Two-Year-Old Marijuana and Arson Case Solved

By Laurie Bernstein - bio | email | Twitter

GEORGETOWN, GA (WTVM) - After two years with virtually no leads, it took a new sheriff and his team of deputies to finally solve the marijuana burglary case that ended in arson at Georgetown City Hall.

Back in August of 2007, $380,000 dollar worth of marijuana seized in a drug investigation were stolen, with the thieves setting the building on fire to cover up their tracks.

It all started with their major crackdown on drugs throughout Quitman County.

"We've made a lot of arrests, over 200 drug-related so far, and with arrests come information. Everyone is always wanting to bargain, and if they think it will help them, they tell us what they know. We followed up, and in this case, it panned out," said Chief Deputy Eddie Ingram of the Quitman County Sheriff's Dept.

Three suspects have been linked to the crime so far, and more may be involved.

Deputies say they are all connected to one of the biggest drug dealers in the area.

"This particular case showed that the drug dealers were brave and had the audacity to break into City Hall and steal the marijuana. We have demonstrated that we are going to enforce the drug laws and take them off the streets," said Quitman County Sheriff Steve Newton.

At least one city worker was involved in the crime--many originally pointed fingers at former Sheriff Lon Ming and his staff, but investigators say it was all based on rumor.

"There was some inside help on this thing, but no involvement by the previous sheriff. We are looking at some other leads and some other employees, but the sheriff was not involved as far as we can tell," said Chief Deputy Ingram.

Of the three suspects, one is in custody, another has a warrant out for his arrest, and the third is deceased.

The two remaining suspects will be charged with burglary and arson upon their arrest.