AUGUSTA, G.A. (WJBF) – A simple community tip to investigators from someone like you or me results in taking dangerous drugs, including meth and fentanyl, off the streets of Augusta and putting over 30 people behind bars accused of running a large local drug ring.
“I know that there are problems in this area especially with meth,” said Rory Rezzelle.
For Rezzelle, it’s not the first time he’s heard of drugs being a problem off of Bryd Road.
“I’ve heard of this kind of things happening in this area, but never to that extent,” he said.
Investigators targeted 20 different homes, seizing 24 guns and making 31 arrests after wrapping a year-long undercover investigation.
Richmond County Sheriff’s Office Chief Deputy Patrick Clayton says the investigation started with a community tip.
“As far as the public most of these investigations a lot of them frequently start is when the public they call us and tell us about drug activity,” said Chief Clayton.
With more than 1600 grams of meth, more than 2 thousand grams of fentanyl, more than 300 grams of marijuana, more than 100 grams of cocaine, and nearly 500 pills, Chief Clayton says drug busts like this have a greater impact on our community.
“It was reported to me by my narcotics division lieutenant that since we’ve made this seizure, because we had a problem with fentanyl deaths, and since we’ve made this seizure two to three weeks ago, but since that time we haven’t had any overdose deaths,” he said.
Chief Clayton also pointed to the number of weapons seized. He says that’s more guns that are off the street and a potential life that could’ve been saved. This bust is just a result of Sheriff’s Roundtree’s commitment to dismantling drug trafficking organizations in the area, but Chief Clayton says it’ll take some help from the community.
“If the public knows about it the way they can kind of join forces with us, always tell us because unfortunately most of the time they think we already know and there are times when we don’t know and the citizens are the eyes and ears and they can really help us,” said Chief Clayton.
Several agencies were involved with the bust, including the FBI, GBI, DCS , AND MCG at Augusta University. MCG provides medical support for the FBI and GBI.
Chief Clayton says “The Sheriff is really big on partnerships and he knows that we are not going to defeat this problem by ourselves”