SMITHVILLE, GA (WALB) - The Lee County Sheriff says the little town of Smithville has become a drug hub. His office is getting a lot of complaints about drug sales there.
Smithville residents say they are frightened to speak out about drug activity, but fed up with the crime.
"There is so much drugs in Smithville that it is pitiful. You be surprised what you see in Smithville, Georgia," Ms. Snow said.
Rane Parsons said "It's kind of been evident for a little while, since we got rid of the police department."
Four men were arrested in Smithville Monday by the Sheriff's Narcotics team, for selling crack cocaine and marijuana.
"Smithville, Georgia might be considered a small hub of transactions of drugs coming in and getting out of there. Being distributed to different people," Lee County Sheriff Reggie Rachals said.
He says with the police department disbanded, people in surrounding towns and counties are coming to Smithville to sell and buy drugs.
Rachals said "It has a less presence of law enforcement, but Sheriff's office does flow through there as much as possible with the help we got."
Rachals said he needs more deputies in Smithville, but budget restrictions keep him from putting more there on patrol. He is calling on the county commission for more deputies. Folks who live in Smithville tell me they agree.
"I think either we need to get the police department back or just more law enforcement to enforce the laws," Parsons said.
"As small as this town is, it's a disgrace," Snow said.
Rachals said the four men arrested were not working together, but he says there is a drug culture of people in Smithville who warn each other about law enforcement. He says his office is working to break that up, but says his budget and lack of manpower makes it difficult.
All four of the men arrested in Smithville are being held in the Lee County Jail. We tried to contact Smithville Mayor Jerry Myrick, but he was not at his office and did not return our message.
Agents made nine separate purchases of crack cocaine, and three counts of sale of marijuana.
Here is the list of people taken into custody so far-
Smithville resident William Buck III, 63, is charged with two Counts Sale of crack cocaine, two counts of the sale of marijuana, possession of crack cocaine with intent to distribute, and a count of marijuana with intent to distribute.
25 year old Chakuana Galloway from Americus, is charged with three Counts of the Sale of crack cocaine, and one count of the sale of marijuana.
Thomas Taylor, 29, of Smithville, is charged with two counts of the sale of crack.
41 year old Vincent Thomas of Smithville, is charged with two counts of the sale of crack.