Moultrie Observer

Local News

March 1, 2011

2 meth labs busted

Agents intercept marijuana in mail

MOULTRIE — Four of five people charged in a GBI methamphetamine bust last week remain in jail. The bust was one of three sets of drug arrests over two days.

The Georgia Bureau of Investigation (GBI), at the request of the Moultrie-Colquitt County Drug Enforcement Team (DET), executed a search warrant at 695 Highway 319 N. Thursday. Upon entering the house, agents found a working methamphetamine lab and marijuana, a GBI spokesman said Monday.

A Drug Enforcement Agency (DEA) Clandestine Lab Response Team was called in the process the lab.

Five people were placed under arrest at the house, and each was charged with manufacturing methamphetamine, unlawful possession of pseudoephedrine and possession of marijuana less than one ounce. Those arrested were Lynne Velma Stanfield, 37, of 1330 Highway 319 N., Lot 2, in Norman Park, Joshua Dean Westbrook, 26, of 697 Highway 319 N., Rhonda Jean Branch, 40, and Joseph Ryan Branch, 18, both of 695 Highway 319 N., and Justin Ray Furney, 26, of 462 Culsers Lane. All but Rhonda Branch remained incarcerated in the Colquitt County Jail as of Monday evening.

The GBI was continuing its investigation, and additional arrests were expected. No other information was available as of Monday afternoon.

In addition to those arrests, the Drug Enforcement Team arrested an Ellenton man at a suspected meth lab in his home and, in a separate incident, arrested two people in connection with the mailing of marijuana.

DET Commander Sgt. Steve Exum said agents followed a methamphetamine complaint in Ellenton Thursday. Agents went to 175 Berrien Ave. in Ellenton and found suspected methamphetamine being actively made, Exum said.

Christopher Castleberry, 39, of 175 Berrien Ave. in Ellenton, was charged with manufacturing methamphetamine, probation violation and being a bondsman off bond, Exum said.

The two meth busts followed a joint local-federal operation that led to two arrests on Wednesday.

Exum said DET agents, the U.S. Immigrations and Customs Enforcement (ICE) and the U.S. Postal Inspectors Office were given information about suspected drugs being delivered through U.S. mail packages. Agents conducted surveillance on two locations and saw several packages arriving there.

On Wednesday, agents served warrants on the two locations, 265 D.H. Alderman Road and 107 Sixth St. S.W., Exum said. They seized a total of 20 pounds of suspected marijuana that arrived through the packages, he said. The estimated street value of the marijuana was between $25,000 and $30,000.

Two people were placed under arrest when agents served the warrants, Exum said. Rogelio Vega, 25, of 265 D.H. Alderman Road, was charged with trafficking marijuana. Elizabeth Suviri, 18, of 366 Circle Road, was charged with possession of marijuana with the intent to distribute. Vega remained incarcerated as of Monday evening.

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