Across Georgia

Police seize weapons and 457 pounds of pot


LAWRENCEVILLE --- Gwinnett County police say they seized 457 pounds of marijuana, arrested four men and confiscated five guns, including an M16 and AK-47 assault rifles, in an operation last month.

Police said Thursday that the arrests came June 24 after a tip from someone concerned about possible drug activity at a house in Lilburn. After a traffic stop of a vehicle seen leaving the residence, investigators say they found 10 pounds of marijuana in a garbage bag and searched the home, finding $2.1 million worth of marijuana, guns and a large amount of ammunition.

Collapse prompts UGA to check parking decks

ATHENS --- University of Georgia officials have asked for inspections of two parking decks under construction at the school that have the same contractor as the garage that collapsed in Atlanta this week.

Atlanta-based Hardin Construction Co. is overseeing the projects. Monday's collapse of four floors of a portion of the Centergy parking deck in Midtown Atlanta prompted UGA President Michael Adams to order inspections of all campus parking decks, including those under construction, a spokesman said.

Contract killing brings death penalty for man

ATLANTA --- A Fulton County jury sentenced a man to death for carrying out a contract killing by strangling a young mother with a vacuum cleaner cord.

The defendant, 52-year-old Clark Cleveland, was convicted last Friday for the murder of Sparkle Rai nine years ago for $10,000. The same jury sentenced him to death Thursday.

The woman's father-in-law, Chiaman Rai, was sentenced in 2008 to life in prison without the possibility of parole for arranging the killing. Prosecutors said he wanted her killed because he opposed his son's marriage.