Monday, August 15, 2022

LOTTERY DRAWING FOR TWO PACKAGE STORES TUESDAY IN THOMASTON

 THREE  APPLICANTS  ARE  IN  THE  LOTTERY   DRAWING   FOR  TWO  ALCOHOL  SALES  PACKAGE  STORES     TUESDAY    6;30  JUST  BEFORE  THE   MEETING  OF  THE  THOMASTON  MAYOR  AND  COUNCIL AT  7PM.  THOSE  APPROVED  FOR    THE  LOTTERY,  STEVE  DUKE    AND    RAVIE  SING  OF  THOMASTON   AND  SONIYA-BEN  BODHIA  OF PEACHTREE  CITY.  THE  ANNUAL LICENSE  WILL  COST  $5000   THE  MAX  ALLOWED  BY  THE  STATE.


ON  THE  AGENDA  FOR  THE  REGULAR  MEETING  A   PUBLIC  HEARING  ON  A  CONTROVERSIAL  REQUEST  FOR  REZONING  FOR A 180 UNIT  APARTMENT  COMPLEX  ON  12  ACRES  ON    VETERANS  DRIVE  THAT  HAS  GALVANIZED  HUGE  OPPOSITION  FROM  SURROUNDING  NEIGHBORHOODS--YARD  SIGNS  ABOUND  URGING  THE  CITY  COUNCIL  TO  DENY  THE  REZONING.  THE  THOMASTON-UPSON  PLANNING  COMMISSION  AND  THE  CITY  OF  THOMASTON  PLANNING  COMMISSION -- BOTH  VOTED  TO  RECOMMEND  DENIAL.

Thursday, August 11, 2022

EX BAND DIRECTOR AT MARY PERSONS INDICTED

 A Monroe County Grand Jury indicted the former band director at Mary Persons High School Tuesday morning on multiple counts of sexual exploitation of children. 

In 2021, investigators arrested Bryant Miles Benson on felony warrants for sexual exploitation of children and sexual conduct by a person with supervisory authority.

The Monroe County Sheriff's office says they received a report of sexually explicit material exchanged between Benson and a teen who was previously his student at the high school.

The other charges included electronically furnishing obscene material to minors, sexual contact by employee or agent in the first degree, and illegal use of communication facility. 

ANOTHER HONOR OF VANDY GOLFER GORDON SARGENT

Team USA taps VU’s Sargent for World Amateur Team Championship.

One would be hard pressed to find an amateur golfer that’s had a better 2022 than Vanderbilt’s Gordon Sargent.

Sargent, the SEC Freshman of the Year and first team All-American, won the NCAA men’s golf individual national championship then followed it up by winning the NCAA Division I Phil Mickelson Outstanding Freshman Award.

 

On Wednesday, the rising sophomore added another accolade to his growing resume when he was chosen to represent Team USA in the 2022 World Amateur Team Championship, as announced by the United States Golf Association. 

 

Sargent, who’s ranked No. 4 in the World Amateur Golf Rankings, is just the second Vanderbilt golfer ever selected to participate in the tournament, joining Matthias Schwab in 2016.

 

The World Amateur Team Championship will be held Aug. 31 through Sept. 3 in France at Le Golf National and Golf de Saint-Nom-La-Breteche and feature many of the top amateur golfers in the world.

 

Sargent became the ninth freshman ever, and the first in 15 years, to win an NCAA men’s golf national title. He was also the first Commodore to win the Phil Mickelson Award and just the second student-athlete in school history to win an individual national championship.

 

He was also named a finalist for the Fred Haskins Award, which honors the most outstanding male college golfer as voted on by peers, coaches, and golf media.

 

Among Sargent’s other 2022 highlights were a runner-up finish in the individual SEC golf championships, a win at the Mossy Oak Collegiate tournament, and three top-five finishes including the Palm Beach Regional, the Linger Longer Invitational and the Mason Rudolph Championship.

