A handful of cases will be moving forward after grand jury indictments in March and April were handed down for several individuals by the Forsyth County Superior Court.
Here are a few of the cases that have led to indictments.
Man indicted for stealing truck, DUI
In April, members of the grand jury indicted Larry Michael Coffman for theft by taking, driving under the influence, fleeing and attempting to elude a police officer and driving without a license.
Per the indictment, on Jan. 19, Coffman stole a Dodge Ram 5500 tow truck worth more than $25,000 while “there was an amount of … methamphetamine present in his blood.” After allegedly stealing the truck, he reportedly would not stop the vehicle after audible and visual signals from deputies and was not licensed to drive the type and class of the truck.
In January, Forsyth County Sheriff’s Office spokeswoman Stacie Miller told Forsyth County News that Coffman was arrested after a deputy was flagged down by a tow truck driver who was tracking a truck that was stolen while he was in a gas station on Ga. 400 at Exit 17.
Miller said when the deputy tried to stop the truck, “the driver did not stop and fled at moderate speeds” before Coffman voluntarily came to a stop at the intersection of Post and Majors roads.
Coffman is currently in the Forsyth County Jail.
Armed robbery suspect indicted
A suspect has been indicted for her role in a 2020 armed robbery.
Torrie Dontell Ratcliff was recently indicted for armed robbery and aggravated assault after a reported incident on Sunday, Oct. 11.
The indictment said that Ratcliff took money, a wallet and a cell phone “by the use of a firearm” from the victim.
According to a Facebook post by the sheriff’s office, the first incident happened at about 1:30 p.m. at a carwash behind Marathon gas station on Buford Dam Road, where three men approached a victim and allegedly robbed him at gunpoint, with one of the suspects reportedly hitting the victim in the head with the gun and the other going through his car and pockets.
The suspects left the scene with the victim’s wallet and cell phone.
Investigators determined Ratcliff, of Atlanta, was one of the suspects. Ratcliff, who was on probation in DeKalb County, was charged with aggravated assault and armed robbery and is being held without bond at the Forsyth County Jail.
Officers also found a firearm, clothing worn during the robbery and cash.
Ratcliff is still in the Forsyth County Jail.
Obscene Internet contact with a child
In April, members of the grand jury indicted Mahesh Kumar Saroj on charges of obscene internet contact with a child, criminal attempt to commit child molestation and criminal attempt to commit statutory rape.
Saroj was one of 24 arrested in a four-day sting in September 2019 by the Forsyth County Sheriff’s Office and other law enforcement agencies during “Operation Just Cause,” an undercover Internet Crimes Against Children Task Force operation targeting suspected child predators that visit chat rooms and social media platforms to seduce children.
According to the indictment, Saroj communicated online with a detective that he believed to be a girl named Kat who was under 16 “with the intent to arouse and satisfy the sexual desire of himself and said person.”
Saroj reportedly arranged to meet with “Kat” at a restaurant in Cumming “which constitute a substantial step toward the commission of said crime,” the indictment said.
“The goal of ‘Operation Just Cause’ was to arrest persons who communicate with children online and then travel to meet them for the purpose of having sex,” FCSO officials said in 2019. “Additionally, the operation targeted those that are willing to exploit children by purchasing sex with a minor.”
During the multi-day operation, investigators reportedly had numerous exchanges with suspects on various internet platforms. In many cases, suspects attempted to arrange a meeting with the “child” for sex, “often exposing the minor to pornography or requesting the child take nude or pornographic images for them.”
Exploitation and intimidation of an elder person
Thomas Mitchell McCollum was indicted in April for exploitation and intimidation of an elder person, terroristic threats and family violence simple battery for a December 2019 incident.
According to a January 2020, FCN article, a 73-year-old victim told deputies that her son, McCollum, had allegedly been taking and hiding her electronic items, TVs and iPad, and would demand money from her in “intimidating and threatening text messages” before returning the items.
“If the demands he sent were not met, then he would demand more money with a deadline for the money to be paid to him otherwise the amount owned would rise again,” a sheriff’s office incident report states.
Deputies also learned that from Jan. 3 to Jan 5, McCollum had allegedly blocked the woman’s vehicle from exiting her driveway, until she agreed to “go to the ATM with him and [withdraw] money for him.”