Sheriff: Largest heroin bust in Muscogee Co.

Largest heroin bust in Columbus' recent history
Published: Oct. 20, 2014 at 4:03 PM EDT|Updated: Oct. 20, 2014 at 9:58 PM EDT
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COLUMBUS, GA (WTVM) - During a press conference on Monday, the Muscogee Co. Sheriff's Office detailed what they call the largest heroin bust in recent county history.

The bust occurred on Friday, Oct. 17 at about 11 a.m. when Sheriff John Darr said they made their largest seizure of heroin in Columbus. They seized 112 grams of suspected heroin with the street value totaling $46,000.

Law enforcement officials say they charged 73-year-old Thurman Nathaniel Drake when they discovered the drugs were being shipped to his home disguised as small, decorative cups and jewelry from India.

Sheriff Darr says an informant tipped them off.

"We received information that a large amount of heroin was going to be shipped to this address," explained Sheriff Darr.

Darr says deputies and the Columbus DEA agents staked out and waited for the shipment to arrive. At Monday's press conference, photos were presented showing that the drugs were cut in squares similar to chewing gum and packed in  bangle bracelets sent all they way from India.

However, neighbors say Thurman Drake is no drug dealer. His neighbors at Havenbrook Court Apartments off MLK Jr. Boulevard say he's a good-hearted person.  

"Mr. Drake did not sell drugs," claimed a neighbor, who asked to remain anonymous. "He's been my neighbor for the last four or five years."

Neighbors say officers knocked a hole in Drake's door when they came to arrest him. He's known as Mickey in his neighborhood, and neighbors say his personality doesn't fit the bill. The neighbor added that Drake did not carry a lot of money around, because he would ask the neighbor for cigarettes. 

"Everybody in the neighborhood really loves him," added the neighbor. "I was shocked."

 The DEA and the U.S. Postal Service are also involved in this ongoing investigation. We will continue following this story and update it as more information becomes available. 

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