Late last week, the Forsyth County Sheriff’s Office formally introduced a new drug crime fighting program that will put law enforcement personnel from three different North Georgia agencies side by side in the war on drug trafficking.
The new program is called the Johns Creek, Alpharetta, Forsyth County Drug Task Force, and according to the sheriff’s office it will allow 18 dedicated narcotics agents to focus on “dealer level narcotic investigations” in all three jurisdictions.
“We all knew that those dealing drugs in Forsyth were also likely dealers in Johns Creek and Alpharetta. It was imperative that we worked jointly to keep our communities safe. Together we are stronger than we are alone. Our communities are safer today because of this partnership,” said Forsyth County Sheriff Ron Freeman.
Cpl. Doug Rainwater, spokesman for the Forsyth County Sheriff’s Office, said that the new program will allow officers from all three agencies to work together in investigating drug dealers, and will give them the manpower and support to arrest those dealers safely and efficiently.
He said that this program effectively tripled the narcotics units of all three of the agencies.
“Now, we can coordinate drug dealers that do go into Johns Creek and Alpharetta,” Rainwater said.
In a news release about the new taskforce, Rainwater said that the program has already led to the arrest of “three large scale dealers who were primary suppliers to local high school students.”
Rainwater said that those three busts were carried out on eight individuals in the Cumming area in January and March.
Most recently, Rainwater said that in late march, a Forsyth County couple, Keven and Erica Pope, were arrested in their North Forsyth residence by the Johns Creek, Alpharetta, Forsyth County Drug Task Force, charged with alleged possession of cocaine with the intent to distribute, possession of a firearm or knife during the commission of a crime and a variety of other drug related offences.
He said that three other people, Amber Ballew, Donald Martin and Douglas Knierim Jr., were arrested by the task force in early March on a variety of drug charges including allegedly trafficking methamphetamine, possession of methamphetamine with intent to sell and obstruction of law enforcement.
Rainwater said that the first bust by the task force was made in January on three Cumming locals, John Christopher Coleman, Holly Jean Coleman and John Cooper Coleman, who have charges relating to the alleged possession of marijuana, possession of cocaine with the intent to distribute, possession of MDMA and possession of marijuana with the intent to distribute, and other drug related crimes.
“I am extremely grateful for our partnership with the Forsyth County Sheriff’s Office and the Johns Creek Police Department. We are already reaping the benefits of combining our resources in an effort to eradicate the issue of dealers bringing narcotics into our jurisdictions. Ultimately, the JCAF Task Force will help keep all of our community’s safe,” said Alpharetta Police Chief John Robison.