An alleged drug kingpin from the Baltimore area was arrested two nights ago in Buckhead after recently relocating to the Atlanta area, a U.S Marshals spokesman tells CL.
U.S. Marshals spokesman Gavin Duffy tells CL that Jeffrey Cofield is "reportedly a major supplier of heroin in the Baltimore area." He is also a "person of interest" on several weapons charges, media outlets report.
Duffy said the Capital Area Regional Fugitive Task Force - which locates dangerous fugitives in Washington D.C., Maryland, and Virginia - recently discovered that Cofield was in Atlanta. In a joint investigation and arrest with the Atlanta Police Department, Cofield was located and taken into custody "very peacefully," or without incident, Duffy said.
Cofield was found in an associate's condo in Buckhead, Duffy said. Authorities found cash, drugs, and an assault rifile and pistol. Two of his associates were also arrested.
"The Marshals Service has an integrated computer network that permits leads to be sent from all over the nation and be acted on immediately," Chief Inspector Keith Booker told the AJC. "In this case, we were able to have Mr. Cofield in custody in less than 24 hours, before he could establish himself in Atlanta."
Another marshal raid in the Old Fourth Ward along Edgewood Avenue last night was completely unrelated to Cofield's arrest, Duffy told CL. APD told us last night that the department assisted the feds in locating a "wanted person" in the area but he or she was not there.
"It was a raid for a fugitive and some amount of narcotics were discovered," Duffy said. "During the course of the event, narcotics were seen in plain view. Just one fugitive was taken into custody."
Marijuana activists gathered in Midtown at this weekend's Southern Cannabis Reform Conference to unite and discuss how to reform antiquated marijuana laws.
Several pro-marijuana groups gathered at the Spring4th Center in Midtown to promote the idea of drug decriminalization and discuss ways to improve community outreach.
The two-day summit was organized by Peachtree National Organization for the Reform of Marijuana Laws (NORML), Georgia Campaign for Access, Reform and Education (CARE), the American Cannabis Coalition, Students for Sensible Drug Policy, and Georgia NORML, among others.
"We want to put a face to the marijuana issue," said James Bell, director of Georgia CARE. Bell recently put forth a proposal to study and expand Georgia's current medical marijuana laws and is still seeking Gold Dome sponsors.
Bell's unsure of the proposal's chances at the statehouse. But he thinks the groups' efforts could be a part of the criminal justice reform that's making its way through the Capitol. He wants to find a way the movement can piggyback on those changes.
"They're the key to [marijuana] reform in Georgia right now," Bell told CL. "Nothing's going to happen unless they say so."
Marijuana legalization advocates have announced Georgia's first Southern Cannabis Reform Conference, scheduled to take place March 15-16. Organized by Peachtree NORML, a local affiliate of the national organization, the conference will mix entertainment and education, with workshops and panels planned to discuss "the how's and why's of cannabis reform in Georgia," according to the press release.
In recent years, longtime state legalization advocates have jumped on the medical-marijuana bandwagon by pushing to activate the little-known Medical Marijuana Necessities Act passed by the Georgia Legislature in 1981 but long since buried under bureaucracy.
But since last November's election brought legalized marijuana usage to Colorado and Washington, Georgia advocates have felt empowered enough to push for complete legalization.
"The dam has been broken, so to speak, with Colorado and Washington," says Sharon Ravert, the executive director of Peachtree NORML and head of Georgia Moms For Marijuana. "We feel like it's coming this way, and as a parent I want to make sure it's done right."
Two metro Atlanta men, both former Transportation Security Administration agents, could face life in prison and $10 million in fines for allegedly helping undercover agents transport fake drugs through airport security.
It all started in the 1990s when a professor at Clemson University received a $2 million grant from the government to study the interaction between THC and cannabinoid receptors in the brain. Underground chemists took the chemical compound created from that study and sprayed it on a mixture of herbs and plants, which created synthetic cannabis.
In 2010, state lawmakers thought they'd done away with the drug, which had caused the hospitalization of several teens, by classifying the synthetic cannabinoid as Schedule I drugs, the same class as heroin and LSD. But manufacturers tweaked the chemical formula and were able to sneak around the law. Synthetic cannabis was soon back on the shelves of Peach State smoke shops and convenience stores.
In early March, Chase Burnett, a 16-year-old teenager from Fayette County, smoked the legal substance. He was later found dead after drowning in a hot tub. Several weeks later, Gov. Nathan Deal signed "Chase's Law," which made all variations of the chemical compound illegal. State lawmakers had finally passed a law broad enough to prevent the substance from making its way into stores.
Or so they thought.
A question adults frequently have occasion to ponder: If a thing is so bad for me — turkey skin, reality television, heroin — then why is it so enjoyable. A question for children to ponder: If something is made of poison, then why was it made to look so delicious to eat. Rather, it's a question they would ponder if they weren't so busy stuffing their faces full of laundry detergent.
Move over Windex and colorful toothpastes, the newest household hazards being consumed by kids are those little, candy-colored pods of detergent that eliminate the necessity to measure out a cup of the liquid stuff. (Because that was such a pain?)
