Suspects in April drug roundup convicted

Published 10:54 am Friday, August 10, 2012

Special to the Post-Searchlight

Fifty-two criminal cases stemming from “Operation Clean Sweep,” a Bainbridge Public Safety investigation into illegal, street-level drug sales, were handled by the May adjourned term of Superior Court, which concluded on Thursday, August 9, according to the office of District Attorney Joe Mulholland.

(For more information on Operation Clean Sweep, see our previous story, “BPS conducts drug sweep.”)

Most of the 52 drug cases were dealt with by way of plea or convictions by jury trial. The first case tried by an impaneled jury was Kelvin Ford. The jury trial on Ford was tried by District Attorney Mulholland and assisted by a law student from the University of California, Bainbridge native Mellori Lumpkin. Ford was convicted of felony sale of marijuana and cocaine and felony illegal substances near schools. Chief Judge A. Wallace Cato sentenced Ford to forty years to be served in the state prison system.

Chief Assistant District Attorney Mike Bankston also was to try William Curtis Ezell for felony possession of methamphetamine. However, just before the trial was to commence, Ezell pled blind (at the mercy of the court) to possession of methamphetamine. Judge Kevin Chason sentenced to thirty years to serve in the state prison system.

Brock Byrd was the next case to be tried by D.A. Mulholland. Byrd was charged with two felony counts of sale of cocaine and two felony counts of illegal use of communication facility. Before trial was to commence Byrd also pled. Byrd was sentenced to fifteen years to serve in the state prison system by Judge Chason.

Assistant District Attorney Ben Harrell was to try Nathan Thomas Rozier on Thursday, August 9 for felony charges of possession of methamphetamine and marijuana that occurred July 25, 2011. Rozier pled before the trial was to commence to one count of possession of methamphetamine and marijuana. Chief Judge Cato sentenced Rozier to fifteen years, five years of that to be served in the state prison system, with the balance to be served on probation.

Assistant District Attorney Heather Lanier was to try Rick Flanders Thursday, August 9 for felony charges of sale of cocaine and illegal use of communication facility that occurred January 9, 2012. Flanders pled before trial was to commence to sale of cocaine. Judge Chason sentenced Flanders to fifteen years, five years of that to be served in the state prison system, with the balance on probation.

“This was a great week for our office,” Mulholland said. “We had a very good jury pool and we were able to secure convictions in all of our cases,” stated Mulholland. “Our office commends the officers of the Bainbridge Public Safety and Decatur County Sheriff’s Office for their outstanding and diligent work during this trial term.”

Citizens with any further concerns can call the office of District Attorney Mulholland at (229) 246-1823.

(For more information on Operation Clean Sweep, see our previous story, “BPS conducts drug sweep.”)