Cherokee Drug Operation Expands into North Carolina, Gun Cache Seized
A Woodstock based couple accused of making and selling the highly potent drug fentanyl on the dark web has been arrested following intense investigations. As the investigators extended their search to North Carolina, the couple’s son and his wife were also apprehended.
The Cherokee Multi-Agency Narcotics Squad, on a Monday afternoon, released a statement saying, “On Thursday of last week, CMANS agents and deputies from Clay County, North Carolina, searched a house in Hayesville, belonging to one Donna Brown, 52, of Acworth. She is the mother of Fred C. Michaelson, 35, who was arrested by agents on March 6 on Reed lane in Woodstock. Michaelson and his wife Elizabeth were charged at that time, and about 50,000 pills containing fentanyl seized from a storage facility rented by the couple.”
According to authorities, the couple used the dark web to purchase the drugs. The dark web is popular amongst drug traffickers and consumers and other criminals as it has a unique feature that enables individuals to transact their businesses while remaining anonymous.
The North Carolina search
CMANS agents in collaboration with Georgia State Patrol after searching Brown’s residence on the fateful Thursday were able to arrest Brown in Calhoun. She was charged with several counts of drug trafficking including trafficking heroin and fentanyl, being in possession of marijuana with the intention to distribute, possession of Xanax with the intention to distribute, 2 counts of being in possession of liquid Dronabinol, possessing cocaine with the plan to distribute it, and finally being in possession of LSD . She is being held in the Cherokee County jail after she was denied bail.
An extensive search
Following Thursday’s events and discoveries, authorities continued the search on Friday at a storage facility that Brown had rented in Paulding County. Interestingly, a cache of more than 20 firearms was discovered. Police suspect they all belong to Frederick Michaelson. They consist of pistols, rifles and two bump stocks, which allow a semiautomatic weapon to achieve a faster rate of fire just like fully automatic weapons.
CMANS Commander Phil Price says investigations are far from over and hinted at additional charges.
Cherokee County has intensified the war on drugs with the deployment of CMANS, which is a task force investigating drug-related crimes. It is made up of Cherokee’s Sheriff Office, police departments from Canton, Woodstock, Holly Springs, and Ball Ground in addition to Cherokee County Marshall Office, the District Attorney’s office for the Blue Ridge Judicial Circuit and Georgia State Patrol.
The task force can be reached by citizens who wish to tip the authorities through 770-345-7920. The caller remains anonymous. Alternatively, those who want to talk to an agent can use 678-493-7625.
Not an isolated case
A father and his son were both sentenced to 5 years each for selling fentanyl and oxycodone. Michael Luciano and his son Phillip used Alphabay, a dark web-based drug market that has now been shut down.
Another case involving relatives incriminated for drug trafficking on the dark web is that of Matthew and Holly Roberts of San Antonio, Texas. The duo operated four accounts on the dark web, namely MH4LIFE, MRHIGH4LIFE, FASTFORWARD, and TRAPPEDINTIME.
The four accounts were hosted on the famous SilkRoad, Agora, Nucleus, Darknet Heroes League, Alphabay and Dream Market. The two are said to have been a global success, ranking fourth worldwide as fentanyl and other fentanyl related analogue dealers while topping the US as dealers.
The duo was arrested in May 2018 and have since pleaded guilty.
With enough dedication and continued collaboration from different divisions of authorities, ceasing darknet based drug trafficking is within reach. The key is to stay alert.