Meth-maker suspects arrested in Lanier Co. - WALB.com, Albany News, Weather, Sports

Meth-maker suspects arrested in Lanier Co.

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Chrystal Graddy Chrystal Graddy
Max Simmons Max Simmons

A police chase that started in Clinch County ended with the arrest of two people in Lanier County Tuesday.

Lanier County Sheriff Nick Norton said that officers from a combined group of agencies collared the two people who ran when their car was stopped, and they searched property they occupied, and made a third arrest.

They haven't identified the two who fled, but the third person is 43-year-old Dorsi Simmons, of Lakeland, GA.

All three suspects are in custody. The suspects who ran from police were returned to Clinch County.

Sheriff Norton issued this news release-

Around 8:30 on Tuesday morning, the Lanier County Sheriff's office received a request for assistance from the Clinch County Sheriff's Office to help them apprehend a pick-up truck they were pursuing at a high rate of speed towards Lanier County.

Lanier County deputies and investigators responded and the pursuit led down River Road and eventually into the Oak Ridge subdivision where a white male and white female subject exited the vehicle and fled on foot.

A perimeter was established as quickly as possible by Clinch and Lanier county deputies with the Georgia State Patrol arriving within a few minutes to assist and Georgia Department of Corrections K-9 teams being called in to track the pair.

An active methamphetamine manufacturing operation, commonly referred to as  a "meth lab" was found inside the vehicle the pair fled from and South Georgia Drug Task Force Agents were summoned to assist with the case and neutralize the threat of explosion from the volatile chemicals.

Lanier County Sheriff Nick Norton coordinated operations with Clinch County Sheriff Winston Peterson and the case took the remainder of the day to reconcile safely. The Task Force obtained a search warrant for a Pear Drive residence and led a search there with a search of a second vacant residence where the suspects had recently been evicted was conducted.

By late afternoon three persons were in custody including the two who fled on foot after the vehicle pursuit and another individual who was arrested as a result of the Search Warrant that was executed.

Law enforcement worked on the case for more than 14 hours straight to make sure all leads were followed up on and the case was put to rest.

The two persons who fled from the Clinch County authorities were released by the Lanier County Sheriff's Office to the custody of Clinch County deputies and returned to Homerville, Georgia for further action by Clinch County and Task Force agents.

The identification of these two individuals and their specific charges have not been obtained as of this printing, but the third individual was identified as  Dorsi Simmons, a 43 year old white female of 47 Pear Drive, Lakeland, Georgia. The residence at 47 Pear Drive is the location at which the search warrant was conducted. The investigation of Simmons, and others, involvement in the incident is still under investigation and other charges are possible.

The Lanier County Sheriff's Office and the South Georgia Drug Task Force have been conducting drug investigations in the Oak Ridge neighborhood because of concerns voiced by citizens and property owners in the area who believed that illegal drugs were being sold, manufactured and used in the area.

The agencies have conducted several searches and arrested multiple persons as a result of their efforts in the neighborhood in recent weeks. Intelligence gathered from surveillance and undercover activity there has led to arrests in surrounding jurisdictions as well. The agencies believe they have put a stop to the worst offenders in that area with "a little left to go".

Sheriff Norton said: "This is an example of what the meth and crack cocaine culture can do to a neighborhood and how it always attracts people involved in similar activity. One of the persons arrested admitted that they had cooked meth in one of the houses the day they rented it and before they even moved their furniture in. We have to be on them as soon as they start up and be able to quickly determine what is happening and who the ring leaders are. Thankfully, the real citizens of this neighborhood have put their foot down and helped us by providing us with the information we needed to kick off successful counter-drug operations in this area and put the pressure on. The efforts paid off resulting in one group turning to mobile manufacturing operations to stay out of law enforcement's sights and another setting up operations in another county. Keeping constant law enforcement pressure on them resulted in them making a mistake. We only have to get lucky once, they have to be perfect every time or the results are what you saw today and over the past several weeks."

" In all 10 people have been arrested who were being investigated in this one neighborhood alone and District Attorney Helms has been aggressively prosecuting these cases to help us give the area some relief.

Again, I have to thank the citizens who care enough to call and have the patience to give us time to do what we are trained to do. With all the area agencies working together and a strong emphasis put on drug enforcement we can continue to have an impact on the Alapaha district.

We have done our best to prove that to our real citizens and we will continue to fight for their safety. My hat is off to Sheriff Peterson and his personnel, the Georgia State Patrol, the local South Georgia Drug Task Force, the State Department of Corrections dog teams, the Ray City police, Lanier County Fire Department, my own very capable staff and the many others that assisted us in working these cases."