ARDEO busts drug ring, three arrested on felony charges

COMMERCE — Last Friday, authorities seized a variety of illegal drugs along with multiple firearms after a six-month-long investigation came to a close.

The Jackson County Sheriff’s Office, the Banks County Sheriff’s Office, the Appalachian Regional Drug Enforcement Office and the ATF served a search warrant at Adam Dale Bennett’s residence at 160 Glenn Fuller Circle.

The investigation was originally generated from citizen complaints and after law enforcement executed the search warrant, three grams of methamphetamine, three grams of marijuana along with an AR-15 assault rifle and a .22 caliber rifle were all found inside the home. 

Mitchell Posey with the Appalachian Regional Drug Enforcement Office said the total street value of the illegal narcotics recovered was approximately $400.

Bennett, 34, also had plastic bags and scales which authorities suspected to be used for distribution purposes.

Two other individuals were found inside of Bennett’s residence who authorities also believed to have a connection with the illegal drugs and firearms that were seized; Joseph Clyde Westmoreland, of Nicholson, and Dennis Michael Budy, of Commerce.

Bennett was charged with possession of methamphetamine with intent to distribute,
possession of marijuana with intent to distribute and possession of a firearm by a convicted felon.

Westmoreland, 34, and Budy, 51, were charged with possession of methamphetamine and marijuana.

Bennett, Westmoreland and Budy were transported to the Jackson County Detention Center.

The Appalachian Regional Drug Enforcement Office is a multi-agency unit that consists of the following Sheriff’s Offices: White County, Lumpkin County, Towns County, Banks County, Jackson County, Habersham County, Stephens County, Rabun County, Franklin County the Cleveland Police Department, the Lavonia Police Department, and the Toccoa Police Department, along with the Georgia National Guard Counter Drug Task Force, the Department of Public Safety, and the Georgia Bureau of Investigation.