Locally, a Mableton mom reported that her child became ill when she bit into a pod she found on the floor in the family's laundry room. Jessica Sutton told WSB-TV her chid was "throwing up, she was crying, she had detergent all the way down her body. It was not good." According to Georgia Poison Center, calls related to ingestion of the pods have increased in recent months. Reported symptoms include nausea, vomiting, and drowsiness.
Any/all jokes aside, in March 2012 (the most recent stats available), a vast majority — 46 percent — of household poisonings occurred in children age 0-5. House hold cleaning substances were the third most common cause. Cosmetics and other personal care products were the first.
Georgia Poison Center recommends:
— Locking up "household cleaners, pesticides, auto products, garage products, and cosmetics where children cannot see or reach them."
— Keeping products in their original containers (i.e. don't put something hazardous in a milk jug)
— Keeping their number handy: 1-800-222-1222
From the AJC ...
APD spokeswoman Kim Jones said the 19-year-old woman met some men Wednesday night and returned to the house with them, where they apparently consumed drugs and/or alcohol. At some point the woman became convinced she was being held hostage and texted a friend, Jones said. The friend called police.
More than two dozen police officers, including SWAT units, responded to the scene, on Darlington Road ...
Unfortunately, there's nothing SWAT can do when a BRAIN IS BEING HELD HOSTAGE BY DRUGZ.
Seriously, though, I want to see the text she sent the friend who called police. Maybe she was just being hyperbolic? Like, "I'm all fucked up and I wanna go home, but these five dinglebags with guns are holding me hostage?" Haven't we all sent that text? No, I know. We haven't. But still.
The APD is apparently trying to determine whether they'll file charges against party girl.
When Oscar the Dog was put down early this month after being hit by a car whilst being chased through the streets of Snellville by his naked, druggie owners who'd supposedly fed him LSD, it gave me a great deal of comfort to imagine that his final memories were of little dancing Grateful Dead bears and rainbow painted moonbeams (aaaand I've obviously never done acid).
Turns out Oscar's owners Nicholas Modrich and Jamie Hughes (who you can getta load of here) didn't give him LSD after all.
According to a police report, the couple admitted to taking the drug. But the report said they told the officer they had also given acid to their dog.
The couple told Channel 2 they never fed the dog LSD.
"I guess the story got twisted because somebody said we fed him LSD. We never did that. We were just concerned about where our dog was," Hughes said.
Necropsy results have come back, confirming that was indeed the case.
Great. So, Oscar just died a regular, sad, hit-by-a-car death. At least he lives on as Oscar the LSD Dog in our hearts.
Just a two days after city councilman Kwanza Hall introduced an ordinance that would impose a year-long moratorium on the issuance of business licenses to new pain management clinics here in Atlanta, a so-called
"pill mill" down in Henry County was busted by the feds.
From the AJC:
The DEA and Henry County law enforcement raided the Stockbridge Pain and Wellness center Wednesday after a three-month investigation, Channel 2 reports. Investigators told Channel 2 that the clinic was open one day a week and for $350, Dr. Mike Tan would write prescriptions for narcotics like Xanax and Oxycodone.
Tan wasn't present during the bust, but his attorney says he'll turn himself in sometime over the weekend.
As councilman Hall mentions in his ordinance, deaths from prescription drug abuse in Georgia have steadily increased over the past few years and have far outnumbered deaths from the abuse of illicit drugs. According to stats from the Georgia Drug & Narcotics Agency, of the 729 overdose deaths in 2010, 560 were attributed to prescription drugs. Another 68 resulted from some combination of illicit and prescription drugs. (For some reason, though, these stats don't include Fulton, Cobb, Gwinnett, DeKalb, Henry, Hall or Rockdale counties.)
WSBTV spoke to Wayne McClure, a local father who claims his 27-year-old son overdosed on pills that were being prescribed by the hundreds at Stockbridge Pain and Wellness Center. "I hope he can live the rest of his life knowing he took my boy's life," McClure said of Tan.
Still basking in the glow of his food truck victory, councilman Kwanza Hall yesterday introduced an ordinance that would crack down on pain management clinics, known pejoratively as pill mills.
Citing a 2009 Grand Jury report from Broward County, Fla. that indicates just how quickly and exponentially pain clinics — privately-owned businesses that exist exclusively to dispense pills without necessarily diagnosing patients — can proliferate, Hall suggests a year-long period during which the city would refuse to issue businesses licenses to new pain clinics.
Hall also cites the Georgia Drug and Narcotics Agency, which found that deaths from prescription drug overdoses have continued to grow, and have continued to far outnumber deaths from illicit drug overdoses.
Of businesses to which the moratorium would apply, the ordinance says ...
... all privately owned pain management clinics, facilities, or offices (including those which advertise in any medium) for the sale or dispensing of any type of pain management services, or dispensing controlled substance medications, and defined as a Schedule II, III, IV or V controlled substance as defined by Georgia law.
(Click here for Georgia's schedule of controlled substances.)
It would not, however, apply to pharmacies.
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