August 29, 2013

Birthday bust

Deputies on to common trick

Rachel Brown

— Authorities in Whitfield County acted on a tip Tuesday evening and stopped a Canton man and woman who were traveling with $50,000 worth of meth wrapped up like a birthday present, officials said.

David Willie Baker, 31, and Kathleen Francis Williams, 18, both of Holly Springs Parkway, were charged Wednesday by the Whitfield County Sheriff’s Office with possession of meth to distribute and trafficking in meth (possession). They remained in the Whitfield County jail without bond Wednesday afternoon.

Sheriff’s office Capt. Rick Swiney said three officers and a Georgia State Patrol trooper worked the case.

“We got information they were going to be delivering a large quantity of meth up here, and our narcotics unit and the Georgia State Patrol was set up waiting on them,” Swiney said.

He said the duo came through Ga. Highway 201 and were stopped near Summer Road. The suspects consented to a search, Swiney said, and officers during the search saw a package wrapped in brown and white paper and decorated with a pink bow. A balloon was in the back seat with the package.

“I guess they assumed that if they got stopped the officers wouldn’t open a birthday present,” Swiney said.

That — along with trying to mask the scent with air freshener — is a common trick Swiney said deputies didn’t fall for. Investigators found 20 ounces of meth, which Swiney said has a street value of about $50,000. They seized the drugs, about $800 in cash and the 2000 Acura.

Swiney said the investigation is ongoing, and he couldn’t yet say how widespread the meth operation may have been in the area or how long it had been going on.

“We’re still investigating at this point,” he said.