Biggest Drug Bust in Cherokee County History

Posted by Richard Lawson | Jul 12, 2019 | 0 Comments

On June 27, three people were arrested in connection with Cherokee County's largest one-time heroin seizure in history. According to reports, agents with Cherokee Multi-Agency Narcotics squad raided a home in Woodstock. There, they discovered a “heroin processing facility.” According to reports, deputies found a pound of heroin mixed with fentanyl, firearms, and 13 ounces of meth.

“It appears based on what we found at the scene that they were taking heroin and taking fentanyl and taking other adulterants and mixing them to make more money off the heroin,” CMANS commander Phil Price told Channel 2 Action News.

The three people arrested are Jerome Allen, Edward Ball, and Katie Zepeta. Allen was charged with possession of a Schedule 1 narcotic after police discovered THC vape pens in his vehicle. Both Ball and Zepeta are facing charges of manufacturing heroin, trafficking heroin, trafficking methamphetamine, possession of Xanax, three counts of possession of a firearm as a convicted felon, and three counts of distribution of a controlled substance within 1,000 feet of a school. Bell is additionally facing charges of selling heroin and methamphetamines.

Possession of a Controlled Substance in Cherokee County

As a Cherokee County DUI lawyer, many of my cases involve drugs and alcohol. In Georgia, the drug laws are particularly strict in contrast to many other states. Most drug charges are considered felony offenses, with the severity of the charges being influenced by a variety of factors.
Under Georgia law, controlled substances are broken down and classified into five schedules:

  • Schedule I drugs have no medicinal value and are considered the most dangerous.
    • Examples: LSD, heroin, ecstasy, mushrooms, marijuana
  • Schedule II drugs are those that require a prescription and are restricted to medical purposes.
    • Examples: Methamphetamine, cocaine, codeine, hydrocodone, opium
  • Schedule III drugs must be lawfully prescribed and have a high potential for abuse.
    • Examples: Tylenol with Codeine, anabolic steroids, ketamine
  • Schedule IV drugs must also be prescribed but have a lower potential for abuse than Substance III substances.
    • Examples: Xanax, Klonopin, Valium
  • Schedule V drugs are typically those containing limited quantities of narcotics and have a relatively low potential for abuse.
    • Examples: cough medicines with less than 200 milligrams of codeine.

Possession of any Schedule I or II controlled substance is a felony. Those convicted face between 2 and 30 years in prison, depending on factors such as quantity and prior convictions. Possession substances in Schedules III, IV, or IV is also a felony, and those convicted will receive 1 to 5 years in prison.

Those convicted of distributing controlled substances face slightly different penalties. Schedule I or II distribution is a felony with a potential for anywhere between 1 and 30 years in prison. Distribution of any Schedule III, IV, or V substance is a felony with associated penalties of one to ten years in prison.

Practice Note
If you have been charged with possession or distribution of a controlled substance, you could be facing lifelong consequences. At the Law Offices of Richard S. Lawson, our Cherokee County DUI Attorneys are experienced in defending possession and distribution cases. Call our office today.

About the Author

Richard Lawson

Richard S. Lawson is passionate about intoxicated driving defense. Unlike some attorneys, Mr. Lawson devotes 100% of his legal practice to helping people stand up for their rights against DUI charges. For more than 20 years, Mr. Lawson has dutifully fought for his clients' freedom, resolving more 4,900 impaired driving cases during the course of his career. Today, Mr. Lawson has developed a reputation as a skilled negotiator and continues to help clients by fighting to keep them out of jail.


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