By Jason A. Smith
A lengthy undercover investigation by narcotics agents, covering three states, resulted in three arrests in Henry County.
The suspects, according to authorities, reportedly traded stolen motorcycles in North Carolina, Kentucky and Georgia, in exchange for methamphetamine.
Lisa Gail Ellison, 44, and her husband, Ricky Lynn Ellison, 40, both of Dalton, and Gerald Kenneth Walker, 51, of Canton, are each charged with trafficking methamphetamine. They were being held without bond in the Henry County Jail Wednesday.
The trio appeared in Henry County Magistrate Court Tuesday, represented by the Public Defender's Office. Judge Robert Godwin bound their charges over to Superior Court.
The suspects were arrested Monday by agents of the Flint Circuit Drug Task Force, according to Task Force Lt. Chad Rosborough. The agency, he said, had been investigating the Ellisons and Walker for two months.
"The investigation had gone from Kentucky to North Carolina to here," Rosborough said. "It started as a motorcycle-theft investigation. They were stealing motorcycles ... and trading them for methamphetamine."
Rosborough said the alleged culprits have stolen at least two motorcycles, adding that the task force and other agencies are investigating the possibility of additional thefts.
Task force agents, the lieutenant continued, arranged to meet the suspects Monday at the Grove Bar & Grill, at 4681 Bill Gardner Pkwy., in Locust Grove. The purpose of the meeting was to sell them a quarter-pound of crystal methamphetamine, worth $4,000 to $5,000, Rosborough said.
"They wanted to buy a sample [of the drug] from us, and if everything went well, they wanted to start buying a pound a week from us," he added. "Of course, it didn't get that far."
Rosborough said an agent completed the transaction, then placed the suspects under arrest. The lieutenant did not release additional information on the drug takedown Wednesday, but said more arrests are possible in the investigation.
"We're still in the process of talking to police in Kentucky and North Carolina, trying to get the rest of [the individuals] involved," he said.
The task force obtained arrest warrants for the Ellisons and Walker Tuesday, in Magistrate Court. The warrants state the suspects were found in possession of at least an ounce of methamphetamine, in violation of the Georgia Controlled Substances Act.
Their bonds will be set at a later date, in Henry County Superior Court.