It took two days, Feb. 5-6, to hear the cases, which included numerous drug charges, burglaries, forgeries, thefts of motor vehicles and dogs, and a stabbing.
Cocaine and marijuana appear to be the county’s drugs of choice with two individuals charged with possession of MDMA, more commonly known as Ecstasy.
The grand jury toured the Jones County Law Enforcement Center and made two recommendations for improvement to the facility, which they reported was clean and the inmates properly supervised and treated.
Jury members suggested a separate facility to house inmates assigned to the county’s work-release program and that additional resources should be appropriated to address the problem of inmates with mental health issues.
The true bills include Llewellyn C. and Lorine Daniel, who were arrested Sept. 21 and charged with conspiracy to distribute cocaine. The indictment of the couple included the names of six others charged with conspiracy to distribute, as well as the distribution and possession of the drug.
At the time of the arrests, Capt. Earl Humphries said the charges were the result of a four-month investigation by the Sheriff’s Department, and Llewellyn Daniel was thought responsible for a large portion of the cocaine trafficking in the county.
Daniel ran a pool hall in Gray, which was part of the investigation. Pool tables, other equipment at the hall, and two vehicles were seized by the Sheriff’s Department.
Jones County animal control problems appeared to culminate with the arrest of its animal control department manager Chris Brown April 19. Brown was indicted by the grand jury for two counts of felony theft by taking.
The charges came about because of the alleged theft of dogs from the animal shelter, specifically three Jack Russell terriers in December of 2006, and a Maltese the following January. The break in that case came when a Jones County employee came forward and contacted a local attorney about the thefts.
Lewis Pitts was indicted for aggravated assault as the result of his involvement of the stabbing of Dexter Dumas Oct. 6. The argument which led to the stabbing was said to have begun over a bowl of grits.
Dumas was stabbed in the back several times, and Pitts was found about 100 yards from where the crime occurred. He was in possession of the knife used in the stabbing at the time of his arrest.
Michael E. Gantt was indicted on charges of burglary and interference with government property for break-ins that occurred in August at Jones County High and Gray Elementary schools. Items taken included musical instruments valued at $20,000
Gray Police Officer Andy Simpson found Gantt inside the school and a subsequent investigation recovered all the stolen instruments just in time for a Friday night football game.
Michael Dewayne Lewis was indicted for armed robbery. He was arrested Aug. 2 after he allegedly brandished a knife at a Macon taxi driver and demanded his payment back after being transported to Jones County.
Lewis ran into the woods after committing the crime and was picked up later that evening by the U.S. Marshal’s Southeast Regional Task Force.
James Thomas Carr was indicted for burglary in connection with the theft of tools in the Hampton Hills Road subdivision in September. A break in that case took place when one of the items taken in the thefts was found at a local pawn shop.
Julius Irby was indicted for the manufacturing of marijuana. Irby was charged July 10 after his garden, which included a healthy crop of marijuana, was discovered by investigators. A traffic stop by a Macon police officer led to the investigation, which netted the seizure of 45 marijuana plants.
Rollie Vaughn III was indicted for VGCSA possession of cocaine with the intent to distribute, VGCSA possession of marijuana (misdemeanor) and obstruction of an officer. The drugs were allegedly found in a vehicle on New Clinton Road driven by Vaughn after being stopped by investigators May 17. The suspect fled from the traffic stop on foot.