North Georgia Multi-Million Dollar Drug Trafficking Organization Dismantled

January 11, 2019

Commerce, GA (January 11, 2019) – On Friday, January 11, 2019, Local, State and Federal Law Enforcement Officers executed 10 search warrants and 14 arrest warrants for members and suppliers of Larry “Lil Man” Fricks’ drug organization. Over the course of a five month investigation, the Banks and Jackson County Sheriff’s Office, the Appalachian Regional Drug Enforcement Office (ARDEO), along with the cooperation of the Piedmont Judicial Circuit District Attorney’s office and the FBI’s North Georgia Major Offender Task Force, used all available investigative techniques at its disposal to bring down a complex drug trafficking network operating in North Georgia. Multiple criminal charges will be brought against these persons under the Racketeer Influenced Corrupt Organization (RICO) statute. Fricks and his organization have been active in Banks, Hall, and Jackson County and surrounding communities for many years. This investigation indicates that the Fricks’ Drug Trafficking Organization is responsible in 5 short months for the distribution of more than 100 kilograms of methamphetamine with a street value of $3.5 million.

This particular investigation is an example of the value of interagency cooperation. Because of the strong, existing relationships between the participating agencies, Agents were able to share intelligence and coordinate the dismantling of a complex drug trafficking organization. The investigation continues and additional arrests are expected. All member agencies of ARDEO provided significant resources to this criminal investigation along with the Barrow County Sheriff’s Office, Hall County Sheriff’s Office, Commerce Police Department, and the Georgia Department of Corrections. 

For additional information about Appalachian RDEO or to provide tips on criminal activity look for ARDEO on Twitter @appalachiandtf or follow on Facebook and/or Instagram @appalachianrdeo.

The Appalachian Regional Drug Enforcement Office is a multi-agency unit that consists of the following Sheriff’s Offices: White County, Lumpkin County, Towns County, Banks County, Jackson County, Habersham County, Stephens County, Rabun County, Franklin County the Cleveland Police Department, the Lavonia Police Department, and the Toccoa Police Department, along with the Georgia National Guard Counter Drug Task Force, the Department of Public Safety, and the Georgia Bureau of Investigation.   

 

*****ADDITIONAL INFORMATION*****

A contingency of local, state and federal law enforcement officers executed 10 search warrant in Banks, Jackson, White, Lumpkin, Barrow, and Hall Counties. LEO seized approximately 9 pound of crystal methamphetamine, an ounce of marijuana, $13,000, firearms, and numerous vehicles. The street value of the seized narcotics was $155,000.  Search warrants were executed at the following locations: 

  1. Hall County S.W.A.T. executed a search warrant at 3772 E. Hall Road, Gainesville, Hall County, GA.  (LARRY DWAYNE FRICKS).
  2. ARDEO executed a search warrant at 71 King Street, Commerce, Jackson County, GA (MICHAEL GRIBBLE). 
  3. Barrow County Sheriff’s Office executed a search warrant at 170 Scott Drive, Winder, Barrow County, GA.  (STEPHANIE PRITCHETT).
  4. Banks County S.O. executed a search warrant at 384 Carson Segars Road, Maysville, Banks County, Georgia (ELDON FRICKS).
  5. White County S.W.A.T. executed a search warrant at 411 Hogan Road, Cleveland, GA (JARED CODY ELLER). 
  6. GBI Special Enforcement Team executed a search warrant at 1175 Welborn Road, Gillsville, GA (MATT GERRIN).
  7. GBI Special Enforcement Team executed a search warrant at 71 Hale Road, Maysville, Jackson County, GA (BRANDON WOOD).
  8. Lumpkin County Sheriff’s Office executed a search warrant at 288 Melody Lane, Dahlonega, Lumpkin County, Georgia (GARY “RED” BROWN).
  9. Hall County Multi Agency Narcotics Squad executed a search warrant at 481 Woodsmill Road, APT B, Gainesville, Georgia (TIMOTHY “FREEBIRD” FREEMAN).
  10. Hall County Sheriff’s Office executed a search warrant at 4384 Todd Road, Braselton, Hall County, Georgia (RICHARD “RICHIE” FRANK SIMMONS).

 

RICO arrest warrants have been executed on the following people:

1)  LARRY “LITTLE MAN” DWAYNE FRICKS 27 y/o/a

3772 E. Hall Road, Gainesville, GA

2)  MICHAEL DOUGLAS GRIBBLE 42 y/o/a

71 King Street, Commerce, GA

3)  STEPHANIE MAE PRITCHETT 38 y/o/a

170 Scott Drive, Winder, GA

4)  CHELSEA MANGUM FRICKS 28 y/o/a

3772 E. Hall Road, Gainesville, GA

5)  BRANDON DWIGHT WOOD 37 y/o/a

71 Hale Road, Maysville, GA

6)  DWAYNE ELDON FRICKS 52 y/o/a

384 Carson Segars Road, Maysville, GA

7)  JAMES CHRISTOPHER HOOD 34 y/o/a

3018 White Sulphur Road, Gainesville, GA

8)  WALTER CECIL WHITEHEAD IV 45 y/o/a

4384 Todd Road, Braselton, GA

9)  JARED CODY ELLER 26 y/o/a

411 Hogan Road, Cleveland, GA

10)  TIMOTHY “FREEBIRD” FREEMAN 59 y/o/a

481 WOODSMILL RD APT B, GAINESVILLE     GA 30501  

11)  MATTHEW LEE GERRIN 31 y/o/a

1175 Welborn Road, Gillsville, GA

12)  MARTY “GO HARD” THOMAS 36 y/o/a

Hancock State Prison

13)  GARY “RED” LOYD BROWN 56 y/o/a

288 Melody Lane, Dahlonega, GA

16)  WILLIAM DALE GRAY 47 y/o/a

621 Homer Road, Commerce, GA

All of those arrested were transported to the Jackson County Sheriff’s Office.  The only outstanding RICO arrest warrant is for RICKIE NATION 59 y/o/a, 384 Carson Segars Road, Maysville, GA.  If anybody has any information on NATION please call your local Sheriff’s Office, Police Department or ARDEO at 706-348-7410.

Contact Information: 
Mitchell Posey - Special Agent in Charge - 706-348-7410