NWGA Scanner | June 1st, 2022

Whitfield County man found guilty of trafficking over 4 pounds of meth in Walker County

On Tuesday, May 24, Thomas Garrison, 74, of Whitfield County, was convicted by a Walker County jury of trafficking methamphetamine and possession with intent to distribute methamphetamine. The evidence presented at trial showed that on April 5, 2021, Garrison was located at 327 Joe Robertson Road in Walker County by agents with the Lookout Mountain Drug Task Force. After K-9 Carlos, (now retired) and his handler, Sergeant Nick Terry detected narcotics inside Garrison’s F-250 Ford truck, agents secured the truck to request a search warrant. Once the search warrant was in hand, Agent Allen Ellenburg searched the truck and recovered two ounces of suspected methamphetamine from the driver’s door storage area. Agent Ellenburg discovered an additional 4.4 pounds of methamphetamine in the truck’s back seat on the driver’s side. The jury heard evidence from Agent Robert Tate that Garrison admitted to possessing the methamphetamine at the scene and he took law enforcement to a safe in Whitfield County where he had stored $ 21,000 in profits from selling methamphetamine. Agents Ellenburg, Tate, and Terry all testified that this was the most methamphetamine they have ever seized at one time. After a two-day trial, presided over by Superior Court Judge Brian House, a jury returned a guilty verdict to trafficking methamphetamine and possession with intent to distribute methamphetamine. Sentencing took place immediately after the verdict was announced. At sentencing the State introduced evidence that Garrison has been convicted four separate times in Whitfield County going all the way back to 1999. His prior convictions include possession with the intent to distribute marijuana, possession with the intent to distribute methamphetamine, and possession of methamphetamine. Judge House imposed a sentence of 30 years, with the first 25 years to be served in confinement without the possibility of parole. The State of Georgia was represented by Assistant District Attorney Winston Franklin. Agents with the Lookout Mountain Drug Task Force, Walker County Sheriff’s Office, LaFayette Police Department, and Dalton Police Department investigated the case. District Attorney Arnt thanked the officers and agencies involved for their efforts in stopping this methamphetamine from getting into our communities. D.A. Arnt said, “While some areas of the country seem to look the other way or even encourage illegal drug use we take a hard line against drug dealers in the LMJC. We have no tolerance for those that try to profit from other’s misery. ADA Franklin’s argument to the jury noted that this was not just about drugs but that the methamphetamine was four pounds of pain, 4 pounds of heartbreak, and four pounds of poison. Thanks to the efforts of law enforcement and the DA’s office these drugs never made it out to our streets.”