published Saturday, November 19th, 2011

Chattooga officers arrest 25 in drug roundup

Chattooga County authorities have arrested 25 people on various drug charges during a countywide roundup this week.

Among those arrested was 69-year-old retired magistrate Jimmy Wilkerson, who was charged with illegally selling his pain pills, said Chattooga Sheriff John Everett.

"You would think he would know better," Everett said. "It just shows how these drugs affect everybody."

Wilkerson was charged with six counts of sale of Schedule III and IV drugs, booking reports show. As of Friday afternoon, he was still in jail on a $7,500 bond, a jail employee said.

The drug roundup was a result of nearly six months of undercover investigations, Everett said, and undercover agents took out 61 warrants that range from possessing and selling crack cocaine, methamphetamine, marijuana and prescription pills, booking reports show.

Both the Chattooga County Sheriff's Office and Summerville Police Department were involved in the roundup that lasted seven hours on Thursday, Everett said.

In the first house investigators approached Thursday, they found a man smoking marijuana on his couch, the sheriff said. When officers burst through the door, the man ran to the bathroom to flush the pot down the toilet, leaving a trail of weed along the way, he 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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