GBI Arrests Former Youth Pastor for Sexual Exploitation Charges

On Monday, November 15, 2021, the GBI arrested Steve Macallin Thomas, 22, of Garfield, GA.  Thomas is charged with two counts of Sexual Exploitation and two counts of Sexual Battery. These charges stem from a GBI investigation at the request of the Candler County Sheriff’s Office.  The victims that have been identified so far were children under the age of 15 at the time of the incidents.

Thomas is a former Youth Pastor at the Restoration Worship Center in Metter, GA.  He turned himself in to the Candler County Jail on Monday evening.

This criminal investigation is active and ongoing.  Anyone with information is encouraged to contact the GBI Regional Investigative Office in Statesboro at 912-871-1121.  Anonymous tips can also be submitted by calling 1-800-597-TIPS (8477), online at https://gbi.georgia.gov/submit-tips-online, or by downloading the See Something, Send Something mobile app.

UPDATE - GBI Issues Blue Alert in Aggravated Assault Against a Henry County Police Officer

UPDATE:

Clayton County, GA (November 10, 2021) - The Blue Alert issued for Jordan Jackson is cancelled. Jackson was found deceased in Clayton County, GA on the evening of Tuesday, November 9, 2021.

ORIGINAL RELEASE:

Henry County, GA (November 5, 2021) - The GBI has issued a Blue Alert for Jordan Jackson, 22, of McDonough, GA.  A Blue Alert is a public safety alert that is issued when a suspect has killed or seriously injured an officer and has not been apprehended.  The suspect may be a serious threat to the public.  This alert was issued Thursday night at 8:21 pm.

Anyone with information about Jackson’s location is asked to call the Henry County Non-Emergency Dispatch at 770-957-9121 or call 911.  Anonymous tips can also be submitted by calling 1-800-597-TIPS(8477), online at https://gbi.georgia.gov/submit-tips-online, or by downloading the See Something, Send Something mobile app.

GBI Investigates Officer Involved Shooting in Jackson County

11/7/2021 Update

The deceased woman has been identified as Jessica Worsham, age 43, of Hoschton, GA.

ORIGINAL NEWS RELEASE

Jackson County, GA (November 6, 2021) - The GBI is investigating an officer involved shooting that happened in Jackson County, GA.  One woman has died in the incident.  One Jackson County deputy is critically injured.  The Jackson County Sheriff’s Office asked the GBI to conduct an independent investigation into the shooting incident. 

On Friday, November 5, 2021, at around 9:20 p.m., Jackson County Sheriff‘s Office deputies responded to a 911 call from a residence located at 6416 GA Hwy 124 in Hoschton, GA.  The call was about a domestic situation where the homeowners wanted a non-resident out of the home.  When deputies arrived at that location, they made contact with a woman at the front door of the residence. The woman pulled out a firearm and pointed it towards the deputies.  The deputies gave verbal commands for the woman to drop the weapon. The woman opened fire on the deputies.  One of the deputies was hit and injured.  The other deputy returned fire, hitting the woman and killing her.  The injured deputy was taken to a local trauma center where she remains in critical condition.  

GBI Investigates Officer Involved Shooting in Covington

Covington, GA (November 4, 2021) - The GBI is investigating an officer-involved shooting that happened in Covington, GA.  One man has died in the incident.  The Covington Police Department asked the GBI to conduct an independent investigation into the shooting incident. 

The preliminary information indicates that at around 8:50 p.m. on Wednesday, November 3, 2021, the Newton County 911 Center received a call about a domestic violence incident at 8189 Spillers Road, Covington, Georgia.   Covington Police Department officers responded and made contact with a woman who lives at the residence.  Officers learned that Johnny Michael Gilbert, age 43, left the residence just before officers arrived.  After speaking with the woman and ensuring that she did not need medical care, the officers advised her to call 911 if Gilbert returned.  The 911 center received a second call at 10:26 p.m. stating that Gilbert had returned and was violent.  Officers responded again and met Gilbert outside the residence.  As officers were attempting to detain Gilbert, he began to violently resist.  One of the officers fired a Taser at Gilbert, but it was ineffective.  As officers struggled with Gilbert, he took an officer’s Taser and began to rise to his feet.  This prompted one of the officers to fire a handgun at Gilbert, hitting him at least once.  Gilbert was treated at the scene and transported to a nearby hospital where he later died.  