Wednesday, August 10, 2022

Guilty Pleas Upson Superior Court

JUDGE RHONDA B. KREUZIGER, GJC

 

AUGUST 10, 2022

 

1. 22R0155 TYLER D. PITTS CT. 1: THEFT BY TAKING- REDUCED TO- THEFT BY RECEIVING: 5 YEARS PROBATION CONCURRENT WITH CASE #22R0156 & 22R0267A; $1,000 FINE.

 

2. 22R0156 TYLER D. PITTS CT. 1: REMOVING/AFFIXING LIC. PLATE WITH INTENT TO CONCEAL: NOLLE PROSEQUI. CT. 2: OBSTRUCTION OF OFFICER: 5 YEARS, SERVE 2, FOLLOWED BY THE REMAINDER ON PROBATION CONCURRENT WITH CASE #22R0155 & 22R0267A; $1,000 FINE; 80 HOURS COMMUNITY SERVICE; BANISHMENT FROM THE GRIFFIN JUDICIAL CIRCUIT FOR A PERIOD OF 12 MONTHS AFTER RELASE FROM PRISON. CT. 3: POSSESSION OF METHAMPHETAMINE: 5 YEARS, SERVE 2, FOLLOWED BY THE REMAINDER ON PROBATION CONCURRENT TO COUNT 2.

 

3. 22R0267A TYLER D. PITTS CT. 1: ENTERING AUTO: 5 YEARS PROBATION CONCURRENT TO CASE #22R0155 & 22R0156; $1,000 FINE. CT. 2: ENTERING AUTO: 5 YEARS PROBATION CONCURRENT TO COUNT 1. CT. 3: ENTERING AUTO: NOLLE PROSEQUI. CT. 4: CRIMINAL DAMAGE TO PROPERTY IN THE 2ND DEGREE: 5 YEARS PROBATION CONCURRENT TO COUNTS 1 & 2. CT. 5: ENTERING AUTO: NOLLE PROSEQUI.

 

4. 22R0283 CHRISTON LEWIS CT. 1: CRIMINAL DAMAGE TO PROPERTY IN THE 2ND DEGREE: 12 MONTHS PROBATION; 40 HOURS COMMUNITY SERVICE.

 

5. 22R0095 DIAMOND I. LOCKETT CT. 1: POSSESSION OF MARIJUANAN, LESS THAN 1 OUNCE: NOLLE PROSEQUI. CT. 2: TAMPERING WITH EVIDENCE: 12 MONTHS PROBATION; 40 HOURS COMMUNITY SERVICE; $500 FINE.

 

6. 22R0089 STEVE EPPS CT. 1: POSSESSION OF A SCHEDULE I CONTROLLED SUBSTANCE: 3 YEARS PROBATION; 6 MONTHS TO SERVE 80 HOURS COMMUNITY SERVICE; $1,000 FINE.

 

7. 21R0288 BARBIE M. BURKETT CT. 1: THEFT OF SERVICES: 12 MONTHS PROBATION TO RUN CONCURRENT WITH MUNICIPAL COURT CASE; 40 HOURS COMMUNITY SERVICE.

 

8. 22R0092 CHRISTOPHER FULLER CT. 1: POSSESSION OF METHAMPHETAMINE: 3 YEARS PROBATION; 80 HOURS COMMUNITY SERVICE; $1,000 FINE.

 

9. 22R0167B YANCEY D. SULLIVAN CT. 1: THEFT BY TAKING: 5 YEARS PROBATION; BANISHMENT FROM ALL CIRCLE K’S; 80 HOURS COMMUNITY SERVICE; $500 FINE.

