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27 arrested in Whitfield County after prescription drug abuse sting

All 27 suspects are currently being held in the Whitfield County Jail without bond. (Image: MGN/Pexels)

Whitfield County Sheriff Scott Chitwood says 27 people are in custody after a four-month long cover operation into prescription drug abuse.

Chitwood says "During our investigation we discovered numerous individuals obtaining prescriptions from physicians for various reasons and instead of taking the medication they were selling the medication."

On Wednesday, sheriff’s investigators and agents with the Department of Community Supervision started arresting suspects involved in the operation, which ended with 27 people wearing handcuffs.

"We are seeing more arrest and overdoses (many involving deaths) due to illegal use of prescription medication than ever before. The prescription drugs most often abused include opioid painkillers, sedatives, anti-anxiety medications and stimulants," Chitwood said.

Sheriff Chitwood says sixteen of those arrested were directly involved in the sale of prescription medication, and another 8 individuals arrested were involved with the distribution or possession of methamphetamine. 3 of those arrested had violated their parole, according to Chitwood. Warrants are outstanding on another nine suspects, and Chitwood says they will be arrested when located.

All 27 suspects are currently being held in the Whitfield County Jail without bond.

Below is a list of those arrested:

  • Marcia Lee Petty, age 60, of 129 Aztez Way, Rocky Face, GA. Charged; Sale of Schedule 1 or 2 drugs.
  • Timothy Wayne Campbell, age 49, of 903 Cascade Drive, Dalton, GA. Charged; Sale of Schedule 2 drug, possession of marijuana (during his arrest).
  • Bridgett Loren Elswick, age 33, of 410 Jessie Street, Dalton, GA. Charged; Sale of Schedule 1 or 2 drugs.
  • Michael David Hagan, age 59, of 407 W Franklin Street, Dalton, GA. Charged; Parole Violation.
  • Ray Bowen Jr, age 45, of 342 Stacy Rd, Dalton, GA. Charged; Sale of Schedule 1 or 2 drugs.
  • Kenneth Dale Coker, age 56, of 276 Chappell Way, Dalton, GA. Charged; Sale of Schedule 1 or 2 drugs.
  • Wendi Lynn Pedigo, age 50, of 4271 Troy Drive, Dalton, GA. Charged; Sale of Schedule 1 or 2 drugs.
  • Uwe Joseph Munzel, age 55, of 177 Travis Way, Dalton, GA. Charged; Sale of Schedule 1 or 2 drugs.
  • Anthony James Clark, age 26, of 117 Downing Street, Dalton, GA. Charged; Parole Violation.
  • Rickey Herrera, age 57, of 1664 Stinnet Drive, Dalton, GA. Charged; Sale of Schedule 1 or 2 drugs.
  • Carla Ruth Herrera, age 53, of 1664 Stinnett Drive, Dalton, GA. Charged; Possession of Methamphetamine (in possession of additional Methamphetamine at the time of arrest).
  • Edwin Voneric Wilson, age 47, of 221 Nashville Street, Dalton, GA. Charged; Parole Violation.
  • Kevin Gene Defriece, age 42, of 727 River Road, Chatsworth, GA. Charged; Sale of Schedule 2 drugs (in possession of Methamphetamine at the time of arrest).
  • Sicillio David Charo, age 56, of 1727 Needham Drive, Dalton, GA. Charged; Sale of Schedule 3/4/5 drugs.
  • Thomas Williams, age 58, of 910 Riverbend Drive, Dalton, GA. Charged; Sale of Schedule 1 or 2 drug (in possession of Methamphetamine at the time of arrest).
  • Tony Lamar Cleary, age 54, of 240 Carbondale Road SW, Dalton, GA. Charged; Sale of Schedule 1 or 2 drugs.
  • Matthew Thomas Watson, age 33, of 168 Maruine Street, Dalton, GA. Charged; Probation Violation, Failure to Appear warrants (in possession of Methamphetamine at the time of arrest).
  • Allen Lee Brown, age 56, of 113 Old Lake Road, Tunnel Hill, GA. Charged; Possession of Methamphetamine and Possession of drug related objects.
  • Amanda Nicole Smith, age 32, of 200 Autumn Court, Dalton, GA. Charged; Sale of Schedule 1 or 2 drugs.
  • Kenneth Lamar Saunders, age 54, or 202 Meadowdale Drive, Dalton, GA. Charged; Sale of Schedule 1 or 2 drugs.
  • Christina Yvonne Eure, age 53, of 506 Parkside Place, Dalton, GA. Charged; Sale of Schedule 1 or 2 drugs.
  • Tina Michelle Thomison, age 44, of 2199 Mccamish Road, Dalton, GA. Charged; Possession of Methamphetamine, possession of Schedule IV (2 counts).
  • Gregory Lee Ratcliff, age 47, of 755 Lee Bryant Road NE, Dalton, GA. Charged; Possession of Methamphetamine, possession of tolls for commission of a crime, 2 outstanding felony warrants (Probation and Failure to Appear).
  • Erica Gwen Caudill, age 30, of 226 Levi Circle, Chatsworth, GA. Charged; Possession of Methamphetamine, on felony banishment sentence for Methamphetamine.
  • Joseph Lynn Patterson, age 47, of 303 Frontier Trail, Dalton, GA. Charged; Possession with intent to distribute Methamphetamine.
  • Bruce Edward Gazaway, age 47, of 2089 Dawnville Road, Dalton, GA. Charged; Possession of Methamphetamine.
  • Hector Lorenzo Hernandez, age 22, of 4719 Tibbs Bridge Road, Dalton, GA. Charged; Possession of Schedule 2 drugs.


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