Sunday November 29th, 2015 7:27AM

Men arrested in Cornelia may be tied to violent home invasions, rape in Athens

By Rob Moore Reporter
CORNELIA - Cornelia Police Chief Rick Darby said Athens-Clarke County investigators and the Georgia Bureau of Investigation are interested in three men arrested in the city Monday.

Darby said a citizen reported seeing one of the men, who resembled a composite sketch released by Athens-Clarke County police on Sunday, so she notified police.

That man is 27-year-old LaQuentin Dennard Smith.

"He's the one who's being looked at for the aggravated assault and rape," Darby said. "He's a person of interest in those cases."

Darby explained how Monday's arrests in Cornelia occurred.

"We were able to find the vehicle at Days Inn, then matched the photograph that he provided when he checked in at the hotel," Darby said. "He provided a passport. That's the only I.D. he had."

After comparing the composite sketch to the check-in photograph, the Habersham/Cornelia SWAT Team was activated to make the arrest.

"Everything went extremely smooth," Darby said. "It was textbook. They did a great job. There was no incident when they took them down."

Darby said the suspects were cooperative during their arrests.

He identified the other men as Donta Maurice Moses, 33, and Michael Edward Moses, 33.

"All of the suspects had extensive criminal histories," Darby said. "The shortest one was 17 pages, the other two were like 30. One had a murder charge, but it was dismissed. They did have violent tendencies - let's put it that way."

One of the suspects also had outstanding warrants from a metro county.

Darby said officials from both Athens-Clarke County and the GBI have been to Habersham County to interview the men.

"We've received word that they're going to proceed with that," Darby said.

Currently, the men face charges in Cornelia.

"They had drug charges, and we found a weapon hidden in the vehicle - after we got a search warrant - that matched a vague description from one of the victims in Clarke County," Darby said.

Smith is charged with possession of cocaine, possession of tools for the commission of a crime, and possession of less than one ounce of marijuana.

Donta Moses is charged with possession of cocaine, possession of a firearm or knife during certain crimes, possession of less than one ounce of marijuana, and possession of a firearm by a convicted felon.

Michael Moses is charged with possession of cocaine, possession of a firearm or knife during certain crimes, possession of less than one ounce of marijuana, and possession of a firearm by a convicted felon.

Darby said officers are still trying to determine the owner of the 2013 Chevrolet Malibu the men were occupying.

"The car they were in had a Massachusetts license plate," he said. "It had been a Hertz rental car."

© Copyright 2015
All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed without permission.
Ethics laws set to take effect Jan. 1 in Georgia
After dominating much of the legislative session, a set of major ethics reforms is scheduled to take effect Jan. 1.
7:04PM ( 1 year ago )
Sex offender held in Hall County for failing to register
A 47-year-old man was booked into the Hall County Jail Tuesday, being held without bond for allegedly failing to register as a sex offender, his second such arrest.
6:09PM ( 1 year ago )
Pharmacy robberies may involve same suspect
Oakwood Police Tuesday afternoon released details in a pharmacy robbery they're investigating, similar to one that happened in the Hall County Tuesday morning.
5:46PM ( 1 year ago )
Local/State News
Run game, defense helps Dogs seal victory over Jackets, 9-win campaign
Mark Richt trotted over to a corner of Bobby Dodd Stadium, where the Georgia band played and the red-clad faithful had nothing but cheers for the embattled coach.
11:59PM ( 7 hours ago )
IRS phone scammers are making calls again in Hall Co.
Hall County authorities say there's been a resurgence of phone calls from scammers posing as IRS agents.
11:59AM ( 19 hours ago )
Molly the Firehouse Dog brings smiles to first responders, hospital patients
Molly is a well-known face around the Hall County Fire Department and Northeast Georgia Medical Center, where she serves to comfort others during times of stress.
10:26AM ( 21 hours ago )
Gainesville runoff election is Tuesday
A runoff election for a seat on the Gainesville City Council will be held Tuesday.
9:15AM ( 22 hours ago )
Deadline to sponsor Wreaths Across America at Alta Vista is Monday
Each holiday season, veteran grave sites at Alta Vista cemetery in Gainesville are adorned with wreaths as part of Wreaths Across America.
3:42PM ( 1 day ago )