Wilson says, “We will charge them” in Vaping Presentation

News

JASPER, Ga. – District Attorney Alison Sosebee offered her presentation to parents that she has been showing to students this week. As a part of the chat with the superintendent program on September 24, Sosebee and Pickens Sheriff Donnie Craig joined in to inform parents about the vaping trend and the school’s responses.

Going through the same presentation as the one she offers the students, the only alterations came when Sheriff Craig added the Drug Task Forces formal response and when Superintendent Dr. Carlton Wilson offered the school systems official reply. Following along the same lines of thought, students and parents should begin expecting full repercussions on possession, use, and sharing of vaping devices as drug paraphernalia when viable instead of being treated like possessing cigarettes.

Sosebee also released information about those who came into contact with a substance that hospitalized five in a warrant on A1 Smoke Shop. The substance, identified as “Panaca,” a synthetic cannabinoid substance that is labeled as a “Schedule I Drug.” Sosebee compared this to Methamphetamine, a “Schedule II Drug.” She went on to note that this identifies synthetic marijuana, like that found in the smoke shop, is comparatively worse than Meth.

Wilson noted that the students have also been told that the consequences of vaping in school is increasing, and additional information from Sheriff Craig noted that criminal charges of this caliber could still involve 15 years in prison in the case of Schedule I Drugs.

As seen in the video, much of the night was spent attempting to inform parents and citizens about the issue, it was noted that the school system is taking a hard stance against the trend. Continuing to point to the fact that some may or may not know what is in the vape devices they use, authorities point to the commonality of hard drugs found across the nation in these devices as reasoning to utilize the full consequences made available in both the school’s code of conduct and criminal law to dissuade students from using these devices.

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Former Student found dead amid allegations

News

Cherry Log, Ga. – Amidst allegations and being wanted “in connection with kidnapping and sexual assault,” Bradley Justin Cochran was found dead yesterday in Metter, Ga from an apparent suicide.

Cochran lived in Cherry Log, Ga and was a former student of Pickens County High School, according to his Facebook Profile.

A release from the Georgia Bureau of Investigation (GBI) states the Cochran allegedly forced his way into a vehicle with three women at a grocery store in Statesboro. After they drove into Candler County, Cochran allegedly sexually assaulted two of the women before stealing the car and leaving the females on foot.

The Statesboro Police Department posted on their Facebook Page Monday saying, “As events unfolded, our officers were amazed by their strength and bravery. These women were just minding their own business, trying to leave the parking lot, when a stranger threatened them with a knife and forced his way into their vehicle.”

All three survived the encounter. Police say it is simply because of the quick action in a fight for survival. Hailing the girls as survivors and warriors.

They continued to praise the victims for their action as they “were able to create a diversion so one of them could escape, from a moving vehicle, to get help. She was able to give law enforcement vital information that led to the identification of the suspect and helped locate the other two women, and most likely saved their lives.”

The GBI was requested to join the investigation on Sunday, August 26, by the Candler County Sheriff’s Office and the Statesboro Police Department.

As the search for Cochran grew to include all three agencies, the Candler County Sheriff’s Office stated, “There was an extensive investigation and manhunt throughout the night and into the morning. All agencies and personnel involved demonstrated how a multi-agency operation should be carried out.”

At this time, the investigation into the incident is still ongoing, but the GBI did confirm that Cochran’s body will be sent to the GBI Medical Examiner’s Office in Savannah, Ga for official cause and manner of death.

 

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Drug Task Force Officer Arrested

News

Jasper, Ga. – The Pickens County Sheriff’s Office has arrested and released reports for warrants and booking for one Charles Daniel Hamrick.

According to the Arrest Warrant, Hamrick is accused of using his position as a peace officer to convince a person to send nude and semi-nude photos to him. The offense violates his oath as a public officer.

The warrant alleges that Hamrick convinced a lady that she was a confidential informant for him and that she could have potential criminal charges brought against her. He then allegedly told her that he had destroyed her confidential informant file in return for the photos.

Having been arrested and booked on the charges, Hamrick has since paid a $1,000 bond and been released. As the official charge states Violation of Oath by Public Officer, it is charged as “a violation of the Oath taken by Hamrick as a Deputy with the Pickens County Sheriff’s Office and the Deputy Commander of the Zell Miller Mountain Parkway Drug Task Force…”

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Sheriff investigates threats at Pickens High School

News

JASPER, Ga. – Sheriff’s Detectives worked through the night following a threatening message posted on social media by a Pickens High School student.

According to the Pickens County Sheriff’s Office, deputies were notified Feb. 21 by a concerned student that one of their classmates had made a threatening post on the social media site Instagram.

