4 suspects arrested in meth bust
by Michelle Babcock
August 22, 2014 12:25 AM | 4658 views | 0 0 comments | 10 10 recommendations | email to a friend | print
A two-month-long investigation led local drug agents to a home on Vaughn Road in the Hickory Flat community, where authorities arrested four suspects and found 14 ounces of methamphetamine valued at $21,000.

The arrests were made last Friday at about 4 a.m., according to a release from the Cherokee County Sheriff’s Office on Thursday.

The investigation into the activities of James Madison Flood, 28, of Canton, led authorities to the house where he and three others were arrested after police found $7,874 in cash, four guns and the methamphetamine, said Cherokee Sheriff’s spokesman Lt. Jay Baker.

“Agents noted heavy security around the house, including several security cameras and a makeshift electrified fence,” Baker said. “When officers made entry into the Hickory Flat area home, all the defendants were awake and moving around the residence, and at least one suspect attempted to flee.”

Commander Phil Price said the Cherokee Multi-Agency Narcotics Squad received tips Flood was “in the drug business,” and started an investigation based on that information.

“We were aware of him, and just waiting on the right piece of information,” Price said, adding the Taliaferro County Sheriff’s Office in east Georgia had received additional information from a witness.

Price said one of the suspects ran out a basement door in an attempt to flee, but “he ran into one of the deputies,” and did not escape.

Flood was charged with trafficking methamphetamine, Baker said.

Manual Jose Arce, 25, of Canton, was charged with trafficking in methamphetamine and possession of a firearm while in commission of certain crimes.

Both remained in custody at the Cherokee County Adult Detention Center without bond Thursday afternoon, Baker said.

Daniel Badger Franklin, 46, of Mineral Springs, N.C., and Lucille Pelz, 38, of Mill Springs, N.C., were each charged with possession of methamphetamine and possession of a firearm by a convicted felon. Franklin’s bond was set at $33,400 and Pelz’s bond was set at $22,400. Both remained in custody Thursday.

Price said, going in to the house to execute the search warrant, authorities had some concern about weapons.

“In some other contacts with Mr. Flood, there had been weapons present, so that was definitely a concern,” Price explained.

Price was contacted Aug. 15 by members of the Atlanta office of Immigration and Customs Enforcement, Baker said, which pointed to Flood as a source of Methamphetamine in Georgia, North Carolina and South Carolina, Baker said.

ICE had been working with the Taliaferro County Sheriff’s Office, located in east Georgia, and Taliaferro deputies supplied information to the Cherokee Multi-Agency Narcotics Squad, Baker said.

“CMANS agents established surveillance on the Vaughn Road address and simultaneously prepared a search warrant for the home,” he added.

The search warrant was executed by CMANS agents, Cherokee County Sheriff’s deputies and SWAT Team members, Baker said.

Authorities also located a small amount of marijuana in the house, along with a small amount of another unknown substance. Baker said it will be identified by the Georgia Bureau of Investigation’s Crime Lab.

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