The former Polk County Jail officer accused of using excessive force against an inmate has pled guilty in federal court Thursday. Joshua David Lowe of Aragon appeared before Judge Robert L. Vining, Jr. in U.S. District Court and pled guilty to a charge stemming from an incident at the jail this past February. He is scheduled to be sentenced on October 15 at 10:30 a.m. Federal prosecutors got involved after the information was sent to the FBI by Polk County Sheriff Kelly McClendon. Lowe was terminated from the Polk County Jail as a result of the incident.
A former Cedartown resident has been charged with child pornography. 26 year old Shannon Leigh Honea formerly of Cedartown and 34 year old John Nicklas were arrested on July 30, 2009 in Baltimore County, Maryland. On July 30th, after obtaining evidence, investigators received and executed a search warrant for the residence and seized computer equipment, several DVD’s and CDs. While viewing the seized materials, detectives identified images of both suspects engaged in the filming and participation of child sexual abuse that allegedly involves children as young as 2 years old. Honea has ties to the Georgia area and had a car registered within the state. It is believed that she and Nicklas visited the Atlanta area together. Because of information gained by police about Nicklas and Honea during their investigation, police are asking anyone who has had, or knows of a child who has had contact with either suspect to contact the Baltimore County Police Department’s Crimes Against Children Unit at 410-853-3650. Detectives know of several unidentified victims, ranging from approximately 2 to 13 years of age. Police have issued a video alert asking for additional information from potential victim families.
Haralson County authorities in cooperation with other area agencies have chalked up a number of drug-related arrests in recent weeks. The Haralson County Sheriff’s Office reports working with the Haralson-Paulding Drug Task Force and Bremen Police in the arrest of a male for possession of methamphetamine ‘ice’ and seizure of close to $900 worth of cash allegedly generated from drug sales. Two more Bremen residents were taken into custody after drug task force agents conducting surveillance discovered 3.5 grams of pre-weighed and allegedly ready-for-distribution meth along with drug paraphernalia. 28-year old Donnny Lee Bailey and 32-year old Carissa Daniel both face charges of possession of meth with intent to distribute. Haralson County Sheriff’s Office deputies were assisted by the Georgia National Guard Counter-Drug Task Force in recovering 368 marijuana plants in northwestern Haralson County believed to have a street value of $440,000.
More information has surfaced in the incident of a Polk County Sheriff’s Deputy being arrested for various fraud charges. According to Polk County Sheriff Kelly McLendon, 42 year old Kenneth Gravett was arrested and posted bond Monday. An FBI Investigation led to a warrant for his arrest. Gravett was booked and released by U.S. Marshals. The sheriff said a law enforcement official arrested here would never spend time in the Polk County Jail but would be sent elsewhere if he or she were incarcerated. A 17 year veteran of the force, Gravett is facing Federal charges of wire fraud and mail fraud. The charges stem from questions raised by an insurance company over a vehicle claim. Investigators originally speculated that Gravett may also be charged with insurance fraud, but Sheriff McLendon says that he will not be charged for that offence. The Federal Bureau of Investigation is handling the case.
Cocaine, methamphetamines and marijuana were all seized by Metro Task Force Officers during a raid at a home in south Rome around 7:30 Thursday night. Officers carried a search warrant to 119 East Main, where they arrested four individuals; 20 year old Jason Ragland was charged with the Possession of Cocaine with the Intent to Distribute; 20 year old Porsha Teems was charged with Possession of Cocaine; 24 year old Jon Shepherd was charged with Possession of Methamphetamines; while 21 year old Charity Herring was charged with Possession of Marijuana with the Intent to Distribute. Jail records indicated that Herring, Teems and Shepherd all lived at the home which Task Force officers raided. All four are also charged with Possession of those Drugs within a thousand feet of the new Boys & Girls Club facility.