U-L STUDENT WHO CAUSED ACTIVE SHOOTER SCARE CHARGED IN JUVENILE COURT

 UPSON  COUNTY  SHERIFF  DAN  KILGORE  SAYS  A   STUDENT  WHO  CAUSED  AN  ACTIVE SHOOTER  SCARE AT  UPSON-LEE   HIGH  SCHOOL,  TUESDAY,  HAS  BEEN  REFERRED  TO  JUVENILE  COURT  ON  A  CHARGE  OF  DISRUPTING  A  PUBLIC  SCHOOL.  THE  SHERIFF  SAID  A   PARENT  CALLED  911  AFTER  HER  SON   PHONED  HER  ABOUT  A  STUDENT  IN  THE  BOYS  REST  ROOM  WHO  HAD  WHAT  APPEARED  TO  BE  A  PISTOL  THAT  HE  POINTED  AT  ANOTHER  STUDENT.  TURNS  OUT  IT  WAS  A  HAND-HELD  MASSAGER,  BUT  IT  LEAD  TO  ALL  SCHOOLS  TO  BE  PLACED ON  LOCKDOWN  AND   LAWMEN  RESPONDED IN  FORCE TO  THE  SCHOOL. 


UPSON  COUNTY  COMMISSION  CHAIRMAN   NORMAN  ALLEN   AND  COMMISSIONER  BEN  WATSON  COMMENDED  THE  LAW  ENFORCEMENT  COMMUNITY  FOR  THEIR  RESPONSE  AT  TUESDAY'S  MEETING  AND  CHAIRMAN  ALLEN  SAID  AMERIPRO  EMS  DISPATCHED  3  UNITS  TO  THE  SCHOOL.  

Monroe County Sheriff’s Office recovered a stolen vehicle

Monroe County Sheriff’s Office deputies recovered a stolen vehicle this afternoon, August 9, 2022, that was reported stolen out of Atlanta, Georgia. The Sheriff’s Office received a call from the Georgia State Patrol, stating that the vehicle was at 4988 High Falls Road, the Sunoco gas station in High Falls and that there was a gun inside the vehicle. When Deputies arrived at the Sunoco gas station they observed a black male at the gas pumps, next to the brown Kia Soul that had been reported stolen. When approached the suspect jumped into the vehicle to avoid the Deputies. After several minutes of using loud verbal commands the suspect exited the vehicle and was placed under arrest. 

The suspect, Letroy Mosley of Bradenton, Florida, was transported to the Monroe County Sheriff’s Office. Mosley is facing charges of Theft by Receiving Stolen Property and Possession of a Firearm by a Convicted Felon and other multiple charges.

T-U BOE RAISES TAX MILLAGE ADOPTS FY 23 BUDGET

 THE  T-U  BOARD  OF  EDUCATION  APPROVED  A  TAX  MILLAGE  INCREASE OF  JUST  UNDER  ONE  MILL  AND  ADOPTED  THE  FY 23 $44  MILLION  BUDGET,  TUESDAY,  BUT  THERE  WERE  VOTES  AGAINST  BOTH  BY  BOE  MEMBERS.


FIVE    CITIZENS   SPOKE  AGAINST  THE  TAX  MILLAGE  INCREASE  DURING  A  PUBLIC  HEARING,  BUT  THE  SCHOOL  BOARD  VOTED  4-3  TO  RAISE  THE  MILLAGE  TO  14.01 MILLS.  VOTING  IN  FAVOR,  CHAIR  JACQUELINE  HOLLIS,  VICE  CHAIR  JAYE  EUBANKS,  ANGELINE MCGILL,  AND  STEVE  SADLER.  THE  BOARD  EXPLAINED  THE  STATE  REQUIRES  AT  LEAST  14  MILLS  TO  QUALIFY  FOR $4MILLION  IN  EQUALIZATION  FUNDS,  IT  COULD   RECEIVE. 


THE  BOARD  VOTED  5-2  TO  ADOPT  THE $44  MILLION   FY 23  BUDGET,  BOARD MEMBERS  SHELIA  HALL  AND  BRIAN  SALTER  OPPOSED. IT  WAS  ONE  OF  THE  MOST  CONTROVERSIAL  BUDGETS  IN  RECENT  YEARS,  WITH  PROPERTY  OWNERS  PROTESTING    THE  TAX  MILLAGE  HIKE  AT  EVERY  MEETING.

