An incident that took place two-and-a-half months ago has led to the dismissal of three Floyd County Police officers. Keegan Romero, Michael Mitchell and veteran Sgt. Barry Sutton were fired by Chief Bill Shiflett earlier this week at the end of an internal investigation into an incident that occurred June 14. Romero and Mitchell apparently pulled onto a construction site to investigate suspicious activity, and Romero later admitted that he had intentionally damaged the tires on a suspect’s vehicle. The vehicle had been loaned to the suspect and the county made compensation in excess of $500 for the damaged tires. Sutton was let go for not making sure that policies were followed and failing to discipline the officers under his authority. The Georgia Bureau of Investigation is also investigating the incident but no criminal charges have been filed at this time. The three men have 10 business days from Monday to appeal their firings.
A man from the Rockmart area is currently in the Polk County Jail charged with child molestation after a child counselor reported suspicions to police. According to reports, 23 year old Anthony Dwatt Holden of a Braswell Mountain Road address in Rockmart, was arrested and charged with aggravated child molestation, sodomy, aggravated sodomy, aggravated sexual battery, and cruelty to children in the first degree. Police accuse him of molesting a 6 year old girl, apparently a relative. Reports state that a counselor in another city had been counseling the young victim and in one of those sessions, the young victim said that the suspect had been sexually assaulting her for the last several weeks. Polk County Family Services were contacted and a police report was filed.
A Dallas man who tried to flee police on Saturday was unsuccessful in doing so. According to reports, 22 year old Eric Craig, of a Farmbrook Lane address in Dallas was arrested after Polk County Police perused him all the way back to his residence. Reports state that Craig told the arresting officer that he fled because he did not want to be caught driving without a license. In addition to driving with a suspended license, Craig faces additional charges including several traffic violations, along with fleeing and attempting to allude, and several reckless driving charges. The chase began on Highway 278 close to Coots Lake Road, and wound through the Yorkville Highway and eventually into a subdivision where Craig lived. When the chase arrived at the house, Craig was arrested without incident.
An observant Sheriff’s deputy assisted Rome/Floyd Metro Task Force officers in taking out a suspected meth lab Tuesday in Cave Spring. Deputies responded to the home on Highway 411 South earlier in the day to serve a protective order not related to the meth lab when they observed items commonly associated with the manufacture of methamphetamine. The deputy alerted Metro investigators who obtained a search warrant and raided the home around 1am Wednesday morning. According to metro investigator Ghee Wilson, the lab is what is commonly referred to as a “shake and bake” meth lab. Wilson said the shake and bake labs are commonly associated with individuals who make meth for personal use as the method is not able to produce large amounts of the drug. A HAZMAT cleanup crew responded to the scene and and the individual was taken to the Floyd County jail on multiple charges.
A family dispute has landed two brothers in jail, one being a school resource officer with the Cedartown Police Department. According to Polk County Police, 33 year old Cpl. Eddie Jimenez of a Dry Creek Road address is charged with battery under the Family Violence Act, cruelty to children, and discharging a firearm under the influence. His brother, 34 year old Martin Julian Jimenez, of a separate Dry Creek Road address was also charged with battery under the Family Violence Act, but was released on a $500 bond. Cedartown Assistant Police Chief Jamie Newsome said that Cpl. Jimenez has been placed on paid administrative leave while an internal investigation is conducted. Newsome also says that he has contacted an outside agency to perform an independent investigation. Both Cpl. Jimenez and his brother were arrested early Wednesday morning after Polk County Police responded to a domestic disturbance call. The Polk County Police Department is handling the criminal side of the investigation.
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.