MILLEN - A 10-month investigation dubbed "Operation Crack Down," resulted in 18 arrests last week in Millen.
The Screven County Sheriff's Office joined forces with the Jenkins County Sheriff's Office, Millen Police Department and several other law enforcement agencies in the 10-month investigation.
Operation Crack Down came to a conclusion following the sale of cocaine and marijuana to an undercover deputy.
At 6 a.m. on July 30, a large group of deputies and officers of the 12 participating agencies met at Magnolia Springs State Park for a briefing before they proceeded with three organized teams to begin arresting defendants, according to information provided by Jenkins County Chief Deputy Johnny Griner.
"Our communities are plagued with the same problem we see in our whole country with drug abuse," said Jenkins Co. Sheriff Robert Oglesby. "This operation targeted street-level dealers and was very effective.
"I am very proud of the undercover investigator, as well as other deputies and officers who came together to make ‘Operation Crackdown' the success that it has been," he said.
Officers also located several individuals for which warrants were previously issued while serving arrest warrants for Operation Crack Down, Griner said. They were arrested and incarcerated, as well.
Additional agencies involved in the round-up were Sylvania Police Dept., Burke Co. Sheriff's Office, Ga. State Patrol, Dept. of Natural Resources, GBI, Ogeechee Judicial Circuit D.A.'s Office, Richmond Co. Sheriff's Office K-9 Unit, Ga. State Prison K-9 Unit, and Newington Police Dept.
The following defendants were charged with sale of cocaine within 1,000 ft. of a housing project: Sherier Thosay Harris, 29, of 510 Toole Court, Millen; Stephon Solsberry, 19, of 1128 Holmes Drive, Millen; Evan Rockeal Styles, 18, of 510 Toole Court, Millen; Lequain Wadley, 26, of Burke Stone Apts., Waynesboro; Khambrell V. Gross, 22, of 410 Utley Road, Waynesboro; Charles E. Young, Jr., 31, with four counts, of 3545 Oak Hill Road, Millen; and Andrese J. Smith, 21, with two counts, of 936 Oak Circle, Millen. With the addition of Yancy Whitfield, 29, of 3805 Perkins Hiltonia Road, Perkins, all of these defendants were also charged with sale of cocaine, Solsberry with five counts, Young with four counts, and Gross and Smith both with two counts.
Along with Solsberry (three counts sale of marijuana) and Styles, charges of sale of marijuana and sale of marijuana within 1,000 ft. of a school were held against Kwmaine S. Shingleton, 20, of 1112 GA 25 South, Millen and Gregory Jerome Sapp, Jr., 19, of 135 Bobs Drive, Millen.
Pierrie K. Pierce, 18, of 618 Drexel Avenue, Millen, was also charged with sale of marijuana and Kennith Scott, 21, of 918 Buckhead Road, Millen, with possession of marijuana.
An additional charge for Whitfield and Solsberry was use of cellular phone to facilitate a drug transaction. All of the aforementioned await bond procedures.
One juvenile, 15, of Millen, was charged with sale of cocaine and sale of cocaine within 1,000 ft. of a housing project. The second juvenile, 16, of Millen, was charged with sale marijuana. Both are incarcerated at Claxton Regional Youth Detention Center.
Additional arrests include Bryan Matthew Boings (probation violation), 25, of 413 Plum Avenue, Millen; Scotty S. Lariscy (fugitive for Screven Co. Sheriff's Office), 36, of 533 S. Masonic Street, Millen; Richard W. Joyner (probation violation), 45, of 505 Joyner Avenue, Millen; and Polly D. Smith (child support lock-up order), 37, of 610 Parrish Burke Road, Millen. They are being held without bond.
"Serving as Jenkins County's sheriff and doing my part to combat crime has been my dream for a long time now," Oglesby said, "and it (has been) a pleasure to work with such a dedicated team of law enforcement officers whose cooperation make this kind of operation work so well."
Jenkins Co. officers anticipate further arrests in connection with Operation Crack Down.