Moultrie Observer

Local News

January 4, 2013

Three face meth, theft charges

MOULTRIE — Meth users going on cleaning binges in their homes is a common occurrence, but an investigation of a woman who claimed to be cleaning a vacant home this week aroused suspicion.

Those suspicions ended with arrests of her and her boyfriend on meth charges and arrests in a theft of metal and a truck from a recycling business that occurred earlier in the week.

Gwen Elizabeth Johnson, 53, and Barry Carson Piercy, 50, both of 812 Doc Darbyshire Road, were each charged Tuesday with manufacturing methamphetamine. Piercy and Jameson Michael Strickland, 23, 209 Lynn St., were charged with theft by theft by taking and theft by taking motor vehicle in a burglary at Can Man recycling.

Sheriff’s reports said that an employee at the mobile home park on Doc Darbyshire Road saw a woman inside a vacant home at about 3:40 p.m. and investigated. A woman later identified as Johnson eventually came to the door of the vacant house and said that she was cleaning it in hopes that she would be allowed to rent it.

When a deputy arrived, Johnson gave her name as Edna Gwen Johnson, denied being Gwen Elizabeth Johnson and gave two different Social Security numbers, sheriff’s reports said. After Johnson and Piercy said there was no one else inside the officer went in with them so that she could look for her Social Security card to confirm her identification.

As Johnson wandered around the room, the officer heard a door slam in the back and found a second woman inside, sheriff’s reports said. A short time later a third woman came out of a bathroom. After seeing a semi-automatic pistol on a bed, the officer called for assistance and, while waiting, Strickland came out from under the bed. During that time the officer also saw a plastic bucket containing copper wire and other pieces of metal.

When a second officer arrived, the five people in the residence gave permission to search, the reports said, and during that search components for making methamphetamine were found. After getting a search warrant and calling Moultrie-Colquitt County Drug Task Force, the investigation resulted in the charges filed.

Can Man owner Eddie Dill reported earlier this week that screws had been removed on the night of Jan. 1 from the back of the building in the 100 block of Sardis Church Road.

It later was learned that metal had been stolen from that location, along with a flat-bed pickup truck, sheriff’s Inv. Jim Brown said. Some of that metal subsequently was sold at Recycle King.

“The motor vehicle (theft charge) is a result of the vehicle that they used in order to assist them in hauling the items from Can Man,” he said.

The mobile home that Johnson claimed to be cleaning smelled of ammonia, sheriff’s reports said. She also was charged with probation violation on an outstanding warrant.


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