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Sheriffs deputies bust six for drugs
Investigators said they saw a deal go down as they ate lunch
Joseph Hughes

Effingham County sheriff’s deputies made two separate drug busts in the Bloomingdale area Thursday, including one stemming from what they witnessed as they ate lunch.

Investigators with the sheriff’s drug investigation unit executed a search warrant at a Kathy Street residence and recovered several marijuana plants, methamphetamine, anhydrous tanks and an assault rifle, according to investigators.

Sheriff Jimmy McDuffie said deputies arrested John Henry Fort, 40, of Bloomingdale and charged him with manufacturing methamphetamine, possession of methamphetamine, manufacturing marijuana and the purchase of pseudoephedrine for the purposes of manufacturing meth. Also arrested was Jessica Smith, 26, of Bloomingdale. She also was charged with conspiracy to manufacture methamphetamine and the purchase of pseudoephedrine for the purpose of manufacturing methamphetamine.

Sheriff’s officials said more arrests are expected.

A short time later, while drug investigators were eating lunch at a restaurant on Highway 80 near Highway 17 in Bloomingdale, investigators observed a drug transaction in the parking lot involving four subjects.

Sheriff’s deputies arrested 28-year-old Jeremy Bolen of Bloomingdale and charged him with obstruction and possession of cocaine. Also arrested were 21-year-old Herbert Williams of Ellabell, who was charged with sale of crack cocaine, sale of marijuana and possession of crack cocaine; 25-year-old Marlon Wright of Bloomingdale, who was charged with sale of crack cocaine, and sale of marijuana; and 23-year-old Joseph Thomas Hughes of Bloomingdale with possession of marijuana less than one ounce. 

“We must attack the drug problem and be proactive,” Sheriff McDuffie said. “Drugs are pervasive in our society. They are at the roof of much of the violent crime that occurs in our communities.

“Most property crimes, burglary, theft, robbery, etc., are drug users trying to get money to buy drugs,” McDuffie continued. “We must provide a safe environment for our children and a hostile environment for drug manufacturers and dealers.”