Tifton Gazette

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May 30, 2014

Local pharmacist and three others arrested on drug related charges

TIFTON — The Tifton Drugs investigation has resulted in the arrest of four people, including the owner of the business.

According to a press release by the Georgia Bureau of Investigation, a five month criminal investigation into the diversion of controlled substances conducted by the GBI Sylvester field office, Georgia Drugs and Narcotics Agency (GDNA), Mid-South Narcotics Task Force (MSNTF) and the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) was brought to a conclusion with the arrest of Carole Ray, the pharmacist in charge and owner of Tifton Drugs, located at 208 Main St., in Tifton.

On Wednesday, May 28, Michael Lindsey, age 44, and Keith Lindsey, age 40, were arrested after a traffic stop by the Turner County Sheriff’s Office, which found the pair to be in possession of 1,000 hydrocodone tablets that were alleged to have been diverted from Tifton Drugs. Both men have Tift County addresses and were charged with possession of a schedule III controlled substance with intent to distribute and conspiracy to possess a schedule III controlled substance. Both men were booked into the Turner County Jail.

On the morning of Thursday, May 29, Ray was arrested at her residence on Highway 32 in Sycamore after officials with the above named agencies, along with the Turner County Sheriff’s Office, executed a search warrant at the home. A large quantity of controlled substances and approximately $10,000 in cash were recovered during this search.

Following the search of Ray’s home, law enforcement traveled to Tifton Drugs where a search of the business was conducted. Boxes of documents were seized as evidence and transported from the pharmacy. These records are expected to document the number of controlled substances that were dispensed from the pharmacy.

Based on the investigation, another search warrant was executed at R&R Auto Car Care on Highway 41 in Ashburn. This business is owned by Ricky Walker.

Walker, age 51, was arrested and has been charged with conspiracy to distribute a schedule III controlled substance. He is being held in the Turner County Jail.

Ray, age 64, has been charged with conspiracy to possess a schedule III controlled substance with intent to distribute. She is being held in the Turner County Jail.

Additional charges are expected to be filed.

The press release states that this successful investigation was a joint effort by the GBI, GDNA, MSNTF, DEA, Turner County Sheriff’s Office, Tift County Sheriff’s Office and the Crisp County Sheriff’s Office. The MSNTF is made up of deputies from Tift, Crisp and Turner counties.

Also, Terry Richards with The Valdosta Daily Times reported that a Valdosta-based bank has seized the assets of Tifton Drugs following Thursday's raid on the drug firm.

He reported that Commercial Banking Company filed a petition of writ of possession with the Tift County Superior Court Friday afternoon to seize Tifton Drugs, according to Gwen Pate, Tift County’s clerk of the superior court. The filing says Tifton Drugs had a loan note valued at $238,000 through Commercial Bank, Pate said.

“The judge granted an immediate writ of possession and the sheriff served it,” she said.

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