The Covington trio arrested and charged in connection with a multi-state marijuana trafficking ring that used a mailing business as a front had bonds set up to a quarter million dollars last Tuesday in Henry County Superior Court.
Demetres Jackson, 34, the alleged ringleader of the group, was issued a $250,000 cash-only bond by Judge Martin Jones, according to court documents. His cousin, Donnell Harris, 33, had a cash-only bond of $100,000 while Jackson's girlfriend, Nicole Braswell, 33, was given a $50,000 cash-only bond. The three are currently held in Henry County Detention Center.
Jackson, Harris, and Braswell lived in a quiet neighborhood at 10 Crooked Creek Way, which was raided Feb. 15 by the Covington-Newton County Special Investigations Unit, Covington-Newton County SWAT Team and Flint Circuit Drug Task Force. Agents found marijuana, a large amount of money, packing materials, documents and a handgun in Jackson and Braswell's bedroom, along with 10 pit bulls that were eventually put down.
Law enforcement simultaneously raided the "Express Mailbox" store in Chugh Plaza on Salem Road, which Jackson and Braswell allegedly used as a front to distribute large quantities of marijuana, according to SIU commander Lt. Philip Bradford.
Covington-Newton County SIU agents had been watching Jackson for many months, but the Flint Circuit Drug Task Force, made up of police departments from Hampton, Locust Grove and McDonough, were tipped off when 12 boxes of 5-gallon tubs filled with marijuana was mistakenly shipped to a family-owned restaurant in McDonough located where Jackson's mailing business used to be.
Jackson, a convicted felon, was arrested at the residence during the initial raid and charged with felony possession of marijuana with intent to distribute, possession of a firearm while committing a crime and possession of a firearm by a convicted felon.
Braswell was initially considered a fugitive but entered the Henry County Detention Center on Feb. 26, according to the jail.
Harris was arrested at the house twice, once on Feb. 19 and again on Feb. 26, after he was released on bond, and extradited Henry County.
The three are from Florida, and received shipments from Arizona.