Across the region

4 arrested in bust of synthetic drugs


ATLANTA — Law enforcement officials say four people were arrested in the Atlanta area as part of a countrywide sweep to nab processors and distributors of synthetic drugs.

Harry Sommers, the director of the Drug Enforce­ment Admin­istration in Atlanta, said Thurs­day agents seized about 100 pounds of synthetic marijuana that was packaged and ready for sale and more than 1,500 pounds that was ready to be prepared during a raid on a warehouse Wednesday in Chamblee.

Sommers says the estimated retail value of the drugs exceeds $10 million.

Synthetic marijuana, often called spice or K2, is an herbal product mixed with acetone and a synthetic compound that mimics the effects of marijuana.

The DEA seized more than $36 million in cash and arrested 91 people nationwide.

Court won’t speed execution appeal

ATLANTA — Georgia’s highest court has denied the state’s request to expedite an appeal in the case of a death row inmate whose execution was delayed earlier this week.

The Georgia Supreme Court on Monday granted a stay of execution to Warren Lee Hill so it could consider his appeal involving Georgia’s recent change in its execution drug protocol.

State Attorney General Sam Olens asked the court to expedite the case, arguing the issuance of a stay effectively halted executions in Georgia until the case can be heard.

The high court on Thurs­day denied the state’s request. Oral arguments are set for November.

Hill was sentenced to death in the 1990 killing of a fellow inmate. Hill was serving a life sentence for the murder of his girlfriend at the time.

Bank teller who stole gets 5 years

COLUMBIA — A former Allendale bank teller has been sentenced to five years in prison for stealing hundreds of thousands of dollars from the bank, then trying to burn it down when her bosses discovered the missing money.

U.S. Attorney Bill Nettles says 40-year-old April Adams was also ordered Thursday to repay more than $330,000 to Allendale County Bank.

Investigators say Adams took the money last year. Nettles says bank officials learned of the problem when Adams told other bank employees to post a sign stating that the bank could not cash checks because of lack of funds.

Investigators say Adams then tried to set a fire inside the bank vault.

She pleaded guilty in February to embezzlement and arson and had faced a possible 50 years in prison.

College president to get $1 million

CONWAY, S.C. — The president of Coastal Carolina University is getting a retirement package of up to $1 million.

The university’s board of trustees asked the foundation to fund the annuity with an annual contribution of $100,000 through 2021. Dave DeCenzo could convert the annuity to cash at the end of the agreement.

He is paid $307,000 a year by the university and the Coastal Carolina University Housing Foundation, including a housing allowance and other perks such as the use of a car, its insurance and maintenance.

Chairman Wyatt Henderson said the package was not excessive based on market value.