Deputies break up meth ring

Staff Written Law Enforcement

By Tia Lynn Ivey

managing editor 

A month-long methamphetamine investigation ended last week with several arrests and the seizure of methamphetamine, weapons and stolen vehicles. The investigation also moved from Morgan County into Dekalb and Rockdale counties where massive kilos of methamphetamine and a half kilo of heroin was seized.

According to Lt. Brandon Sellers, Morgan County Sheriff’s Office, three of five suspects are currently detained in the Morgan County Detention Center and two other suspects are being held on both outstanding warrants and pending drug charges in Dekalb County and Rockdale County.

“We’ve been working on this from different angles for the last month and it culminated last week.”

Arrested in Morgan County were Eric Freeman, 45, on charges of possession of methamphetamine; Leigh Ann Daniel, 38, Covington on charges of trafficking in methamphetamine and Victor Serrato-Villa, 35, Conyers on possess with the intent to distribute methamphetamine.

Freeman was arrested at his Aqua Road residence after authorities performed a Fourth Amendment search on his residence. Sellers said consequent to that search authorities seized 18 grams of suspected methamphetamine.

Daniel was arrested following a traffic stop on Pierce Dairy Road, Sellers said. “We received information that Daniel was coming to to town with a quantity of meth,” Sellers said. A female Madison Police Department was called to the traffic stop to search Daniel and, reports state, allegedly found 1.5 ounces of suspected methamphetamine in Daniel’s bra.

Serrato-Villa was arrested as he was pulling into the Day’s Inn parking lot., Sellers said. Authorities allegedly found a half ounce of suspected methamphetamine on Serrato-Villa’s person at the motel.

Sellers said Morgan County authorities contacted the Drug Enforcement Agency in Atlanta and the Dekalb County and Rockdale County Sheriff’s offices with information that led to the execution of a search warrant at the Dekalb Count residence of Ricky Heath, 48. At Heath’s residence, Sellers said, law enforcement officers seized 4.5 kilos of suspected methamphetamine, a half kilo of suspected heroin, two stolen pistols, a assault rifle, a stolen motorcycle and a ballistic vest. The suspected methamphetamine has a street value of more than $30,000, Sellers said.

Rockdale County authorities executed a search warrant at Serrato-Villa’s residence in Conyers and seized a quarter kilo of suspected methamphetamine. Also at Serrato-Villa’s residence, authorities arrested 28-year-old Lauren Gail Higdon on outstanding warrants and on pending drug charges based on the discovery of methamphetamine at the residence.

Sellers said the operation and resulting arrests would slow the distribution of methamphetamine at least in Morgan County. “Freeman, Daniel and Heath are three of the bit suppliers of meth to Morgan County,” he said.

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