The Chatham-Savannah Counter Narcotics Team made several arrests Wednesday in two separate methamphetamine rings that were operating in Chatham, Bryan, Effingham and Bulloch counties.
An Effingham County man was among 11 people arrested. Christopher Thomas Davis, 29, of Guyton was charged with conspiracy and possession of a substance to manufacture methamphetamine.
“With this drug, you have a person or a group of people who get hooked on it and then recruit other people who get hooked on it, because it takes multiple people to get the items needed to manufacture the drug,” said CNT Agent Gene Harley.
Davis was one of four people arrested in connection to a methamphetamine lab that had been discarded on Cuyler Road in Bryan County. CNT investigators determined that items used to make the meth lab had been bought in Chatham County and traced them to Davis, Heather Dunn, 22, of Pooler, Kimberly Carney, 28, of Savannah and Lisa Williams, 33, of Savannah.
All suspects in both drug rings were indicted last week in Chatham County Superior Court. Davis was already in custody in the Bryan County Detention Center on a prior methamphetamine-related arrest.
The other case, according to Harley, involved a “family business” of making and distributing meth. Four members of the same family were arrested, including a 62-year-old.
“Even the mother was purchasing items to make methamphetamine,” Harley said.
Arrested were Thomas Basham, 36; his wife, Melodie Basham, 26; his brother, Roger Basham, 33; and his mother, Sharon Basham, 62, all of Pembroke. All four were charged with conspiracy and trafficking methamphetamine, and all but Melodie Basham were charged with meth possession.
CNT investigators determined that the Basham family’s drug operation made or tried to make more than 230 pseudoephedrine purchases over 17 months, Harley said. The purchases were made in 12 counties in Georgia and two counties in South Carolina.
“Based on the known amount of purchased pseudoephedrine weight alone, it’s estimated the organization had produced over 14 ounces of methamphetamine and produced an estimated 200 methamphetamine labs,” Harley said. “The produced methamphetamine would have an estimated street value of up to $40,000.”
That much meth could be as many 390 hits of the drug.
Also arrested were David Allen Barnard, 46, Pembroke, Betty Deckard, 42, of Brooklet and Hope Elaine Mitchell, 37, of Claxton. They were each charged with conspiracy and methamphetamine trafficking, and Mitchell also received three counts of possession of substances to manufacture meth.
The Counter Narcotics Team is looking for three other people as part of the investigation: Dustin Clemons, 34, Marcus Lee Lindsey, 31, and Tami Jo Hill, 52.