The sheriff’s office immediately had detectives on the case investigating the validity of the threat and following up with the student. At this time, Public Information Officer Kris Stancil of the Pickens Sheriff’s Office informs us that the child who made the threat has been taken out of school and the Board of Education “has taken appropriate steps to prevent the student from returning to school.”

However, according to the press release given by the sheriff’s office, no charges have been made yet. The investigation is continuing into this incident to determine if charges will be brought. The sheriff’s office said they will continue to take all threats seriously, even if the threat was made as a joke: “Anytime we are made aware that a threat online or in person has been made, we will investigate it and take all appropriate and necessary steps to prevent an act from occurring.”

The sheriff’s full press release is as follows:

Pickens County Georgia, February 21, 2018: Sheriff’s Detectives worked through the night following a threatening message posted on social media by a Pickens High School student.

On February 21st, deputies were notified by a concerned student that one of their classmates had made a threatening post on the social media site Instagram. Deputies immediately notified detectives and launched an investigation into the validity of the threat.

In addition to working with the student and his parents, Sheriff’s Office staff members have been working closely with the Pickens County Board of Education to ensure that all students are kept safe. In this case, the parents are working closely with investigators as well.

The Board of Education has taken appropriate steps to prevent the student from returning to school at this time. Detectives are also continuing to investigate the case to determine if any criminal charges need to be sought as well.

Threats toward the safety of our kids, even if done as a joke, will not be tolerated by the Pickens Sheriff’s Office or the Pickens County Board of Education. Anytime we are made aware that a threat online or in person has been made, we will investigate it and take all appropriate and necessary steps to prevent an act from occurring.

We are extremely grateful for the students and teachers that notified our office of this incident. Due to their willingness to speak up when something didn’t look right, we have been able to act appropriately.

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U.S. Penitentiary Lt. Arraigned on Excessive Force and Obstruction of Justice Charges

State & National

U. S. PENITENTIARY LIEUTENANT ARRAIGNED ON EXCESSIVE FORCE

AND OBSTRUCTION OF JUSTICE CHARGES

ATLANTA – Lieutenant Gregory McLeod, a senior correctional officer at the U.S. Penitentiary in Atlanta, Georgia, has been arraigned following an investigation of an allegation that McLeod used excessive force against an inmate in 2016.  McLeod was indicted by a federal grand jury on October 24, 2017, and has been charged with unnecessarily assaulting the inmate, writing two false official accounts about the encounter, and lying to federal investigators about his conduct.

“We recognize that detention officers have a difficult job as they maintain order and protect inmates in our nation’s prisons,” said U.S. Attorney Byung J. “BJay” Pak.  “This officer, however, allegedly abused his power, committed a violent and unnecessary assault on an inmate, and then filed a false report to cover up the incident.”

“The FBI continues to play a vital role in ensuring that all credible allegations of civil rights violations involving law enforcement officers are appropriately investigated.  That was certainly the case with U.S. Bureau of Prisons Lt. McLeod, wherein allegations of excessive force were received, resulting in a federal investigation, grand jury indictment, and today’s arraignment in federal court.  The FBI would like to remind the public, however, that the vast majority of law enforcement officers and corrections officers provide admirable services while often under stressful and time constrained situations,” said David J. LeValley, Special Agent in Charge, FBI Atlanta Field Office.

According to U.S. Attorney Pak, the indictment, and other information presented in court:  McLeod, who worked as a supervisor at the prison, allegedly strip-searched an inmate in his office in front of three other correctional officers.  After the inmate complained that the strip-search was taking too long, McLeod repeatedly punched the inmate in his face, injuring him.  Following the assault, McLeod wrote an incident report and a separate memorandum about the encounter in which he falsely claimed that the inmate swung a closed fist at McLeod and attempted to assault other officers before the officers could apply hand and leg restraints.  The indictment charges that McLeod used excessive force and thereby violated the inmate’s constitutional rights. The indictment also accuses McLeod of intentionally impeding and obstructing the investigation of the incident by writing false reports and lying to two federal agents.

Gregory McLeod, 44, of East Point, Georgia, was arraigned on these charges during a hearing in federal court before U.S. Magistrate Judge Catherine M. Salinas.

Members of the public are reminded that the indictment only contains charges.  The defendant is presumed innocent of the charges and it will be the government’s burden to prove the defendant’s guilt beyond a reasonable doubt at trial.

This case is being investigated by the DOJ Office of Inspector General and the Federal Bureau of Investigation.

Assistant U.S. Attorney Brent Alan Gray and DOJ Civil Rights Division Trial Attorney Mary J. Hahn are prosecuting the case.

For further information please contact the U.S. Attorney’s Public Affairs Office at USAGAN.PressEmails@usdoj.gov or (404) 581-6016.  The Internet address for the home page for the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Northern District of Georgia Atlanta Division is http://www.justice.gov/usao-ndga.

