Drug case evidence reveals possible public corruption - WALB.com, South Georgia News, Weather, Sports

Drug case evidence reveals possible public corruption

By Jennifer Emert - bio | email

ALBANY, GA (WALB) – Evidence in federal court Friday revealed possible public corruption in a south Georgia drug case.

The trial will begin Monday for a man with ties to a major indoor marijuana growing operation in Lee County.  A hearing was held Friday to determine if two tapes will be played for jurors when Jerome Fletcher's trial begins.

During one of the conversations played in open court, allegations of public corruption were made.

39-year-old Jerome Fletcher watched inside the federal courtroom as GBI surveillance video of taped conversations of himself and GBI co-conspirator Jeff Boyd were played into the court record.  Fletcher faces a two count indictment for the sale of crack cocaine and methamphetamine.

Boyd and Fletcher met to discuss the sale of the drugs.  During the conversation Fletcher talked about his ties to the Lee County indoor marijuana operation and how he lost thousands when Frank Spring, Dean Slaymaker and Scott Renfro were busted.

Fletcher also hinted toward public corruption when he tells Boyd that an unnamed public official was paid to get Anthony Rutkaukus out of jail.  Rutkaukus was charged for helping move an indoor grow operation from a house on Florida Short Route and to house on 12th Avenue in Albany. @

Fletcher later exchanged drugs for cash at a South Slappey business.  He made contact again with Boyd in December, when he used his 13-year-old nephew to exchange drugs for money in the restroom of a Dawson Road restaurant. @

Frank Spring eventually plead guilty to one count of conspiracy to manufacture more than 100 marijuana plants.

Dean Slaymaker was sentenced to five years in prison for helping set up the indoor grow operation in Sasser and move another grow operation to Florida.

Judge Louis Sands will decide Monday whether the tapes will be played for jurors.  Jury selection in the case is expected to begin at 9:30. @

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