published Wednesday, February 1st, 2012

Whitfield County Sheriff’s Office makes meth bust

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Whitfield County sheriff’s officials busted a meth trafficking operation Tuesday night, officials said.

During a meth trafficking investigation, detectives received information that a large illegal narcotics transaction was going to take place in a parking lot on Cleveland Highway on Tuesday afternoon, sheriff spokesman Detective Ricky Swiney.

While conducting surveillance of the location around 8:30 p.m. Tuesday night, a vehicle arrived in the parking lot containing suspected trafficker Jeffrey Lamar McGuire, 39 and Kenneth Scott Gribble, 48.

When officers approached the vehicle and identified themselves, McGuire attempted to flee on foot but was apprehended after a short struggle with officers, Swiney said.

Both suspects were taken into custody after meth was found in the vehicle, Swiney said.

As a result of their arrest, officers searched at a residence located at 2502 Hill View Drive and recovered additional meth. They arrested April Michelle Barton, 39, at the home.

Investigators seized over a pound of meth with a street value of about $50,000 was seized from the three individuals Tuesday night.

Investigators also seized over $6,000 in cash.

All three were charged with possession with intent to distribute methamphetamine, trafficking in methamphetamine, and possession of tools for the commission of a crime, all felonies.

McGuire — who was also wanted for felony probation violation — has also been charged with possession of marijuana.

All suspects are currently being held without bond, Swiney said.

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