Tuesday, August 9, 2022

ARTHUR H. ENGLISH IV RESPONDS TO THE WASHINGTON POST

 

The allegations contained in the recent Washington Post article and PETA social media video concerning my business are untrue and were characterized to mislead and inflame public opinion. The facts are, I hold, and have held, a valid business license and a Georgia Department of Agriculture Stable license for ten years. My facilities are inspected by the State several times each year. I have had constant interaction with various members of the Lamar County Board of Commissioners over the years, and many of them have been out to my place of business from time to time. According to both the Lamar County Sheriff and the Towaliga Circuit District Attorney, my business been subject to investigation by their offices as well as the United States Department of Agriculture for at least eighteen months. My business has to be the most investigated, most closely scrutinized business in the history of Lamar County. Despite all of the scrutiny and investigations, by all of the myriad officials and agencies, no one connected to my business has ever been charged with a single criminal offense.

PETA and the Washington Post are well known for aggressively pursuing their own political agendas. Both have recently been attacking the horse racing industry nation-wide. which is clearly reflected in their reporting and social media postings over the past several years. They cobbled together half-truths and flashes of gore to inflame and incite people. Their report and postings are neither accurate, nor reflective of my business or any of the activities on my property. If there was there was any truth to any of it, one or more of the many investigating officials or agencies would have certainly taken some official action.

Horse racing is completely legal in Georgia. However, it is not regulated by the State. Contrary to what the Washington Post and PETA would have you believe. I do have rules (both posted and enforced) at my place of business. Unfortunately, on rare occasion accidents do happen. And sadly, some people will always try to cheat at sport to get an advantage. We do police these things and try to stop them. I have been in the large animal business most of my life. My father and grandfather were cattlemen on this same property. I grew up on a farm with cattle. I love animals and don’t condone the abuse or neglect of any animal. When we find a safety issue, we fix it. When we catch a bad actor, we show him or her the door.

PETA and the Washington Post have an agenda, and they want you to buy into what they are selling. Their work was intentionally designed to repulse and enrage the reader/viewer, and to get people angry before they could think about, or even question, what was being fed to them. They have an agenda, and they fed you what they wanted to get the reaction they wanted. Please understand, what was contained in their work was not accurate or correct, and it certainly was not representative of my business or it’s practices.

Arthur H. English IV Owner, Rancho El Centenario LLC

 

UPSON CO SHERIFF STATEMENT ON SCHOOL LOCKDOWN

 At approximately 11:50 am on August 9,2022 a third-party call from a parent of an Upson Lee high school student was received by Upson 911 reporting that their child had seen another student with a handgun while in the boy’s restroom of the school. The school resource officer was notified and School staff was advised of the situation. The entire school district was placed on lockdown while deputies responded and investigated. Through investigation it was found that a male student had a hand-held massager that resembled a handgun. The student in possession of the massager admitted that he Possessed it in the restroom and pointed it at another student. 

There was no active shooter and all students are safe. 
All schools are in the process of being  taken off lockdown status
Please be patient as we work through returning to normal operations
Dan Kilgore. Sheriff

THOMASTON-UPSON SCHOOLS ON LOCKDOWN

 UPSON  COUNTY  SHERIFF  DAN  KILGORE  REPORTS   ALL  T-U  SCHOOLS  REMAIN  ON LOCKDOWN  AS A  PRECAUTION  AFTER  A  REPORT  OF  AN  ACTIVE  SHOOTER  AT  U-L  HIGH  SCHOOL  BEFORE  NOON  TUESDAY.  THE  SHERIFF  TOLD   101  NEWS  A  PARENT  CALLED  THE  SHERIFF'S  OFFICE  WITH  A  REPORT  HER   CHILD  HAD  SEEN  A  STUDENT  WITH  A  GUN.  THE  SHERIFF  TOLD  US  NO  FIREARM  HAD  BEEN  FOUND  AT  THE  SCHOOL.

