Hartwell, GA (November 2, 2022) – A recent multi-agency investigation led to numerous arrests during the execution of six search warrants that were simultaneously executed in Hart and Franklin Counties. The search warrants were related to a months-long drug, gang, and violent crime investigation known as “Operation Straight to the Hart.”

The following individuals were arrested on Thursday, October 27, 2022:

  • Jaquavious Waller, 21, of Hartwell, GA charged with Gang Act (2 counts) and Conspiracy to Commit Murder
  • Len’darrius Keese, 20, of Lavonia, GA, charged with Gang Act and Conspiracy to Commit Murder
  • Ayana Curry, 23, of Hartwell, GA charged with Gang Act
  • Deandre Watford, 26, of Hartwell, GA charged with Gang Act
  • Trenton Shoemaker, 20, of Hartwell, GA charged with Gang Act
  • Quentin Devon Simpson, 29, of Hartwell, GA charged with Gang Act
  • Kenothy Brown, 22, of Lavonia, GA charged with Gang Act
  • Tyrickus Miller, 25, of Anderson, SC charged with Gang Act
  • Larjarvis Rucker, 21, of Hartwell, GA charged with Gang Act
  • Laterrell Alexander, 33, of Hartwell, GA charged with Gang Act
  • Jarvis Settles, 23, of Hartwell, GA charged with Aggravated Assault

Waller and Keese are charged with Conspiracy to Commit Murder related to the death of Mericus Scott of Royston, GA, whose body was discovered in Anderson, SC in January of 2020. Anyone with information regarding the death of Mericus Scott, please contact the GBI Athens Office at (706) 552-2309 or the GBI Tip Line at 1-800-597-8477.

Throughout the investigation, law enforcement seized marijuana, cocaine, fentanyl, methamphetamine, MDMA (Ecstasy), and 25 firearms.

The following agencies participated in this operation: Georgia Bureau of Investigation Regional Investigative Offices and Statewide Gang Task Force, Hartwell Police Department, Hart County Sheriff’s Office, Lavonia Police Department, Franklin County Sheriff's Office, Georgia State Patrol, Georgia State Patrol SWAT, Georgia Department of Community Supervision, Appalachian Regional Drug Enforcement Office, Federal Bureau of Investigation (North Georgia Multi Offenders Task Force), Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives, Georgia Department of Corrections, and Georgia National Guard Counterdrug Task Force.

This is an ongoing investigation, and more arrests are anticipated. 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, Banks County, Jackson County, Habersham County, Stephens County, Rabun County, Franklin County, Gilmer County, Fannin County, the Cleveland Police Department and the Toccoa Police Department, along with the Georgia National Guard Counter Drug Task Force, the Georgia State Patrol, Georgia Department of Community Supervision, and the Georgia Bureau of Investigation.

Contact Special Agent in Charge

Trent Hillsman