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Boro pot bust nets 6 arrests
Undercover deputies fool suspects with text messages
Matthew Thomas Bagley - photo by Special
    When local drug agents confiscated a cell phone from a man arrested on drug charges, they likely didn't anticipate finding text messages from the man's customers.
    But when they did, they sent text messages back, inviting the others to "come see us and bring your money," said Bulloch County Drug Suppression Team Capt. Rick Rountree.
    It all began when the Statesboro Police Department Crime Suppression Unit responded to a Southern Court residence regarding a complaint of suspicious activity Oct. 7, according to police reports.
    CSU agents investigated and charged James Brent Massengale, 29, Southern Cove, with sale of marijuana, unlawful use of communication facilities, and distribution/possession of a controlled substance in, on or near a public or private school, reports stated.
    Then the investigation apparently involved the Bulloch County Drug  Suppression Team, and BCDST agents confiscated Massengale's cell phone, Rountree said.
    When others began sending text messages to Massengale inquiring about drugs, officers intercepted the messages and  replied, inviting the others to meet "Massengale” at a local hotel, he said. Rountree did not disclose the location of the hotel, asking that it be kept confidential.
    But when the others arrived at the location, it was not Massengale, but drug agents they found.
    Investigators are keeping the names of two suspects confidential pending further investigations, but released the names of five others who were each charged with criminal attempt to purchase marijuana: Jimmy Earl Woodruff, 23, Lanier Drive; Robert Lee Groves, 24, Lanier Drive; Ralph Michael Mock, 30, Main Street, Rocky Ford; William Franklin Warnell, 24, Violet Drive, Ellabell; and Matthew Thomas Bagley, 23, Robin Hood Trail.
    All suspects were taken to the Bulloch County Jail where they later posted bond, according to jail records.
     Holli Deal Bragg may be reached at (912) 489-9414.

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