Lanier County, GA - Following a Georgia State Patrol traffic stop on Wednesday (9/28/2011) night of a local man, Johnny Locklear, Troopers confirmed that he was wanted on a Federal arrest warrant and contacted the Lanier County Sheriff’s Office who held the Federal warrant for Locklear. Deputies served him with the Federal Arrest Warrant for Distribution of Crack Cocaine and transported him out of the county to Federal Detention where the United States Marshal Service took custody of him from FBI Gang Task Force agents later the next day. Locklear, age 45 of Lakeland, was indicted by Federal Authorities in May of this year along with four other local people. Locklear has deep ties inside the local drug trade. Two of those indicted at the same time, Corey Miller and Willie Foster , were arrested earlier this year by the Lanier County Sheriff’s office personnel
. Miller and Foster were also served with Federal Arrest Warrants by the Lanier County Sheriff’s Office for Distribution of Crack Cocaine.
The Lanier County Sheriff’s Office has been cooperating with Federal authorities and other prominent State and local agencies through participation in an OCDETF (Organized Crime - Drug Enforcement Task Force) partnership. The Lanier County Sheriff’s office has personnel assigned to the task force that directly represent the interests of Lanier County citizens. Agents assigned to the Task Force have been involved in a large local drug investigation spanning several years and these arrests are part of the Federal charges being brought against members of the local organized drug gang here in Lanier County. The leader of the group, Isaac Camon, was arrested in March in Lanier County by Federal Authorities assisted by the Lanier County Sheriff’s Office and other participating OCDETF members.
By requesting FBI assistance several years ago Sheriff Norton has been able to partner with the Federal Government and utilize their expertise, manpower and technical assets to slowly begin to bring the leaders of this gang to justice. Currently the five Federal indictments for drug crimes are the first of their type to occur in Lanier County history.
Sheriff Norton said: “We are pleased that another member of this group has been taken off the street. Through participation with the OCDETF (Organized Crime Drug Enforcement Task Force) team we have been able to conduct investigative operations beyond the financial ability of a small Sheriff’s office with an inadequate budget. The results have been undeniable, we have made dozens of associated arrests for this groups drug offenses and dozens more are still to come and pending. Agents have also been able to get a good look into the under belly of the illegal drug trade in and around Lanier County to see who helps them, supports them and has benefitted from the illegal drug activity. A lot of people treated the key players like celebrities and did many favors for them; investigators developed and implemented a strategy for handling those crimes as well. We will be able to tell more of the story at a later date but for now I’d like to say ‘thank you’ to the citizens who have stood by us through several very rough years as well as my Deputies, staff members, Federal OCDETF partners and State and Federal prosecutors. We will always have our detractors and I may even lose some supporters for taking a strong stance against these activities, but enforcing the law is not always a popular thing to do. However, it is a fact that 2011 has been a year of dramatic change with regards to cocaine sales and trafficking in Lanier County. This group we investigated was the center of the wheel of cocaine distribution for the entire region and beyond and with support and help we are breaking the spokes out one-by-one. “
Sheriff Norton asked that anyone having information related to this case, or any illegal activity, to please notify him at the Sheriff’s Office and he will see to it that the proper authorities get your information and act on it.