[UPDATE] -- Valdosta, Ga. -- June 8, 2012 -- 6:45PM --
A massive drug bust has led to the arrest of the head of a Children's Advocacy Center. This arrest really did catch this community off guard. Eyewitness News reporter Eames Yates spoke with neighbors who lived next door to Joseph Driggers in Lake Park. They said they noticed how his car would leave at odd hours of the night. But they never expected a drug bust.
Marijuana, money and guns. It's not what you'd expect to find at the home of the Executive Director for the Children's Advocacy Center of Lowndes County. But it's exactly what investigators with the Sheriff's Office found after two search warrants on homes owned by Joseph Driggers. Investigators recovered 10 pounds of marijuana and 8 marijuana plants at this house, owned by Driggers. But when they went to his primary residence they realized it was just the beginning.
Lowndes County Sheriff Chris Prine said "there they found $1,100 dollars currency, 4 pounds of marijuana, point one grams of cocaine, 4 shot guns, one of which was a sawed off shot gun which is illegal."
The Children's Advocacy Center of Lowndes County's board of directors were quick to place Driggers on leave without pay. But it still caught the community off guard.
Valdosta resident and parent Katie Wiggins said "I think when someone serves as a role model in our community, and has such an important job for children in our community, it's very shocking and disappointing."
Sandra Wilcher is the Board Chair of the Children Advocacy Center. She said "I was very heartbroken, shocked, and certainly saddened. I was at a lose for words actually."
Driggers is currently being held at the Lowndes County Jail. He's charged with manufacturing and trafficking marijuana. He's also charged with possession of cocaine and a sawed off shot gun. Sheriff Chris Prine said that Driggers has been denied bond.
-- Valdosta, Ga. -- June 8, 2012 -- 5:48 p.m. --
The Children’s Advocacy Center of Lowndes County, Inc. (CAC) was shocked and saddened today to learn of the arrest of Executive Director, Joseph Driggers.
Driggers became Executive Director of the CAC April 2012. As of today, the Board of Directors of the CAC has unanimously placed Driggers on leave without pay, pending further investigation by law enforcement.
The Board has named Delthia Conrad as Interim Director of the CAC. Conrad was the chair of the initial task force that formed the CAC in 1997 and has remained actively involved since that time.
The core mission of the CAC to minimize the trauma of child abuse by responding to their immediate and long term needs in a child friendly, safe environment does not waiver. The CAC will continue under the leadership of the Interim Director and the CAC’s professional staff. Therapeutic services will continue. The CAC will moved forward and has a passion for the prevention and treatment of child abuse in this community.
The CAC offers a facility where representatives from law enforcement, child protective services, prosecution, mental health, and the medical community collaborate to investigate, treat, and prosecute child abuse cases.
Further questions should be directed to the CAC to the Board Chair, Sandra Wilcher.
-- Valdosta, Ga. -- June 8, 2012 --
The Lowndes County Sheriff's Office arrested Joseph Driggers, the Executive Director of the Children's Advocacy Center of Lowndes County, on Thursday evening.
According to the Sheriff's Office, Driggers had about 4 pounds of marijuana and a marijuana growing operation. Investigators also found cocaine. Driggers had two residences where the drugs were recovered.
Stay tuned for more information.