CUMMING - Investigators in Forsyth County think they've solved a January burglary at three storage units in Cumming - and they've busted up a small drug operation at the same time.
The break-ins at Sawnee Storage off Highway 20 West happened at some point between January 27 and January 29, according to Forsyth County Sheriff's Dep. Doug Rainwater.
He said investigators were able to identify a vehicle and a suspect as they reviewed surveillance video from the burglaries. As investigators were driving down Settingdown Road on February 5, they spotted the suspect Joshua L. Williams, 20, of Sugar Hill.
"A chase ensued for just a few minutes," said Rainwater. "We were able to arrest him that day and obtain a search warrant for the residence that he was going to."
Rainwater said as investigators questioned Williams, they then obtained two additional search warrants for two separate locations. He said all of the homes - two in Forsyth County and one in north Fulton - were within 15 miles of each other.
"We discovered that a lot of the stolen property from the three storage units were at these three locations, but also we found that a lot of drug use and drug sales were taking place at these three houses, too," said Rainwater.
Following the searches, five other suspects were arrested in the case.
Rainwater did not have a specific dollar amount on the items stolen in the burglary, nor did he have amounts on the drugs seized. Still, he said while the operation was not considered "major," it was evidence of a connection between theft and the drug culture in the area.
"It just goes to show you that a lot of thefts, a lot of burglaries, are for one reason - to support the drug trade. And in this case, these six arrested...that's pretty much it, they were committing thefts to commit further drug transactions," said Rainwater. "That was their primary business."
The names of those arrested and charges filed against them are as follows:
~Cody J. Beavers, 21, Gainesville
Theft by receiving, trafficking methamphetamine, possession of marijuana, possession of drug-related objects, felony obstruction.
~Colton R. Beavers, 19, Gainesville
Possession of methamphetamine, possession of drug-related objects.
~Brynn A. Grichuck, 27, Suwanee
Possession of methamphetamine
~Ashley C. Laird, 26, Alpharetta
Three counts of burglary in the second degree, three counts of felony and one count of criminal trespass.
~Amber L. Nicholson, 23, Flowery Branch
Trafficking methamphetamine, possession of marijuana, possession of drug-related objects, obstruction.
~Joshua L. Willians, 20, Sugar Hill
Three counts of burglary in the second degree, three counts of felony and criminal trespass, traffic offenses.