published Thursday, January 24th, 2013

5 charged in meth case; 2 children found in home

Five people have been arrested and charged with supplying methamphetamine in a crystallized form to the Rossville area.

Police took $8,000 worth of meth "ice" from a Rossville home Tuesday, authorities said. Two children were placed in state custody.

Michael Burrows, 22; Veronica Garcia, 27; and Mary Groce, 26, lived at the house off South Center Street that police raided, Catoosa County Sheriff Gary Sisk said in a news release. Garcia's children were taken from her, according to authorities.

Also, Tommy Brannon, 25, and Colby Youngblood, 19, were at the house and were arrested, Sisk said. All five were charged with offenses including trafficking methamphetamine, meth possession and possession of a firearm in the commission of a crime.

The Lookout Mountain Drug Task Force had been investigating the home for several months and agents knew those arrested were suppliers to the area, deputy Cmdr. Dewayne Brown said.

Police found 6 ounces of crystallized meth that was made in Mexico and a weapon, Brown said. Investigators wouldn't say if they know the source of the meth.

Brannon, Groce and Burrows have criminal records in Catoosa County, court records show. Brannon was arrested in 2009 on seven charges related to an assault, but all were dropped except for a terroristic threats charge, records show.

Burrows has been arrested twice, last year on a battery charge and in 2011 on a burglary charge, while Groce has multiple traffic violations, according to records.

All five defendants were in the Catoosa County Jail late Wednesday.

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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