Two Rockdale County citizens are in custody and facing felony charges after being linked to a drug-related investigation that involved narcotics being transported into a state prison.
Patti Green, 56, and Lisa Hall, 49, were discovered with more than 100 prescription pills, several thousands of dollars in cash and marijuana during a warranted police search of a home on Little Fawn Trail, near Sigman Road and Irwin Bridge Road, Thursday morning.
Green was the main suspect in the search warrant, said Rockdale County Sheriff's Office Cpl. Michael Camp. The search followed a "multi-month" investigation by the Georgia Department of Corrections, Newton County District Attorney's Office and Rockdale County Sheriff's Office Vice/Narcotics Unit.
The investigation began by the Georgia Department of Corrections after it was discovered that drugs were being smuggled into a state prison, said Camp; the investigation involved Green's son and led back to her. An official from the Richmond County Sheriff's Office stated they were aware of the investigation and that the prison in question is Augusta State Medical Prison in Grovetown, Ga.
Augusta State Medical Prison is less than a two hour drive from Rockdale County going east on Interstate-20.
Phone calls made to the public information officer at Augusta State Medical Prison and the Georgia Bureau of Investigation were not returned at press time.
Green's son, Chad Allen, is reportedly in a state prison in the Columbia County area. Allen was found guilty on June 28, 2013, of murdering Robert Andrew Nichols in 2011.
Newton County District Attorney Office Manager Christine MacDonald said Tuesday that Allen was accused of participating in Nichols' murder when he and a group of men mistook him for another man involved in a home invasion on River Circle in Rockdale County in 2009.
The DA's office originally indicted Allen in Newton County, MacDonald said, but investigators were able to determine with certainty only that Nichols' body was dumped in Walton County. Allen was indicted in Walton County, found guilty on all charges and sentenced to life in prison without parole. It remains unclear whether Nichols was murdered in Rockdale or Newton.
District Attorney Layla Zon was unavailable Tuesday.
Green and Hall were held in the Rockdale County Jail. Green remained in jail facing a $30,000 bond as of Tuesday afternoon. Hall was released on a $13,500 bond Monday afternoon.
Hall faces charges of possession of a schedule-II controlled substance, possession of a schedule-IV controlled substance and possession of marijuana.
Green faces charges of possession of a schedule-II controlled substance, failure to keep drugs in their original container, and obstruction. Green may also face additional charges in Richmond County for facilitating drugs being moved into a Georgia prison after she posts her bond.
The Rockdale County SWAT, and the new SWAT armored BearCat vehicle, was deployed to assist in the apprehension of the two individuals. Camp says SWAT was used as a safety measure.
"You plan for the worst and hope for the best," he said. "There could have been more (people) in the house. You just never know."
Camp insists that the case is closed for the Rockdale County Sheriff's Office.
"It's closed on our end," he said. "I think the (Georgia Department of Corrections) wrapped up (their investigation too)."