A 20–month investigation by the Chatham–Savannah Counter Narcotics Team involving three drug rings resulted in 39 indictments and the seizure of 23 kilos of cocaine, 11 pounds of pot, ten guns, and over $300,000 in apparently ill–gotten cash.
In March 2011, CNT in a working partnership with the Beaufort/Jasper Multi–Agency Drug Task Force and the Drug Enforcement Administration investigating a drug organization in both Chatham County, Georgia and Beaufort/Jasper, South Carolina. Over the next year, undercover purchases of cocaine were made.
By June 2012, several pounds of marijuana were seized and two additional drug organizations were identified. On July 3, a traffic stop on on I–16 resulted in the seizure of 23 kilograms of cocaine and $24,520 in cash. Following the seizure, three residential search warrants were executed in Chatham County, resulting in the seizure of marijuana and $69,677 in cash. During August, five residential search warrants were executed resulting in the seizure of cocaine, marijuana, guns and $47,965 in cash.
The cocaine seizure was the largest single nab in CNT’s history. It had a street value of nearly $3 million.
• One man faces multiple charges, another was taken into custody and three are being sought after a vehicle rammed a patrol car and led police on vehicle and foot pursuit.
At 2:37 a.m., officers were called to Congress and Whitaker streets where four to five men were reportedly brandishing pistols in a gray Mazda. The car had left when they arrived but turned up 30 minutes later at IHOP on East Victory Drive where they were reported to be causing a disturbance.
Officers located the Mazda and initiated a traffic stop. Michael Brandon Hall, 27, the driver, put the vehicle in reverse and rammed a patrol car before driving across grass borders and curbing onto Victory Drive, heading west in the eastbound lanes without lights. He turned south on Bee Road, east on 52nd Street, south on Oakland, then south on Cuba where he lost control and struck a utility pole.
Hall and three other occupants fled on foot and officers saw Hall throwing a weapon into a backyard. The weapon was found to be cocked with the safety off and a round chambered. The Mazda was identified as stolen.
Hall was released from the Georgia Department of Corrections after serving 10 years of 20–year sentences for burglary, aggravated assault, a weapons offense, theft by taking and two counts of entering a vehicle. He has an extensive record with Savannah–Chatham Metropolitan Police. A passenger, who remained in the rear seat of the vehicle, claimed he had paid $5 for a ride home from a night club and did not know Hall or any of the other occupants of the Mazda.
Hall was charged with aggravated assault on a police officer, fleeing to elude police, possession of a firearm by a convicted felon, possession of a firearm in committing a crime, interference with government property, DUI, reckless driving, leaving the scene of an accident and failure to give aid, two counts of obstruction, driving on the wrong side of a roadway, failure to notify police after hitting an object, driving too fast for conditions, failure to obey traffic control devices and failure to maintain a lane.
Police continue to seek the three males who fled on foot and to investigate the passenger’s comments.
Detectives are continuing to investigate the assault on the police officer.