Press Release Arrest Made In Hinton

News

Jasper, GA –

Press Release from Pickens County Sheriff’s Office:

On July 25th, a tip led to the capture of one individual committing a burglary on a residence in the Hinton Community. Following a tip from a citizen, Sheriff Donnie Craig located a U-Haul truck parked near an unoccupied residence and requested the aid of additional deputies to determine the reason for the truck being in the area.

 

While awaiting backup, one individual fled into the wooded area behind the residence. A second individual was located near the scene after a brief search. It was found that the individuals had broken a lock on the residence and they were removing items to load into the truck. Also in the truck were stolen items from multiple other areas as well. Some were linked to cases in Walker and Catoosa Counties.

During the investigation, it was determined that Jason Lamar Wright, age 37 was the individual in custody and Robert Eric Ownbey, age 44 was the individual that fled into the woods. Detectives quickly began the work of identifying information about Ownbey and gathering details about the items that had been recovered during the burglary.

Jason Wright                                          Robert Ownbey

While the investigation was in progress, a report of a motorhome being stolen from a nearby residence was received. Deputies and detectives began an immediate search of the area to attempt to locate the stolen motorhome.

The following date, July 26th, a 911 call was received from the original burglary location from a family member of the victim. The family reported that they came to the residence to change the locks on the home that was broken into on the previous date.

Once in the residence, the male victim was grabbed by a white male matching the description of Ownbey. The suspect then held a knife to the individual and ordered him to a closet. Seeing a chance to escape, the gentleman ran from the residence to where his wife was located outside. The suspect then fled on foot into the woods.

Deputies and detectives quickly responded to the residence and began to search for the individual when a call came in stating that a 4-wheeler had just been stolen nearby. Sheriff Craig and multiple deputies responded to the area. When they arrived and searched, they heard a 4-wheeler in the wooded area; it sounded like it was stuck.

Craig and the deputies then went into the woods and located Robert Eric Ownbey trying to get the 4-wheeler out of a creek. Ownbey was taken into custody without incident. Pickens Sheriff’s Office Robert Ownbey has now been charged with Armed Robbery, Burglary, Battery, Criminal Trespass, Giving False Name to Police and has additional charges pending the completion of the investigation. Deputies and Detectives are still working to locate the missing RV.

It is believed that it could still be in the area and parked in a wooded area. It is also possible that a third individual assisted with the removal of the vehicle from the area, but no additional evidence has been found to support this.

Anyone that has seen the Motorhome is urged to please contact detectives at 706-253- 8935.

The case is still actively under investigation and more details may become available later.

Fetch Your News is a hyper local news outlet that covers Dawson, Lumpkin, White, Fannin, Gilmer, Pickens, Union, Towns and Murray counties as well as Cherokee County in N.C. If you would like to follow up-to-date local events in any of those counties, please visit us at FetchYourNews.com

Pickens Sheriff’s Office In Search Of Wanted Men

News

Jasper, GA – Pickens Sheriff’s Office needs your help in locating Andy Young and Roy Joseph Holloway who have multiple outstanding felony warrants.

Both of the suspects are known to carry a firearm, if you come in contact with either of the subjects do not approach, use caution and call 911 immediately.

If you have any information regarding these suspects, please contact Criminal Investigations at 706-253-8935 or 706-253-8900.

 

Fetch Your News is a hyper local news outlet that covers Dawson, Lumpkin, White, Fannin, Gilmer, Pickens, Union, Towns and Murray counties as well as Cherokee County in N.C. If you would like to follow up-to-date local events in any of those counties, please visit us at FetchYourNews.com

Pickens County Sheriff’s Office In Search Of Wanted Man

News

The Pickens County Sheriff’s Office are asking for assistance in locating  a wanted man.   Christopher Hollifield, currently wanted for kidnapping with bodily injury, false imprisonment, aggravated assault, interference with a 911 call, and aggravated battery.

Hollifield allegedly beat a female friend while holding her captive for several hours. He was last seen July 18, 2017 in the area of Pleasant Hill Road where he dropped off the victim.   He is considered very dangerous so if you encounter Mr. Hollifield please contact the authorities immediately.

Hollifield was last seen driving a 1999 Infiniti i30 sedan with GA Tag of RGF 7945. The photo below is of a similar vehicle.

There is no further information at this time FYN will update as more information becomes available.

Fetch Your News is a hyper local news outlet that covers Dawson, Lumpkin, White, Fannin, Gilmer, Pickens, Union, Towns, and Murray counties as well as Cherokee County in N.C. If you would like to follow up-to-date local events in any of these counties, please visit FetchYourNews.com

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