“We executed a warrant roundup May 15, started very early in the morning, went most of the day,” Bartow-Cartersville Drug Task Force Commander Capt. Mark Mayton said. “We were executing out-of-county arrest warrants, probation warrants, parole warrants and existing warrants that were located at the sheriff’s office.”
Agents from the DTF, along with Bartow County Sheriff’s Office deputies, Immigration and Customs Enforcement officials, U.S. Marshals, and representatives from Georgia Board of Pardons and Paroles and state probation, took 56 people into custody, including four living in the country illegally. Those four persons were remanded to ICE custody.
“Some we served out-of-state arrest warrants to. As a result of those arrest warrants also, we ended up making some drug cases and some stolen firearm cases,” Mayton said. “The out-of-state warrant was a warrant out of Tennessee for probation violation. He was discovered while attempting to locate another individual who had the same last name as him. The warrants were confirmed. They wanted him and now they are in the process of extraditing that individual back to Tennessee.”
Of the cases brought Thursday, the most serious involved four children who appeared to be without proper supervision.
“At 702 Cassville Road, we went there to execute an arrest warrant. While we were there, we knocked on the door; nobody come to the door. We knocked again, and two or three toddlers actually opened the door,” Mayton said. “The agents at the front door and the marshals at the front door began to try to summons an adult there. They were unable to do that. ... The adult would not respond, so they went into the house to check.
“... They found two individuals in a bedroom — with an infant — who were [not responsive]. They finally woke those individuals up, removed them. There was another male subject in the front of the house who also did not respond. They had to vigorously wake that individual up.”
The four children were turned over the Division of Family and Children’s Services, and the four adults arrested and charged with possession of methamphetamine with intent to distribute.
Warrant roundups are nothing new to authorities, with local agencies typically executing one or two per year. The sweep, Mayton said, brings those wanted persons to justice.
“It brings people that are fugitives from justice to justice so that they can begin their criminal process to get a trial or hear a plea, or some of them were probation violation so they have to answer for those violations,” he said. “... It backlogs the system if we don’t execute those arrest warrants. Those people are kind of left out there in limbo, and the only time that they’ll end up getting arrested is if they have some encounter with law enforcement. We kind of took it to them instead of waiting for an encounter with law enforcement.”
The interagency cooperation exhibited Thursday is indicative of how operations are executed, regardless of size, according to the commander.
“It’s successful all the way around. If we weren’t doing a large operation, if we were doing a small operation, there’s always good continuity between everybody involved,” Mayton said. “It doesn’t necessarily have to be one agency's ‘job’ to do something. We work as a team no matter the shape of our badges.”