On Wednesday, February 24, seven people in the Athens Clarke County Superior Court will face arraignments for trafficking, possessing, and intent to distribute cocaine and methamphetamines.
Judge Lawton Stephens will also preside over the arraignments of Altuan Lanard Strange, Dexter Leon Wood, Derrick Vernel Franklin, Quintina Shanta Ham, Curioki Dante Hyche, Raymond Cole McDaniel, and Mackee Xavier Smith, that are also drug related.
Lieutenant Gary Epps, the leader of the Athens Clarke County Drug Task Force, says that while there may be a large number of impending cocaine arraignments, tighter restrictions on prescription opioids has made heroin “a popular choice for the addict.”
He also said that methamphetamines are increasing in popularity, and combined with heroin use, are “rapidly outgrowing the traditional cocaine market in Athens” because they are more readily available.
Check back Wednesday for an update on the seven arraignments of Xaviess James Smith, James Shundell Brown, Jackie Lee Eberhart, Jill Marie Blanton, Tyquana Nicole Dye, Lawrence Paul Smith, and Dwight Howard Moreland as well as the other seven individual arraignments.
By Matt Mataxas