The Butts County Sheriff’s Office was one of nine law enforcement agencies that assisted the Bibb County Sheriff’s Office and the Federal Bureau of Investigation in the arrest of 24 suspects for a $325,800 drug operation run from hotels in the Macon area.
Bibb County Sheriff David Davis said on Jan. 17 that Operation Extended Stay initially started with the accumulation of 137 calls from January to August 2019 about drugs, suspicious persons, shots fired, and sex offenses around a cluster of hotels in west Macon, according to WGXA.
It became “time to do something about it,” said Davis, and from September to December 2019, multiple agencies worked together on Operation Extended Stay, which focused on about 22 hotels in the Interstate 475 and Highway 80 area.
The investigations started with “high level street seller” Carlos Chaz Brown, a documented gang member trafficking methamphetamine. The investigation into Brown led authorities to two other mid-level drug sellers, Roderick Chester and Robert Lee Whisby.
Whisby was considered to be a “supplier” with connections to Atlanta. Sheriff Davis said he’d bring drugs into Macon and hand them off for selling to Chester and Brown.
Officials add that Chester had also been charged in the August 2019 shooting death of Macon mother Morgan Smith, who was found murdered by her two young children.
In total, Operation Extended Stay included about 20 drug sellers below Chester, Brown, and Smith — and about $325,800 worth of methamphetamine, heroin, crack cocaine, and more were taken off the streets. Davis says during the investigation, five pounds of meth was seized — enough to affect 8,680 people.
Davis says the “drug business has evolved,” and that deputies are seeing drug sales happen more and more in hotel settings instead of in neighborhoods. He says drug sellers move into extended stay hotels to avoid detection and that sellers will meet a buyer in a specific place to deliver, calling it “grub hub to drug hub.”
Throughout the course of the investigation, authorities seized a Smith and Wesson .40 caliber firearm, Springfield XD .45 caliber firearm, Glock 19 9mm firearm, and Phoenix Arms .22 caliber firearm.
Officers also seized five pounds, or 8,680 doses of meth — one dose is about one fourth of a gram — valued at $230,000 on the street; 10 pounds of marijuana with a street value of $80,000; 360 doses of heroin — each dose is about one tenth of a gram — valued at $10,800 on the street; and 360 doses of crack cocaine with a street value of $5,000.
The suspects listed below were arrested as a result of Operation Extended Stay. Additionally, deputies say Lori Delois Harrell is currently in the Gwinnett County Jail on unrelated charges and Bibb County investigators will serve warrants on her in connection to Operation Extended Stay.
Those arrested were: Robert Lee Whisby, Jr., Carlos Chaz Brown, Albruce Green, Sr., Shauna Morgan Bush, Kevon Dewayne Amica, Roderick W. Chester, Milton Hill, Jr., Johnie Barfield, Cartney J. Pitts, Keyundre R. Stafford, Joshua L. Barham, Robert Lee Whisby III, Corey R. Freeman, Tamera L. Fryer, Stephanie D. Davis, Kyra L. Williams, Theon Curtis Robinson, Morley Wayne Culver, Rodney L. Morris Sr., James Bradley Harrell, Melvin Chavez Cason, Troy Faulk, Dione M. Veal Sr.
Ten of the over 20 suspects arrested are gang members, according to the Bibb County Sheriff’s Office.
Agencies that helped throughout this investigation include the Federal Bureau of Investigation, Drug Enforcement Administration, Perry Police Department, Athens-Clarke County Police Department, Georgia Bureau of Investigation, Bleckley County Sheriff’s Office, Georgia Department of Corrections, Butts County Sheriff’s Office, Macon Judicial Circuit District Attorney’s Office, and the US Attorney’s Office.