Rome police are still searching for a suspect in connection with a shooting Thursday afternoon in North Rome. Police identified the victim as 26-year-old Shalamar Cunningham, was shot about 3 p.m. in North Rome on Thursday. Investigators were working the scene of the crime on Evans Street near the intersection with Howell Street. The call came in as a shooting at nearby Eagle Park, and as police were en route to that location, a potential victim walked into Floyd Medical Center with gunshot wounds. Officials say that person was a victim of the shooting on Evans Street. Late Thursday night, police confirmed one suspect had been arrested and the hunt was on for another. Quavarez Marquel Cunningham was in custody and warrants have been issued for Deavonti Daniel. Cunningham was listed in stable condition at the Floyd Medical Center.
Rockmart Police Chief Keith Sorrells is urging citizens of Rockmart not to become part of the problem as an ongoing vandalism spree explodes through the small town. Sorrells says he’s seen many citizens that are taking protection to the extreme. Aragon is just the latest in a number of vandalism cases in Polk County. But in this incident, police have a suspect in at least two of the cases. Aragon Police Department reports state the latest incident happened last Wednesday when a woman on Sixth Street discovered that someone had attempted to slash her tire. There are no suspects in that case. However, police do have a suspect in two cases occurring in early June on Sixth Street. In one of those cases, a resident found a man near the rear driver’s side window of his Ford Explorer holding a hammer in his hand. The complainant told police he recognized the man. Based on the witness’s statement, police are looking for 20-year-old Justin Lee Ballew of Aragon for questioning. The vehicle-owner reportedly called out Ballew’s name and the man then took off. No entry was made into the vehicle but the incident left a long scratch on the Explorer. Another resident at that Sixth Street home told police that her car had been broken into and several items had been stolen, including a GPS system. Police are still looking for Ballew.
A south-facing window was replaced Tuesday afternoon at Jim and Jean Lankford’s antique store on Main St. in Cedartown after vandals reportedly threw rocks through the glass. The Lankfords assume that the incident occurred late Sunday night. When the Lankfords arrived for work Monday morning, they noticed the broken window closest to the railroad tracks and two rocks inside the store. Jim and Jean Lankford also own Lankford motors, located on Main St. as well. Police are investigating a string of several recent acts of vandalism all over Polk County.
Rockmart police are investigating a rash of vandalism incidents occurring over the weekend in which approximately 27 cars suffered damage. Police Chief Keith Sorrells said most of the incidents were in the Goodyear Village, specifically Clearwater Street, 1st and 3rd Avenues. However, he said others reported similar damage in North Marble, Hogue and Pearl Streets. The first report came in around 3:20 a.m. Friday. Other reports indicate that some are throwing canned food items at windows to break them and Sorrells said there was one case where someone poured salad dressing into a gas tank. The latest round of incidents featured paint being stroked, splattered and poured on cars. The police chief said nothing was taken from any of the cars. Sorrells said police are theorizing that the damage is being done by juveniles out of school with nothing better to do. However, he is quick to say they don’t know that for sure. The police chief said the vandals would face some serious consequences if they were caught. Sorrells asks that anyone with any information call 770-684-6558 or 911 to assist in the investigation.
A local resident returned from vacation to find his house broken into with numerous items taken valued at almost $3,000. Cedartown officers were dispatched to the Fairview Ave. residence after the complainant entered the burglarized home. Police reported that the residence was in total disarray. The point of entry appeared to be a screen door to a back porch that had been cut. The back door to the home was also damaged and appeared that it was kicked in. Items stolen from the house were a 42 inch television, a DVD player, a Playstation 2, a .22 Magnum revolver, four cell phones, as well as numerous other items. The complainant called police back to tell them it appeared the suspects had driven his Honda Accord. The complainant reported damage on the driver’s side rear bumper area, and noted that the battery was dead also. Police were able to lift fingerprints from the driver and passenger sides of the car. In total, 37 items were inventoried with a listed value of $2,896.