SPALDING CO BOC APPROVES FLEET CONTRACT

 AT  A  CALLED  MEETING AUGUST  4TH  OF  THE  SPALDING  COUNTY  BOARD OF  COMMISSIONERS,   THE  BOARD  APPROVED  CONTRACTING  WITH  ENTERPRISE  FLEET  MANAGEMENT  FOR  COUNTY  VEHICLES.  COUNTY  MANAGER  STEVE  LEDBETTER  DISCUSSED  THE  VEHICLE  FLEET  OF  145  VEHICLES  WITH  AN  AVERAGE MAINTENCE  COST OF  $245  MONTHLY  WITH  AN  AVERAGE  AGE  OF   12  YEARS.      ENTERPRISE  FLEET   MANAGEMENT    COULD  REDUCE  THAT  MAINTANCE  COST    TO   $73  A  MONTH,   AND THE  FIRST  YEAR  SAVINGS  WOULD  BE  $320,000.  IN  A  CONTRACT  WITH  ENTERPRISE,   IN  FY 23  THEY  WOULD  REPLACE  59  VEHICLES.  HE  ADDED THE  SUPPLY  CHAIN  IS  BROKEN BUT  ENTERPRISE  WOULD  LOOK  NATIONALLY  TO  LOCATE  VEHICLES    FOR  THE  COUNTY.

Guilty Pleas Upson Superior Court

 AUGUST 8, 2022

JUDGE RHONDA B. KREUZIGER, GJC

 

1. 21R0074 GAVION M. BAKER CT. 1: BATTERY, FAMILY VIOLENCE: 12 MONTHS PROBATION; 60 DAYS TO SERVE IN THE COUNTY JAIL; $500 FINE; 40 HOURS COMMUNITY SERVICE.

 

2. 21R0075 GAVION M. BAKER CT. 1: BATTERY, FAMILY VIOLENCE: 12 MONTHS PROBATION CONSECUTIVE TO CASE 21R0074; $500 FINE. CT. 2: HENDERING EMERGENCY TELEPHONE CALL: 12 MONTHS PROBATION CONSECUTIVE TO COUNT 1; $500 FINE.

 

3. 22R0170 AUTUMN SULLIVAN CT. 1: TERRORISTIC THREATS: 12 MONTHS PROBATION; BANISHMENT FROM THE GRIFFIN JUDICIAL CIRCUIT. CT. 2: SIMPLE ASSAULT: 12 MONTHS PROBATION.

 

4. 22R0175 DARRYL D. FRYE CT. 1: THEFT BY SHOPLIFTING: 12 MONTHS PROBATION; $500 FINE. CT. 2: DISTRACTED DRIVING: NOLLE PROSEQUI. CT. 3: DRIVING ON WRONG SIDE OF ROAD: NOLLE PROSEQUI. CT. 4: NO TAG: NOLLE PROSEQUI.

 

5. 22R0292 JUSTIN ALLISON CT. 1: OBSTRUCTION OF AN OFFICER: 3 YEARS PROBATION; $1,000 FINE; 80 HOURS COMMUNITY SERVICE. CT. 2: OBSTRUCTION OF AN OFFICER: NOLLE PROSEQUI. CT. 3: DISORDERLY CONDUCT: 12 MONTHS PROBATION CONSECUTIVE TO CT. 1; $500 FINE.

 

6. 22R0300 RODRECIUS MILLER CT. 1: THEFT BY TAKING: 3 YEARS PROBATION; $1,000 FINE; 80 HOURS COMMUNITY SERVICE. CT. 2: CRIMINAL DAMAGE TO PROPERTY IN THE SECOND: NOLLE PROSEQUI.

