An Effingham County man was one of five people arrested as local law enforcement agencies shut down a methamphetamine ring operating in three counties.
The Chatham-Savannah Counter Narcotics Team, with assistance from the Effingham County Sheriff’s Office, arrested Roger “Dirty Rog” Lewis after a traffic stop. Lewis was the fifth person apprehended in three days on charges of conspiring to manufacture and distribute methamphetamine in Effingham, Chatham and Bryan counties.
“It stopped the whole entire organization, rather than just one or two people in the group,” said Chatham-Savannah CNT Agent Gene Harley.
Lewis was charged with possession of methamphetamine and felony possession of marijuana. He is currently on parole for meth-related charges.
Two days prior to Lewis’ capture, Travis Stacey and Hayley Anderson were arrested at a Lewis Drive home in Richmond Hill. William Frank “Nitty” Davis and Amber Oliver were arrested the following day after a traffic stop in Bryan County, and Lewis was arrested a day later in Effingham.
“We took a couple people down, and the other members continued to operate in other counties. It just shows that they’re not going to stop on their own,” Harley said.
The joint operation by CNT, ECSO, Bryan County Sheriff’s Office and Richmond Hill Police Department turned up more than two ounces of crystal methamphetamine, a half-pound of marijuana, numerous prescription pills and one firearm. The seized drugs have an estimated street value of up to $6,000, according to Harley.
Making two arrests at traffic stops and one at a residence was by design, Harley added. The investigators strategically chose when and where to close in on each suspect.
“Unbeknownst to them, we were behind the scenes allowing certain elements of the case to continue,” he said.
As often is the case with people using methamphetamine, Harley said, the suspects were “constantly moving.”
“By nature, they become paranoid,” he said. “They’re afraid someone is after them, so it can be hard to track them. In this case, we were able not only to track them, but to identify where they were distributing.”
Stacey and Anderson were charged with possession of methamphetamine with intent to distribute.
Davis and Oliver were charged with trafficking methamphetamine and possession of a controlled substance. Both were already on felony probation for meth-related charges, Harley said, and additional felony drug and weapons charges are expected to be filed by the Effingham County Sheriff’s Office.