Helen Police turn up the heat on drug dealers and users (2024)

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    Helen Police turn up the heat on drug dealers and users (1)

    Helen Police are making a dent in the city’s drug trade. Since December, officers in the popular Northeast Georgia tourist town have arrested nearly two dozen people on drug-related offenses. The crackdown was part of Operation Winter Heat. During the months-long undercover investigation, Helen Police relied on informants and conducted buys. They also executed search warrants and surveillance on known problem areas in the city.

    Only Helen Police officers participated in the operation. Police chief Brian Stephenson says they seized over $36,000 worth of meth and $20,000 in marijuana. In addition, police seized handguns, an assault rifle, night vision equipment, two vehicles, one truck, and over $4,000 dollars in cash.

    “We believe it made a large impact to decrease drug trade inside the City of Helen,” says Chief Stephenson. He expects more arrests will be made as officers share information they received about with other agencies.

    Stephenson praises the officers who were assigned to the operation, calling them “hardworking” and “dedicated.” He says patrol officers worked the streets to gather information that they could pass along to the drug officers. “It was and remains a team effort,” he says. And, he vows, it’s not over. “We will continue to go after anyone in the drug trade inside the City of Helen.”

    Here’s the list arrests made during Operation Winter Heat:

    • Dec. 12, 2019:Brent Knox, age 21 of Cleveland– charged with possession of less than an ounce of marijuana;
    • Dec. 19, 2019:Brian Lowell Butler, 39, of Clermont– charged with trafficking illegal drugs, purchase/possession/manufacture/distribution marijuana, possession of a firearm during the commission of a felony, driving while license suspended/revoked, possession of methamphetamine, possession of Schedule IV controlled substance, possession of cocaine with intent to distribute;
    • Dec. 24, 2019:Tonya Lynn Peek, 44, of Helen– charged with two counts of trafficking illegals drugs, two counts of possession of amphetamine;Â
    • Dec. 24, 2019:Kevin Dean Steverson, 48, Helen– charged with trafficking illegal drugs, possession of amphetamine;
    • Jan. 3:Levi D. Shook, 39, Hiawassee-charged with possession of cocaine with intent to distribute, use of a firearm by a convicted felon during the commission of a crime, theft by receiving stolen property, sale of amphetamine;
    • Jan. 7:Antoinette Picciafoco Tour, 61, Helen– charged with possession of methamphetamine with intent to distribute, possession of methamphetamine, two counts of possession of Schedule I controlled substance;
    • Jan. 7:Tye Ellis Powell Clark, 33, Sautee Nacoochee– charged with possession of less than an ounce of marijuana;
    • Jan. 11:Jonathan Scott Young, 35, Gainesville– charged with sale of amphetamine;
    • Jan. 22:William James Crane, 30, Alto– charged with possession of amphetamine, possession of a firearm during the commission of a crime;
    • Jan. 27:Robert Lee Hyman, 47, Helen– charged with possession of methamphetamine, driving while license suspended or revoked;
    • Jan. 27:Colleen Gay Hightower, 42, Cleveland– charged with criminal trespass, crossing state/county guard lines with weapons/intoxicants, possession of methamphetamine, purchse/possession/manufacture/distribution of marijuana;
    • Jan. 27:Alden Chase Barnard, 24, Cleveland– charged with obstruction of law enforcement officers;
    • Jan. 30:Jennifer Reagan Phillips, 35, Dahlonega– charged with possession of less than an ounce of marijuana;
    • Feb. 2:John Norwood Clark, 56, Sautee Nacoochee– charged with possession of methamphetamine, possession of less than an ounce of marijuana;
    • Feb. 8:Darrien Patrick Ingram, 21, Gainesville– charged with purchase/possession/manufacture/distribution of marijuana;
    • Feb. 14:Helen Marie Robinson, 58, Cleveland– charged with DUI less safe drugs, possession of less than an ounce of marijuana, failure to maintain lane, window/windshield/or wiper violation, driving while unlicensed or expired license;
    • Feb. 22:Brandy Michelle Walters, 41, Blairsville– charged with possession of less than an ounce of marijuana, window/windshield/wiper violation;
    • Feb. 27:NikunjikumarÂP. Patel, 30, Sautee Nacoochee– charged with possession of less than an ounce of marijuana, open container of alcohol in a motor vehicle, too fast for conditions, possession and carrying a concealed weapon with a license;
    • March 12:Wendell Kyle Webb, 21, Helen– charged with possession of less than an ounce of marijuana;
    • March 13:Douglas B. Eibe, 67, Helen– charged with two counts of possession of cocaine with intent to distribute, possession of a firearm during the commission of a felony, possession of methamphetamine with intent to distribute, three counts of sale of methamphetamine;
    • March 13:Gina Marie Sweeney, 35, Gainesville– charged with possession and use of drug-related objects, possession of heroin, possession of methamphetamine with intent to distribute;
    • March 13:Randy Alan Ramey, 26, Cleveland– charged with possession and use of drug-related objects, possession of heroin, possession of methamphetamine with intent to distribute;
    • March 13:Heather E. Moss, 30, Cleveland– charged with possession and use of drug-related objects, possession of heroin, possession of methamphetamine with intent to distribute;

    Helen Police turn up the heat on drug dealers and users (2024)
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