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Marijuana-trafficking investigation yields 4 arrests

Photo by Hugh Osteen

Photo by Hugh Osteen

By Jason A. Smith

jsmith@henryherald.com

Four men will spend the next month behind bars in Henry County, while awaiting preliminary hearings on drug-related charges.

Thursday, Henry County Police arrested Earl Marcus Lyons, 39, of Stockbridge, Tushawn Rafael Jester, 25, of Griffin, Gemar Tanell Watkins, 29, and Sherman Zontez Cloud, 24, both of McDonough, for the alleged trafficking of 11 pounds of marijuana.

Police Maj. Jason Bolton said special agents of the department's Narcotics Division conducted the delivery of 11 pounds of suspected marijuana to 305 English Road in McDonough. The agents were assisted by the department's Uniform Patrol Division and the Special Weapons and Tactics team, he added.

"The narcotics had originally been shipped from another state ... through an undisclosed delivery service," said the major. "As a result of the operation, four people were arrested and charged with trafficking marijuana. A vehicle stolen out of the City of McDonough was also recovered at the scene. That case is still under investigation."

The street value of the drugs confiscated during the arrest is approximately $51,000, according to Bolton.

Three of the men allegedly ran from authorities at the scene, but were apprehended by police later that same day. All four men were taken to the county jail.

The suspects appeared Friday in Henry County Magistrate Court, represented by the Henry County Public Defender's Office, according to court records. Judge Robert Godwin reset hearings in their cases for March 3, court records show.

Lyons, Jester, Watkins, and Cloud were returned to the Henry County Jail without bond, until a hearing is held in Superior Court to determine the amount of each suspect's bond.

An arrest warrant for Cloud shows that when police were at the scene, he was allegedly in possession of marijuana, as well as a firearm. "The said accused did have in his possession, within arm's reach, a ... Bryco 9-millimeter [gun]," the warrant states.

Cloud allegedly had an additional four ounces of marijuana, which was located inside his vehicle at the time of his arrest, according to Bolton. He is charged with trafficking marijuana, possession of marijuana with intent to distribute, and possession of a weapon during the commission of a felony.

Lyons, Watkins and Jester are each charged with trafficking marijuana and obstruction of an officer.

Separate warrants for the three men, all worded identically, state that when police were at the scene, they "did obstruct officers by fleeing on foot, and not obeying verbal commands to stop."

Additional details on the case were not available Friday, and Public Defender Gary Bowman could not be reached for comment.