Police arrest 2, still seek 15

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One week after Richmond County launched the biggest gang arrest operation in community history, officials announced two additional arrests and released the names of 15 people still being sought.

Twelve of the suspects have been indicted on federal charges and three on state charges.

"We're using every resource possible to track these people down to the best of our ability," Investigator Dan Carrier said Wednesday.

Investigators began issuing simultaneous search and arrest warrants throughout Augusta last week, ending a 16-month undercover operation. They had used the Colur Tyme Tattoo Parlor on Tobacco Road as a front in order to build contacts and sell weapons to members of some of the city's largest gangs.

Lt. Scott Peebles said police have arrested four people since Monday, bringing the total number apprehended to 75.

Vachael Jessie, 19, of the 2800 block of Woodcock Court, was arrested Monday on federal arrest warrants and charged with distribution of crack and powder cocaine. Also arrested Monday was an unnamed juvenile who was not targeted in last week's raid but was identified after the roundup, Lt. Peebles said. He is charged with burglary, criminal gang activity, possession of a pistol by a person under 18 and carrying a concealed weapon.

On Tuesday, a second unnamed juvenile was charged with theft by receiving stolen firearms and criminal gang activity, and 21-year-old Vincent White was picked up on a federal criminal complaint and arrest warrant alleging that he took part in a drug conspiracy.

Lt. Peebles said that some of the remaining suspects might have fled the area but that others are just "lying low." He said some of the arrests could come down to investigators being in the right place at the right time. That was the case Tuesday when a deputy spotted Mr. White's car outside his sister's home in Augusta. Mr. White, who investigators believe was hiding in Atlanta, had returned to pack the rest of his belongings.

"You know the old adage: I'd rather be lucky than good," Lt. Peebles said. "That's what happened Tuesday."

Reach Adam Folk at (706) 823-3339 or adam.folk@augustachronicle.com.

STILL WANTED


Authorities are still looking for 15 people in connection with the undercover Operation Augusta Ink investigation.

STATE CHARGES


- Steven Lorenzo Luke, 20, sale of marijuana, unlawful distribution of noncontrolled substances, sale of a controlled substance


- Loren David Watson, 21, sale of a controlled substance


- Malcolme Jamal Brannon, 22, sale of cocaine


FEDERAL CHARGES


- Jimmy Bonaparte, 39, felon in possession of ammunition, two counts of cocaine distribution, marijuana distribution


- Balaam Benjamin Grinnage, 25, three counts of felon in possession of a firearm


- Larry Thomas Harris, 25, five counts related to distribution and possession with intent to distribute crack cocaine conspiracy


- Gregory Maurice Humphrey, 20, sale or possession of a stolen motor vehicle


- Kedrick Marquiez Johnson, 26, felon in possession of a firearm


- Dwayne Cleon O'Sullivan, 38, conspiracy to distribute and possession with intent to distribute marijuana


- Pamela Diane Palmer, 32, arrest warrant pursuant to federal criminal complaint of conspiracy to distribute crack cocaine


- Rodriquez Chavantez Palmer, 33, arrest warrant pursuant to federal criminal complaint of conspiracy to distribute crack cocaine


- Jumar Antwan Sheppard, 19, possession of a stolen firearm, crack distribution


- James Bartell Smiley III, 19, felon in possession of a firearm, possession of a stolen firearm


- Samuel Vanessa Sunkett, 51, felon in possession of a firearm


- Terence Quintin Williams, 18, possession of a stolen firearm

Source: Richmond County Sheriff's Office

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