Monday, August 8, 2022

22 Defendants Charged in 22-Count Indictment Alleging Middle Georgia Drug Trafficking Ring

ALBANY, Ga. – 22 individuals are facing federal charges resulting from an Organized Crime Drug Enforcement Task Forces (OCDETF) investigation into an alleged armed drug trafficking organization distributing methamphetamine, heroin, fentanyl and other controlled substances in Middle Georgia. . An indictment is only an allegation of criminal conduct. All of the defendants are presumed innocent until and unless proven guilty in a court of law beyond a reasonable doubt.

 

A federal indictment was returned on June 15 charging the following individuals:

 

1.     Cornelius Leonard aka Tae, 28, of Grantville, Georgia, is charged with conspiracy to possess with intent to distribute controlled substances; three counts of distribution of methamphetamine; two counts of possession of a firearm by a prohibited person; possession of a stolen firearm; possession of methamphetamine with the intent to distribute; possession of heroin with the intent to distribute; possession of fentanyl with intent to distribute; possession of cocaine with the intent to distribute; possession of marijuana with intent to distribute; and, conspiracy to tamper with a witness. If convicted, Leonard faces a maximum of life imprisonment and a maximum $8,000,000 fine.

 

2.     Kedric Fuller aka Blakk Ru, 41, of Woodbury, Georgia, is charged with conspiracy to possess with intent to distribute controlled substances. If convicted, Fuller faces a maximum of life imprisonment and a maximum $10,000,000 fine.

 

3.     Markevious Snipes aka Big Dawg, 31, of Thomaston, Georgia, is charged with conspiracy to possess with intent to distribute controlled substances and conspiracy to tamper with a witness. If convicted, Snipes faces a maximum of life imprisonment and a maximum $10,000,000 fine.

 

4.     Pedro Valencia aka Casper aka Bossman, 45, of Calhoun State Prison, Georgia, is charged with conspiracy to possess with intent to distribute controlled substances. If convicted, Valencia faces a maximum of life imprisonment and a maximum $10,000,000 fine.

 

5.     Horatio Venable aka Ray, 25, of Columbus, Georgia, is charged with conspiracy to possess with intent to distribute controlled substances, possession of a firearm by a prohibited person, possession of a stolen firearm, possession of a firearm in furtherance of a drug trafficking crime, and possession with intent to distribute marijuana. If convicted, Venable faces a maximum of life imprisonment and a maximum $10,000,000 fine.

 

6.     Rashad Moreland, 36, of Columbus, is charged with conspiracy to possess with intent to distribute controlled substances. If convicted, Moreland faces a maximum of life imprisonment and a maximum $10,000,000 fine.

 

7.     Antovious Hunter aka Ant, 39, of Columbus, is charged with conspiracy to possess with intent to distribute controlled substances. If convicted, Hunter faces a maximum of life imprisonment and a maximum $10,000,000 fine.

 

8.     Darius Wellmaker, 39, of Thomaston, is charged with conspiracy to possess with intent to distribute controlled substances. If convicted, Wellmaker faces a maximum of life imprisonment and a maximum $10,000,000 fine.

 

9.     Ashley Ingram, 35, of Cataula, Georgia, is charged with conspiracy to possess with intent to distribute controlled substances. If convicted, Ingram faces a maximum of life imprisonment and a maximum $10,000,000 fine.

 

10.  Mechile Hobbs, 48, of Woodbury, is charged with conspiracy to possess with intent to distribute controlled substances and possession with intent to distribute methamphetamine. If convicted, Hobbs faces a maximum of life imprisonment and a maximum $10,000,000 fine.

 

11.  Mark Dean, 44, of Manchester, Georgia, is charged with conspiracy to possess with intent to distribute controlled substances. If convicted, Dean faces a maximum of life imprisonment and a maximum $10,000,000 fine.