GBI Investigates Officer Involved Shooting in Cobb County

Smyrna, GA (November 3, 2021) – On Tuesday, November 2, 2021, the GBI was requested by the Cobb County Police Department (CCPD) to investigate an officer involved shooting. The CCPD Internet Crimes Against Children (ICAC) Unit was conducting a child trafficking investigation that led them to the possible location of a victim at the Red Roof Inn, 1190 Winchester Parkway in Smyrna, Cobb County, GA. At approximately 7:00 p.m., investigators were located outside of a hotel room at the Red Roof Inn. Investigators knocked on the door and a young female opened the door. Inside the room were two young females with Atwon White, age 29, of Williamson, GA. When White saw the investigators, he pointed a handgun at the officers and ran out the room and into the parking lot. In the parking lot, he pointed the handgun at a uniformed CCPD officer, at which time, the officer shot White once with his issued rifle. White was treated on the scene and transported to Kennesaw Hospital. White is reported to be in critical condition, but is expected to survive.

Two Southwest GA Men Arrested for Drug Trafficking

Sumter County, GA (November 3, 2021) – On Thursday, August 12, 2021, the GBI Southwestern Regional Drug Enforcement Office (SWRDEO), GBI Americus Field Office, Georgia State Patrol, Americus Police Department, Sumter County Sheriff’s Office, Lee County Sheriff’s Office, Schley County Sheriff’s Office, and Ellaville Police Department executed four search warrants and concluded a two-month investigation into the distribution of cocaine in Schley and Sumter Counties. Quintavious Tyron Miller, age 26, of Ellaville, Georgia and Jason Tarvares Patterson, age 41, of Americus, Georgia were arrested. Miller was charged with five counts of distribution of cocaine. Patterson was charged with five counts of distribution of cocaine, possession of marijuana with intent to distribute, possession of a firearm by a convicted felon, and possession of a firearm during the commission of a crime.

Largest Methamphetamine Seizure in Lee County

Lee County, GA (November 1, 2021) – A collaborative investigation with the GBI Southwestern Regional Drug Enforcement Office (SWRDEO), Lee County Sheriff’s Office (LCSO), Georgia State Patrol, and the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) Columbus Resident Office has led to the largest methamphetamine seizure in Lee County, Georgia.

The following people have been arrested for multiple charges:

Matthew Bridges, age 28, of Albany, GA: Conspiracy to traffic methamphetamine, conspiracy to possess marijuana with intent to distribute and failure to maintain lane

Terrance Battle, age 40, of Albany, GA: Conspiracy to traffic methamphetamine, conspiracy to possess marijuana with intent to distribute

Quannesha Gatling, age 26, of Albany, GA: Trafficking methamphetamine and possession of marijuana with intent to distribute   

GBI Investigates Officer Involved Shooting in Atlanta

Atlanta, GA (October 29, 2021) - The GBI is investigating an officer involved shooting at the request of the Atlanta Police Department. 

The preliminary information indicates that on Thursday, October 28, 2021, at around 9:30 p.m., officers were near Peek Rd and Magna Carta Dr in Atlanta when they attempted a felony stop on a person driving a stolen vehicle from a previous carjacking incident. 

Man Arrested Following Drug Investigation in Glennville

Glennville, GA (October 29, 2021) – On Thursday, October 28, 2021, James Anthony Hackett, Jr., age 30, of Reidsville, GA, was arrested following a drug investigation initiated by Glennville Police Department and assisted by Georgia Bureau of Investigation Southeastern Regional Drug Enforcement Office (SRDEO) and Tattnall County Sheriff’s Office. During this investigation, nine ounces of methamphetamine, five pounds of marijuana, currency, two firearms, and a vehicle were seized. Hackett was charged with Trafficking Methamphetamine, Possession of Marijuana with Intent to Distribute, Possession of Firearm by Convicted Felon, and Possession of Firearm During the Commission of Felony.

Ellaville Woman Arrested for Shooting Death of Husband

Ellaville, GA (October 29, 2021) – On Tuesday, October 26, 2021, the GBI arrested Juanita Bridges, age 57, of Ellaville, for Felony Murder, Aggravated Assault, and Possession of a Firearm During the Commission of a Felony.

Schley County Sheriff’s Office deputies responded to a home at 209 Georgia Highway 240 East, after receiving reports that someone had been shot. Deputies found Bobby Bridges with a gunshot wound to the chest. Juanita Bridges, Bobby Bridges’ wife, was also in the home and gave deputies a handgun. Juanita Bridges told deputies that she had shot her husband.