To Small Aircraft Crash in McDaniel Station Community

SHERIFF MITCH RALSTON REPORTS:

At approximately 5:30p.m., Friday afternoon, March 25, 2011, deputy sheriffs were dispatched along with Fire/Rescue Units, Emergency Management, and State Troopers, to a farm pasture in the McDaniel Station community in response to a report of a small plane crash. Deputies and emergency personnel were guided to the wreckage by witnesses. The pilot, who was injured but conscious, was removed from the scene by ground ambulance and reportedly transported to Floyd Medical Center. The wreckage appeared to be that of an "ultralight" or "experimental" type small aircraft. The FAA was notified by Emergency Management personnel. The identity of the pilot had not been verified at the time he was removed from the crash site. Witnesses told a deputy sheriff that they had observed the plane flying at tree top level, and heard the engine "sputter" just before the crash. Deputies reported that the crash site was on wet, muddy ground, clear of trees, which may have lessened the severity of the impact.

 

 

 

 

 

 

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE...

Friday, March 18th, 2011

DEPUTY SHERIFF STRUCK BY AUTO WHILE SUPERVISING INMATE WORK CREW...

SHERIFF MITCH RALSTON REPORTS:

At approximately 9:50 a.m. this morning, March 18th, 2011, a uniformed deputy sheriff was supervising an inmate work crew collecting garbage on the Red Bud Road near the Crane Eater Community when his Sheriff's Office truck was struck in the rear by another automobile. The deputy suffered injuries and was taken to Gordon Hospital by ambulance. No inmate workers were struck or injured. The other automobile, a Jeep SUV, turned over and came to rest in the roadway. The Sheriff's Office truck was parked off the roadway, on the right-of-way with warning signs posted and blue lights in operation at the time of the collision. The driver of the Jeep, identified as one BILLY EUGENE HALL, age 47, (last known address) of 512 Peters Street, Calhoun, Georgia, was also transported to the hospital where he was arrested by the Georgia State Patrol for DUI and other traffic charges. Troopers from State Patrol Post 43 are continuing their investigation into the crash. Sheriff Ralston said that "this incident is a reminder of the dangers faced by deputy sheriffs every day, even when engaged in 'public service' duties." Motorists should be aware of inmate work crews on County Roads and State Highways and exercise caution.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE...

Wednesday, March 16th, 2011

Ordinance Violation Investigation Leads to Meth Trafficking Arrest

SHERIFF MITCH RALSTON REPORTS:

On Tuesday afternoon, March 15th, 2011, uniformed deputy sheriffs responded to a reported (county) ordinance violation on Ryo Mountain Road in eastern Gordon County when they encountered 2 men in an automobile acting suspiciously. The deputies stopped the automobile and approached the men, who were armed, to question them. Upon searching one of the men, who was subsequently identified as one JESSIE TYRONE SELLERS, age 38, of 946 Ryo Mountain Road, the deputies discovered approximately one and one quarter ounces of methamphetamine and a bag of marijuana. After a brief struggle, SELLERS was subdued and taken into custody. The automobile and several hundred dollars in cash were also taken into custody. The second man was not arrested. SELLERS is lodged in the County Jail charged with Trafficking in Methamphetamine, Possession of methamphetamine and marijuana, and Obstructing Law Enforcement Officers. The "street" value of the drugs is estimated to be approximately $16,000.00.

 

 

 

 

 

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE...

Tuesday, March 15th, 2011

SHERIFF'S OFFICE HONOR GUARD MARCHES IN ATLANTA ST. PATRICK'S DAY PARADE

SHERIFF MITCH RALSTON REPORTS:

On Saturday, March 11th, 2011, the Gordon County Sheriff's Office Honor Guard performed in the 129th Annual St. Patrick's Day Parade in Atlanta. The parade was held in downtown Atlanta on Peachtree Street and included pipes & drums, floats, Irish dancers, police and fire units, and a host of other participants. The Parade Grand Marshal was Mr. Paul Gleeson, the Irish Consul General. The Gordon County Honor Guard was the only law enforcement unit from outside metro Atlanta accepted to participate in the parade. Acknowledging Gordon County's rich history of Scotch-Irish pioneers, the Honor Guard carried the flag of Ulster along with the traditional flags. The deputies who attended the parade were all volunteers who received no compensation other than the satisfaction of representing the Sheriff and the people of Gordon County. The Honor Guard performs at ceremonial services in our community and at the request of other law enforcement agencies in Georgia.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE...

