Masked Worth deputy stop explained -, South Georgia News, Weather, Sports

Masked Worth deputy stop explained

A controversial traffic stop (Source: Facebook) A controversial traffic stop (Source: Facebook)
(Source: Worth Co. Sheriff) (Source: Worth Co. Sheriff)
(Source: WALB) (Source: WALB)
(Source: WALB) (Source: WALB)

Photos are circulating on the internet involving what appeared to be a traffic stop made in Worth County, involving two masked officers, who stopped two men on October 19th.

The photos have generated quite a buzz in Worth County, on the heels of a governor's panel being formed to investigate the conduct of Sheriff Jeff Hobby.

The Worth County Sheriff's office told WALB Friday that the two deputies involved in an undercover drug case have been spoken to about how they carried out a traffic stop, and a drug search.

Major Mike Haralson, who works for the Worth County Sheriff's office, said the two agents were new Worth County Sheriff's deputies, and were conducting an undercover operation with the drug unit.

They had been doing surveillance at a house believed to be selling methamphetamine, and their original plan was to purchase drugs from the home as undercover officers.

Haralson said it is his policy to have a marked sheriff's car close by an unmarked unit, but the marked unit had left to respond to a call when the suspect car left the house. Haralson said the officers made a judgment call to stop the car, because they thought the drugs were inside. 

Haralson said the deputies concealed their faces because they thought if they didn't, it would blow their cover, and hinder the drug operation. 

The deputies are recent hires. Photos reveal they were wearing vests that said 'POLICE' on them. Haralson said the Sheriff's office had to special order vests to fit these officers, and they had not arrived.

In the meantime, they were using vests from a former police job they worked, so they could be identified as law enforcement. 

Haralson said the deputies have been spoken to about how they carried out the stop. Haralson explained there was no intention to scare the public. 

In connection with the operation the deputies were working, three arrests were made on October 27. 

As a result of information the deputies learned from their stakeout of that house, Stacey Lee Ellis Willis, Justin Thomas Moore, and Raymond Tyler Foley were charged with possession of methamphetamine.

The two men who were stopped by the agents were not arrested, and went on their way.

Copyright 2017 WALB. All rights reserved.

Keep up with WALB on the go! 
Follow us on social  
   and download our apps!

Powered by Frankly