Blue Ridge, GA (January 9, 2024) – The GBI has arrested and charged Brandon Scott Hicks, age 37, of Mineral Bluff, Georgia, and Breanna Micaela Rodriguez, age 28, of Andrews, North Carolina, with felony murder, possession of a controlled substance with the intent to distribute and possession of a controlled substance, in Fannin County, Georgia.   

On December 12, 2023, the Fannin County Sheriff’s Office requested the Georgia Bureau of Investigation regional investigative office in Cleveland to investigate the death of Joshua Darrin Hughes, age 41, of Blue Ridge, Georgia. Hughes was an inmate at the Fannin County Detention Center and was found unresponsive at the detention center on December 12, 2023. Hughes was taken to Fannin Regional Hospital where he was pronounced dead. He was then taken to the GBI Crime Lab for an autopsy.  

Preliminary information from the autopsy and the investigation revealed that Hughes died of a fentanyl overdose.   

During the investigation, GBI agents discovered that Rodriguez brought fentanyl into the detention center and provided fentanyl to Hicks, while both were inmates at the detention center. The investigation further indicated that Hicks provided the fentanyl to Hughes before Hughes was found unconscious at the detention center.  

Hicks and Rodriguez remain in custody at the Fannin County Detention Center.   

When the investigation is complete, it will be given to the Fannin County District Attorney’s Office for prosecution.  


Assistant Special Agent in Charge Dustin Hamby