Thursday, March 10th, 2011

Deputy Sheriff Finds Hidden Meth While Serving Warrant:

SHERIFF MITCH RALSTON REPORTS:

On Friday morning, March 4th, 2011, a uniformed deputy sheriff was located at J&J Transmission Shop at 248 Richardson Road in Calhoun attempting to execute a civil arrest order when he encountered one Tracy Lee Teague at the business. The deputy was searching the interior of the business for the defendant named in the arrest order when he opened an appliance and discovered 2 pounds of processed crystal methamphetamine. Teague was placed under arrest without incident. The deputy also discovered a pistol from which the serial number had been obliterated. The drugs and firearm were taken into custody as evidence, and Teague was taken to the County Jail. The sheriff summoned assistance from the Calhoun City Police in the follow up investigation. Teague was charged with Violation of the Georgia Controlled Substances Act and remains in Jail. The methamphetamine has a 'street' value of $40,000.00

"We are committed to stemming the flow of illegal methamphetamine which is being imported into Calhoun and Gordon County, in conjunction with our law enforcement and prosecutorial partners, by all means at our disposal", said Sheriff Mitch Ralston.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

SHERIFF MITCH RALSTON ANNOUNCES:

Sheriff's Auxiliary Announces 3rd Annual City-County Charity Basketball Game Benefitting the Winners Club...

The 3rd Annual Calhoun City-Gordon County Charity Basketball Game will be held at 6 p.m. Saturday, March 5th, 2011 at the Gordon Central High School Gymnasium. The game features teams composed of city firefighters and police officers versus county firefighters and deputy sheriffs. The City team is the reigning champion, and will be returning a strong offense and skilled defensive lineup. However, with the a new player-coach and a new strategy, hope springs eternal and the County team hopes to capture it's first title. The City squad is known for it's quickness on the court, height, and rapid fire 3 pointers. The County team has added some height and ability to this year's squad, and has evolved away from "driveway basketball" tactics.

An assortment of public safety vehicles and equipment will be on display for children and adults before tip off at 6 p.m.

ADMISSION IS FREE! The annual event is sponsored by Sheriff Mitch Ralston's Auxiliary, and proceeds benefit the Winners Club. 

 

 

 

 

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE...

Sheriff Mitch Ralston Reports:

Deputies Find Methamphetamine Hidden in Secret Compartment in Walking Cane During Traffic Stop

 

A uniformed deputy sheriff was on routine patrol in the Dews Pond Community near midnight on February 20 / 21, 2011 when he stopped a suspicious automobile for speeding on Dews Pond Road. When the driver of the pick up truck could not produce a license, the deputy became suspicious and obtained written consent to search the vehicle. Inside, deputies noticed a walking stick topped by an ornamental duck head. The deputies unscrewed the head of the walking cane and discovered a hidden compartment containing several grams of packaged methamphetamine. The driver, Jason Lance Southerland, age 30, of 143 Scott Road, Chatsworth, Georgia; along with the passenger, Johnny Lynn Hobbs, age 38, of 4294 Old Dixie Highway, Dalton, Georgia, were both arrested at the scene. Both were charged with Possession of Methamphetamine, and Southerland was also charged with Speeding and Open Container. Both are lodged in the County Jail pending bond proceedings.

 

 

 

 

 

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE...

Monday, February 14th, 2011

Sheriff's CCPU Intercepts Drug Shipment:

At approximately 10 p.m., Thursday, February 10th, 2011, a uniformed deputy sheriff assigned to the Community Crime Prevention Unit (CCPU) stopped a suspicious automobile on Interstate 75 near the Highway 53 exit. The deputy approached the driver of this automobile, who said he was travelling to Fairmount, and conducted a "pat down" search, finding a baggie of marijuana. The deputy with his canine 'partner' subsequently searched the automobile and was attempting to take the driver into custody when he  escaped and fled across the interstate highway on foot. Other deputy sheriffs and Calhoun police officers responded to the scene but were unable to find the suspect. Deputies found over a pound of processed/packaged marijuana and several hundred pills believed to be Xanax and Oxycodone inside the car, which was determined to be a rental vehicle. Arrest warrants have been issued charging Ariim Chekenya Burden, age 34, of 1715 Stanwood Drive, Kennesaw, Georgia with: VGCSA Possession of Marijuana With Intent to Distribute, and VGCSA Possession of Schedule II and IV Drugs With Intent to Distribute. If anyone has information regarding Burden's whereabouts, please call the Gordon County Sheriff's Office at 706.629.1244 or 911. One of the ongoing missions of the Community Crime Prevention Unit is to stem the tide of illegal drugs into Gordon County via the highway systems, through stragegic patrolling and the use of canines. Sheriff Ralston thanked the Calhoun Police for their rapid response to the deputy's call for aid during the incident.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE...

Monday, January 24th, 2011

Sheriff Investigates Second Deadly Tractor Accident This Month

Sheriff Mitch Ralston Reports:

At approximately 12:30 p.m. today, Monday, January 24th, 2011, uniformed deputy sheriffs and emergency fire/rescue and emergency medical personnel were dispatched to a farm at 1423 Resaca-LaFayette Highway near Resaca in response to a report of a farm tractor accident. Apparently while operating a farm tractor in a pasture area, the driver, identified as MARVIN LOMAX, age 70, of 1423 Resaca-LaFayette Highway, was killed when a tree fell across the tractor's cab. This is the second incident in January wherein a death occured in a farm tractor accident. The investigation is being carried out by the Sheriff's Office and the Gordon County Coroner's Office.

 

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE...

