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Thomas Co. deputies arrest man for making fake Xanax with pill press

The sheriff's office says 23-year-old Jarshawn Demetrius Holland was arrested on multiple drug...
The sheriff's office says 23-year-old Jarshawn Demetrius Holland was arrested on multiple drug charges after a pill press was found in a house on Short Broad Street.(Source: Thomas County Sheriff's Office)
Published: Dec. 18, 2019 at 4:46 PM EST
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THOMASVILLE, Ga. (WCTV) - The Thomas County Sheriff’s Office says it arrested a man on multiple drug charges after it learned he was using a pill press to make fake Xanax.

The sheriff's office says its narcotics agents were looking for sex offenders when they first saw what appeared to be several parts of a pill-making machine at a residence.

"It was not fully functional," narcotics agent Tyler Lamon said.

According to the sheriff's office, agents confirmed the device was a pill press through their research. Agents returned to the residence where they first saw the pill press the day before, but it had been moved to a Short Broad Street residence, the sheriff's office says.

Agents watched the Short Broad Street residence and eventually returned to the house, where they found the pill press rebuilt and packaged in a shipping box.

The sheriff’s office says 23-year-old Jarshawn Demetrius Holland was identified as the prime suspect and taken into custody. Agent Lamon said the forensics unit found Holland’s fingerprint on the pill press.

He also said the pill press was used to make counterfeit Xanax. According to the sheriff's office, the pill press compresses chemicals into a pill that is ejected from the machine. Agents estimate one could make 200 pills per hours with the hand-cranked device.

Lamon said the pill press could also be used to make ecstasy.

"Any kind of pill they want to counterfeit, you can buy the mold," narcotics agents said.

Cellulose is the most common binder used in illegal pill making, according to Lamon. The sheriff's office says cellulose and other materials used in illegal pill making were found at the house on Short Broad Street.

Holland was denied bond and faces charges of possession of a schedule 1 controlled substance with intent to distribute, criminal attempt to manufacture a schedule 1 controlled substance, possession of tools for the commission of a crime and possession of a schedule 2 controlled substance with intent to distribute.

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