6 arrested, 1 still wanted in Chatham County drug bust

6 arrested, 1 wanted in Chatham County drug bust (CNT/WTGS)

A drug organization that has been plaguing the Chatham County area has been dismantled by the Chatham-Savannah Counter Narcotics Team (CNT) in a joint investigation with the United States Postal Inspection Service (USPIS), according to a release.

Back in May 2018, the investigation began into a group of people believed to be trafficking marijuana throughout the county, according to CNT.

Joseph Rion Hilliard, 47, and his son, Nicholas Rion HIlliard, 22, were identified as the "top tiers" of the organization, agents say.

Over a three-month investigation, agents were able to identify six locations throughout the area that were connected to the organization and also determined that the marijuana was coming from California.

Most of the locations agents uncovered were determined to be "stash houses" where the marijuana was being stored. Agents say in most cases, the marijuana would then be transported to either Nicholas Hilliard’s residence located at 10305 Middleground Road or Joseph Hilliard’s business, a warehouse, located in the 4200 block of Montgomery Street. Following transport, the marijuana would then be sold.

Between the dates of Aug. 8 and Aug. 13, CNT and USPIS, along with the Chatham County Aviation Unit and the Savannah Police Department (SPD), conducted search warrants at six of the locations, where they found more than 14 pounds of marijuana, 300 capsules of tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), concentrated doses of cannabis “Dabs” and various forms of prescription medication.

Those locations are as follows:

  • 10305 Middleground Road-residence
  • 4200 block of Montgomery Street-business/warehouse
  • 5200 block of Habersham Street-residence
  • 9200 block of Garland Drive-residence
  • 00 block of Norwood Court-residence
  • 00 block of Tibet Avenue-business

The narcotics that were seized have an estimated street value of up to $120,000, according to the release.

Agents say they also seized two firearms, one vehicle and about $13,000 in cash.

The following six people were arrested, as stated in the release:

  • Joseph Hilliard, 47 yoa
  • Nathan Andrew Turner, 22 yoa
  • Averie Lynn Shadley, 18 yoa
  • Kyle Preston Terry, 21 yoa
  • John Charles Fuller Jr., 36 yoa
  • Zachary Ryan Douglas, 30 yoa

Nicholas Rion Hilliard is still at large and is wanted by police. He is described as a male, 6 feet tall and 150 pounds with short/shaved brown hair and blue eyes. He is known to frequent the Middleground Road area, but is believed to be in California, according to CNT.

Anyone with information regarding the whereabouts of Hilliard is urged to contact CNT at 912-652-3900 or CrimeStoppers at 912-234-202 where callers remain anonymous and may qualify for a cash reward.

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