 

12.  Nehemiah Johnson aka Brazy, 29, of Thomaston, is charged with conspiracy to possess with intent to distribute controlled substances. If convicted, Johnson faces a maximum of life imprisonment and a maximum $10,000,000 fine.

 

13.  Jennifer Moss, 38, of Molena, Georgia, is charged with conspiracy to possess with intent to distribute controlled substances and possession with the intent to distribute methamphetamine. If convicted, Moss faces a maximum of life imprisonment and a maximum $10,000,000 fine.

 

14.  Justin Whitten, 36, Hogansville, Georgia, is charged with conspiracy to possess with intent to distribute controlled substances. If convicted, Whitten faces a maximum of life imprisonment and a maximum $10,000,000 fine.

 

15.  Natashia Antley, 34, of Thomaston, is charged with conspiracy to possess with intent to distribute controlled substances. If convicted, Antley faces a maximum of life imprisonment and a maximum $10,000,000 fine.

 

16.  Krystal  Juarez Norman, 33, of Thomaston, is charged with conspiracy to possess with intent to distribute controlled substances. If convicted, Norman faces a maximum of life imprisonment and a maximum $10,000,000 fine.

 

17.  Dixie Bailey, 33, of Thomaston, is charged with conspiracy to possess with intent to distribute controlled substances. If convicted, Bailey faces a maximum of life imprisonment and a maximum $10,000,000 fine.

 

18.  Carlton Power, 26, of Manchester, is charged with conspiracy to possess with intent to distribute controlled substances. If convicted, Power faces a maximum of life imprisonment and a maximum $10,000,000 fine.

 

19.  Dustin Robbins, 33, of Columbus, is charged with conspiracy to possess with intent to distribute controlled substances. If convicted, Robbins faces a maximum of life imprisonment and a maximum $10,000,000 fine.

 

20.  Sabrina Smith, 32, of Thomaston, is charged with conspiracy to possess with intent to distribute controlled substances and distribution of methamphetamine. If convicted, Smith faces a maximum of life imprisonment and a maximum $10,000,000 fine.

 

21.  Joshua McAfee, 34, of Thomaston, is charged with conspiracy to possess with intent to distribute controlled substances. If convicted, McAfee faces a maximum of life imprisonment and a maximum $10,000,000 fine.

 

22.  Ramone Zorn aka Big Razor, 52, of Thomaston, is charged with conspiracy to possess with intent to distribute controlled substances, distribution of methamphetamine and two counts of possession with intent to distribute methamphetamine. If convicted, Zorn faces a maximum of life imprisonment and a maximum $20,000,000 fine.

 

Initial appearances for the defendants occurred beginning on July 20 with more scheduled through August 10 before U.S. Magistrate Judge Thomas Q. Langstaff.

 

This effort is part of an Organized Crime Drug Enforcement Task Forces (OCDETF) operation. OCDETF identifies, disrupts, and dismantles the highest-level criminal organizations that threaten the United States using a prosecutor-led, intelligence-driven, multi-agency approach. Additional information about the OCDETF Program can be found at https://www.justice.gov/OCDETF.

 

This case is being investigated by FBI.

 

Assistant U.S. Attorney Leah McEwen is prosecuting the case. 

UPSON PLANNING COMMISSION RECOMMENDS STEVE HARVEY LEGACY RANCE

 IN  A  PUBLIC  HEARING  THAT  LASTED  AlMOST  3  HOURS, MONDAY,  THE  UPSON  COUNTY  PLANNING  COMMISSION  VOTED  UNANIMOUSLY  TO  RECOMMEND  WITH  CONDITIONS   TO  THE  UPSON  COUNTY  COMMISSIONERS ,  A  SPECIAL  EXCEPTION  FOR  THE  STEVE  HARVEY  LEGACY  RANCH,  FORMERLY  THE  ROCK  RANCH .   ONE   CONDITION,  THE   BOARD  WANTS  THE  RANCH  TO  BE  AVAILABLE  TO  THE  COMMUNITY  DURING  THE   48  WEEKS A  YEAR  WHEN  THE  HARVEY'S  SUMMER  YOUTH  PROGRAM  IS  NOT  OPERATING

