After a months-long investigation, the joint Statesboro Police Department/ Georgia Southern University Impact Team made seven drug arrests over the course of Friday night and Saturday, while warrants were issued for two more suspects, according to SPD Capt. Jared Akins.
In a press release late Saturday, Akins said law enforcement had received reports that cocaine was being distributed by patrons, and in one case, staff, of bars located near Georgia Southern University’s campus. The information specifically indicated that staff at Shenanigan’s Bar at 1 University Plaza were participating in these illegal sales.
The Impact Team is tasked not only with citywide drug enforcement but also with conducting alcohol and bouncer compliance checks at licensed bars.
After a lengthy investigation, undercover purchases of cocaine were successful, with multiple defendants identified as having sold the substance on multiple occasions. Most of the defendants were patrons of the various establishments; however the involvement of staff at Shenanigan’s allowed officers to develop probable cause for a search warrant at that location. On Friday, that search warrant was served and Ian Liddy, 30, S. Walnut St, Statesboro, Kyler Deason, 22, Mistywood Dr., Waynesboro, Ga., and Elizabeth Nguyen, 23, Greentree Ct., Statesboro, were taken into custody.
Cocaine and firearms were recovered during the search in “staff access only” areas.
Impact Team members continued to search for the other defendants into the night, some of whom were arrested at other area bars with the cooperation of staff at those locations. Jaythan Hendrix, 23, S. College St., Statesboro, Destiny Ngezem, 22, White Dove Dr., McDonough, and Joseph Keith Bragg Jr., 29, Highway 80 W., Portal, were all taken into custody.
On Saturday, Impact officers arrested Reginal Calles, 54, Westbrooke Dr., Statesboro, at his residence with the assistance of the Bulloch County Sheriff’s Office. Officers were able to obtain a search warrant for that residence and found additional cocaine, firearms, and Schedule I substances inside the home.
Two defendants, Kim Hunter Jr., 22, Sylvania, and Nicolas Sparacia, 24, Statesboro, had not been apprehended and remain wanted. Akins encouraged these suspects to surrender themselves immediately.
“This operation is one of the many examples of efforts by SPD and Georgia Southern University’s Department of Public Safety to keep drug dealers from setting up shop near entertainment venues and preying on the students and residents patronizing those venues. Anyone with information regarding drug activity is encouraged to contact the Impact Team at 912-764-9911 or submit an anonymous tip to email@example.com.” according to the release.