 

Friday, January 21, 2011

Sheriff Mitch Ralston Announces:

On Wednesday, January 19, 2011, Sheriff Mitch Ralston and a delegation of 8 other Georgia sheriffs and their staff members were invited to meet newly elected Georgia Attorney General Sam Olens at a luncheon hosted by the Cobb County Sheriff's Office in Marietta. Attorney General Olens spoke with the officials about a range of topics, including the duties of the Attorney General's Office, pending legislation which will affect Georgia sheriffs, capital punishment, and other legal issues. Attorney general Olens pledged to make himself and his staff more accessible to local elected officials, which was well received by Sheriff Ralston and the other officers. Sheriff Ralston has worked to reestablish good relations with state elected officials, and looks forward to cooperating with the Attorney general and his staff.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE...

Thursday, January 20th, 2011

Sheriff Mitch Ralston Reports:

The Sheriff's Office is pleased to report that last week's winter storm did not result in any extraordinary overtime costs, or any damage to Sheriff's Office automobiles, equipment, or facilities. An emergency plan, developed by Sheriff Ralston in 2009, was implemented on Sunday night, January 9th, and continued throughout the following 72 hours. The plan involved the reassignment and deployment of four-wheel-drive vehicles, the rescheduling of hourly employees during peak service periods each day, and the deployment of supervisory personnel, who are not paid on an hourly basis, to perform extra patrols. Surplus 4WD vehicles obtained from the federal government's Excess Property program, as well as 4WD automobiles seized in drug-related investigations, were used in place of regular patrol cars. A number of deputy sheriffs volunteered to work during the storm without compensation.

Sheriff Ralston praised all of the other County agencies involved in the storm response, for their efficiency and hard work in severe weather conditions. This was very much a 'team effort'.

The Sheriff also thanks all of the residents of Gordon County forexercising caution in the winter storm conditions, and all of the private citizens who helped clear roadways and checked on friends and neighbors.

"I am proud to be a member of the community we share, and my heart was warmed by the response from ordinary people in looking after one another. I am humbled to serve the best county in our state."

 

 

 

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE...

Deadly Tractor Accident Investigated

SATURDAY, JANUARY 15th, 2011

Sheriff Mitch Ralston Reports:

At about 4:30 p.m. Saturday afternoon, January 15th, uniformed deputy sheriffs were dispatched to a farm at 919 Pine Hill Road south of the Sonoraville community near Bartow County regarding a tractor accident. Responding deputies, along with Fire/Rescue and EMS personnel, arrived to find that a farm tractor had apparently overturned into a stock pond, trapping the driver. The victim was subsequently identified as HOWARD GARLAND, age 83, of Rydal, Georgia. An aquaintence of the victim attempted to rescue him from the enclosed-cab tractor. The victim was transported to Gordon Hospital by ambulance, but was later pronounced dead. The acquaintence, who told deputies he'd witnessed the accident, was also removed by ambulance appearing to have been suffering from hypothermia. 

 

 

 

 

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE...

Domestic Disturbance Leads to Arrest for Aggravated Assault

FRIDAY, JANUARY 14TH, 2011

SHERIFF MITCH RALSTON REPORTS:

Shortly after midnight, Friday, January 14th, 2011, uniformed deputy sheriffs responded to the report of a domestic disturbance at 628B Craigtown Road in unincorporated Gordon County. Deputies were met by a male victim, who had suffered a severe physical beating, sitting outside in the subfreezing weather who told them he'd been assaulted by his female domestic partner. Detectives subsequently arrested one MARILYN GARZA, age 39, of 628B Craigtown Road, Calhoun in connection with the assault. Detectives believe that GARZA assaulted the victim with a variety of houshold itmes including a chair, glass bottles, and a tea kettle. The victim was treated and released from a local hospital, and the injuries are not believed to be life threatening. The investigating detectives have charged Ms. GARZA with Aggravated Assault. It is not certain at this time what triggered the disturbance. She is lodged in the County Jail pending bond proceedings.

 

 

PUBLIC SERVICE ANNOUNCEMENT:

 

Updated: 11:30 a.m. Tuesday, January 11th, 2011

Winter Storm in Gordon County...

A major winter storm has deposited a significant amount of snow/ice onto Gordon County and the rest of North Georgia. Up to 6 inches of snow has fallen as of 7 a.m. today, creating very treacherous driving conditions on roadways. State and county road maintenance crews are on scene now throughout the county. The Georgia DOT is urging people to stay off the roadways. 

Motorists should be especially aware of icy conditions on bridges and overpasses.

Citizens are cautioned against coming into contact with power lines which may fall in snow/icy conditions. Downed power lines should be reported to the appropriate utility company or Emergency 911.

Sheriff Ralston has deployed extra deputy sheriffs to patrol throughout the county during peak activity times for the duration of the hazardous weather, and response to nuisance calls which do not involve danger to persons or property may be delayed.

Interstate 75, State Routes, and some heavily travelled county roads are passable, but are still not safe.

Sheriff Mitch Ralston urges everyone to avoid unnecessary travel.

Gordon County Superior Court proceedings have been suspended for Tuesday, January 11th, 2011.

Superior Court information may be obtained by calling 706-879-2306.

Stay tuned to NOAA Weather Radio or commercial media outlets for more information regarding hazardous weather.

 

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