AUGUSTA, GA (WJBF) A simple community tip to investigators from someone like you or me results in dangerous drugs, including methamphetamine and fentanyl, being removed from the streets of Augusta and putting more than 30 people behind bars accused of running a large local drug ring.

“I know there are issues in this area, especially with meth,” Rory Rezzelle said.

For Rezzelle, this is not the first time he has heard that drugs are a problem outside of Bryd Road.

“I’ve heard of these kinds of things happening in this area, but never to this extent,” he said.

Investigators targeted 20 different homes, seized 24 firearms and made 31 arrests after concluding a year-long undercover investigation.

Richmond County Sheriff’s Office Chief Deputy Patrick Clayton said the investigation began with a tip from the community.

“As far as the public is concerned, most of these investigations often start when the public calls us and tells us about drug activity,” Chief Clayton said.

With over 1,600 grams of methamphetamine, over 2,000 grams of fentanyl, over 300 grams of marijuana, over 100 grams of cocaine and nearly 500 pills, Chief Clayton says drug seizures like this have greater impact on our community.

“It was reported to me by my lieutenant in the narcotics division that since we made this seizure, because we had a problem with fentanyl deaths, and since we made this seizure two to three weeks, but since that time we haven’t had any overdose deaths,” he said.

Chief Clayton also highlighted the number of weapons seized. He says it’s more guns that aren’t on the street and a potential life that could have been saved. This bust is just the result of Sheriff Roundtree’s commitment to dismantling drug trafficking organizations in the area, but Chief Clayton says it will take the help of the community.

“If the public knows how they can somehow associate with us, always tell us because unfortunately most of the time they think we already know and there are times when we don’t know and the citizens are the eyes and ears and they can really help us,” said Chief Clayton.

Several agencies were involved in the bust, including the FBI, GBI, DCS, and MCG at Augusta University. MCG provides medical support to the FBI and GBI.

Chief Clayton says ‘The Sheriff is really, really big on partnerships and he knows we’re not going to solve this problem on our own’


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