A Statesboro man and three others were indicted Friday on federal charges for operating a methamphetamine ring in Bulloch County.
Clarence Ike Johnson, 55, of a Pleasant Point Road address, was arrested in December, along with Hope Elaine Mitchell, 44, and Clifton Webb Pittman, 50, both of Stoney Brook Way in Reidsville. A fourth suspect, Joy Leigh Horton, 36, of Savannah, was later apprehended after an investigation by the Bulloch County Sheriff’s Crime Suppression Team.
All four were indicted by a grand jury in U.S. District Court, each charged with conspiracy to possess and distribute
50 grams or more of methamphetamine, as well as actual possession with intent to distribute
50 grams or more of methamphetamine, said Bobby L. Christine, U.S. Attorney for the Southern District of Georgia, in a statement released Friday. If convicted, the defendants face possible sentences of up to life in prison, he said.
After receiving citizen tips about drug activity, Bulloch County sheriff’s investigators and K9 detectives went Dec. 11 to Johnson’s Pleasant Point Road home and found enough evidence for probable cause to obtain a warrant, said Bulloch County sheriff’s Chief Deputy Bill Black. The CST members searched the home and found drug-related objects, digital scales and “over
5 pounds of methamphetamine … with a street value over $30,000,” he said.
Christine gave credit to concerned citizens who alerted deputies to the drug activity.
“Of all our partners in law enforcement, a community’s citizens often are the most helpful,” he said. “Their assistance, as in this case, contributes to safer neighborhoods, and supports the work of law enforcement agencies in removing bad elements.”
The suspects must still face trial at a later date.
“Criminal indictments contain only charges; defendants are presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty,” Christine said.
The case is being investigated by the Drug Enforcement Administration and the Bulloch County Sheriff’s Office, and prosecuted for the United States by U.S. Attorneys Marcela C. Mateo and Frank M. Pennington II.
Herald reporter Holli Deal Saxon may be reached at (912) 489-9414.