published Friday, March 11th, 2011

Dalton cheer coach accused of selling meth

A cheerleading coach faces charges of selling meth out of his business office, according to police.

Investigators on Tuesday arrested 27-year-old Dwight Cook, owner and coach of the Sideline All-Stars cheerleading gym at 102 Powell Drive, Dalton Police Department spokesman Bruce Frazier said.

Cook was charged in connection with possession of methamphetamine, possession of methamphetamine with intent to distribute, possession of tools for the commission of a crime, and possession of drug paraphernalia.

Police believe Cook was running a small drug operation from his gym office while he was living there, Frazier said.

“We don’t think this was a huge supplier for the area,” Frazier said.

Calls to the gym were not returned Thursday.

Cook was one of the four instructors at the gym, the company’s website shows. Tumbling classes are offered four days a week, and the instructors coach a competitive cheer squad called the Vipers.

The Vipers won the championship at an all-star event in Chattanooga in 2010, the website states.

Police said they believe Cook sold the drugs from his office, but don’t believe any of the gym’s students were given any drugs.

Cook’s arrest came after a monthlong undercover investigation, Frazier said. When Cook was arrested, police said, they found a meth pipe in his pocket and 11 grams of meth in his office.

Cook was released from the Whitfield County Jail on Wednesday after posting a $10,000 bond, a jail official said.

about Joy Lukachick Smith...

Joy Lukachick Smith is the city government reporter for the Chattanooga Times Free Press. Since 2009, she's covered crime and court systems in North Georgia and rural Tennessee, landed an exclusive in-prison interview with a former cop convicted of killing his wife, exposed impropriety in an FBI-led, child-sex online sting and exposed corruption in government agencies. Earlier this year, Smith won the Malcolm Law Memorial Award for Investigative Reporting. She also won first place in ...

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