"BUSH TRACKS" IN LAMAR CO

 THE  LAMAR  COUNTY  BOARD  OF  COMMISSIONERS,   SHERIFF  BRAD  WHITE  AND  DISTRICT  ATTORNEY  JONATHAN  ADAMS  ARE  REACTING  TO  AN  ARTICLE  IN  THE  WASHINGTON  POST  REVEALING  ISSUES  WITH  TWO  HISPANIC   HORSE  RACING  TRACKS  IN  LAMAR  COUNTY.  BRUTZ  ENGLISH  OWNS  ONE  ON  HIGH  FALLS  PARK  ROAD  IN  MILNER,  AND  ANOTHER  IN  MILNER -- BUSINESSMAN  RUDY  VAUGHN  OPENED   ON  HIS    PROPERTY  IN  JANUARY.  IN  A   PRESS  RELEASE  ISSUED  MONDAY,  THE  LAMAR  BOC  SAYS  THEY  ISSUED  PERMITS  FOR  ENGLISH  TO  OPERATE  AN  AGRA - TOURISM  FACILITY  SO  THE  PUBLIC  COULD  PICK  STRAWBERRIES  AND  SUCH,  BUT  IT  WAS  TURNED  INTO  A  HORSE  RACING  TRACK  THAT  PETA  INVESTIGATORS  SAY  INVOLVES  HORSE  DOPING AND  ANIMAL  ABUSE. VAUGHN APPLIED  FOR  A  PERMIT  TO  OPERATE  A  SPECIAL  EVENTS  VENUE  FOR  BIRTHDAY  PARTIES  AND  FAMILY  REUNIONS    BUT    OPENED  A   HORSE  RACING  TRACK  INSTEAD --THAT  HAS  DRAWN  CITIZENS  IRE  FOR  LOUD MUSIC.


SHERIFF  WHITE  SAID  WHEN  NOTIFIED  OF  POSSIBLE  ANIMAL  ABUSE  HE  CONTACTED THE  FEDS  AT  THE  DEPARTMENT  OF  AGRICULTURE  WHO  TOOK OVER  THE  CASE,   AND  HE  AND  THE  GBI  AND  D.A.   MET  WITH  AN  INVESTIGATOR,   BUT   SOMEHOW  THE  INVESTIGATION  FELL  THROUGH  THE  CRACKS.  D.A.  ADAMS  TOLD  THE  WASHINGTON  POST,  THE  MEXICAN  CARTEL    IS  INVOLVED   IN   MANY  OF  THESE  HORSE  TRACKS  CALLED " BUSH  TRACKS " THAT  HAVE  SHOWED-UP  ACROSS  THE  U.S.




  

PRESS RELEASE LAMAR CO BOC

 Press Release The Board of Commissioners is aware of an article in the Washington Post over the weekend that addresses activities at two permitted event centers in Lamar County. These particular places are referred to as “bush tracks” in the news article. There are many horrific and sickening allegations in the article. The Commissioners do not condone any of the activities that are cited in the article. But the Washington Post article does not constitute a legal investigation and we must recognize that fact. We support efforts by the Sheriff and District Attorney (and all other law enforcement agencies) to prosecute criminal activity. The event centers that were permitted by the Board of Commissioners were never approved for these types of activities. Under Georgia’s Agritourism statues, they were supposed to be attractions that bring people to the farm for education or entertainment. The activities listed in the article are not the type of education or entertainment we want in our community. We did not issue permits for “bush tracks” or illegal gambling or animal abuse. Those activities are clearly illegal whether the facility has an Agritourism permit or not. The Board of Commissioners does not have law enforcement power. We do have power to pull permits and to address zoning violations through the courts. We are reviewing our options and will make a decision in the near future. Lamar County Board of Commissioners