Originally created 04/08/06

Across the area



Arrest arranged over moonshine

Arrangements have been made for an elderly man accused of making moonshine to turn himself in this weekend, officials said Friday.

Georgia Bureau of Investigation agents raided the property of Walter Bennett, 78, in the 1400 block of Clark Road on Thursday and found nearly 600 gallons of moonshine.

Gary Hughes, the assistant special agent in charge of the GBI's Thomson office, said GBI agents and Richmond County sheriff's officials tried to find the best process to book the ailing Mr. Bennett into jail.

Capt. Gene Johnson, the assistant chief jailer of the Richmond County jail, said Civil and Magistrate Court Judge William D. Jennings III agreed to allow Mr. Bennett to be released on his own recognizance after he turns himself in.

Agent Hughes and Capt. Johnson said Mr. Bennett uses an electrolarynx, a device put to the throat in order to make sound by people who have had the larynx removed because of cancer or other diseases.

Robber takes money from bank in grocery

Richmond County sheriff's deputies and the FBI are searching for a man accused of robbing a bank branch in a south Augusta grocery store Friday.

Sgt. Richard Roundtree said the robbery happened at about 1:40 p.m. at the Wachovia inside Kroger in the 3100 block of Deans Bridge Road.

The sergeant said the man gave the teller a note demanding money. No weapon was shown.

After receiving money, the man fled and was last seen heading north on Deans Bridge Road toward Lumpkin Road, Sgt. Roundtree said.

The sergeant described the man as white with a beard, in his late 40s to early 50s, wearing a baseball cap and glasses.

Sgt. Roundtree said the man matches the description of a man wanted by the FBI in connection with bank robberies in Pooler and Brunswick, Ga., on Jan. 27.

Anyone with information about the robbery is asked to call the Richmond County Sheriff's Office at (706) 821-1020 or (706) 821-1080.

Window is broken at Sconyers Bar-B-Que

Richmond County sheriff's deputies are investigating a break-in at the barbecue restaurant of former Augusta Mayor Larry Sconyers, police records show.

Deputies were called before 1 a.m. to Sconyers Bar-B-Que in the 2200 block of Sconyers Way after a burglar alarm went off, a police report states.

Someone broke a window to a door on the second floor of the east side of the building, the report states, and opened it.

Mr. Sconyers told police that nothing appeared to have been taken.

Police say man sent pornography to boy

A 19-year-old New Ellenton man has been charged with sending pornographic images to a 15-year-old boy.

David Whitney Hepner Jr., of the 600 block of Ann Drive, was charged Thursday with two counts of disseminating obscene material to a minor.

According to a police report from the New Ellenton Police Department, Mr. Hepner sent photographs of his genitals and video to the New Ellenton boy's cell phone.

Bag found at day care might hold marijuana

A parent found a bag of what is believed to be marijuana in a back hallway of an Aiken day-care center.

According to the report from the Aiken Department of Public Safety, a parent turned in the bag containing a "green, leafy plantlike substance" after finding it at Millbrook Baptist Child Development Center on East Pine Log Road.

The material will be destroyed, the report states.

Police find marijuana farm at man's home

A 57-year-old Aiken man was arrested Thursday night after investigators found an indoor marijuana farm at his home.

Bobby Stanley Harison, of the 1100 block of Martin Street, was charged with manufacturing marijuana and possession with intent to distribute marijuana within half a mile of North Aiken Elementary School.

Detective Marty Sawyer, a spokesman for the Aiken Department of Public Safety, said investigators received a tip from police in Lakeland, Fla., that Mr. Harison was growing marijuana at his home.

Detective Sawyer said investigators seized 100 marijuana plants ranging in height from 6 inches to 3 feet tall, grow lights, irrigation and water infiltration systems and humidifiers.