Four indicted for distributing heroin in North Georgia
GAINESVILLE, Ga. - Michelle Dawn Dorsey, Nigel Alan Waddell, and Tyler Josiah Matthews have been arraigned on federal charges of trafficking in heroin. A fourth defendant, Derrik Omar Frazier, was arraigned on July 20, 2017.
“The indictment brought against these defendants is the result of a two-year, joint federal-state investigation by law enforcement to take down a significant heroin distribution network operating between communities in North Georgia and the Atlanta area,” said U. S. Attorney John Horn. “Heroin and fentanyl are poisoning our communities, and the overdoses and deaths are climbing in truly alarming numbers. Our office, along with state and local law enforcement agencies, are taking a strong stance against those who deal heroin and opiates.”
According to U.S. Attorney Horn, the charges, and other information presented in court: Dorsey, Waddell, Matthews and Frazier allegedly conspired to distribute heroin in North Georgia. Dorsey and Waddell sold quantities of heroin in White and Habersham Counties. They obtained the heroin primarily from Frazier. Matthews worked for Dorsey and was responsible for transporting heroin from Frazier’s residence in Stone Mountain, Georgia, to Dorsey’s residence in Demorest, also in Georgia.
Two heroin users allegedly overdosed on heroin they obtained from Dorsey, but they were revived after being administered Naloxone by emergency medical personnel in White County in one instance and Habersham County in the other. Naloxone is used to treat narcotic overdoses as it can reverse the effects of an overdose in most cases. Both overdose victims likely would have died, but for the life saving measures taken by medical professionals.
The overdose victims in this case were transported to medical facilities by friends who were also in possession of heroin. However, those individuals have not been charged with any offense. Georgia’s 911 Medical Amnesty Law protects individuals from arrest, prosecution, and conviction of certain drug offenses if the evidence of their drug crime results from the individuals seeking medical assistance for someone thought to be suffering from a drug overdose. The defendants named in this indictment were not present at the time of the overdoses nor did they seek medical assistance for the victims. In keeping with the spirit of Georgia’s 911 Medical Amnesty Law, the U.S. Attorney’s Office and Appalachian Regional Drug Enforcement Office (ARDEO) want the public to trust that those seeking to provide aid to overdose victims will not be targeted for investigation and/or prosecution.
On July 20, 2017, in conjunction with Frazier’s arrest at his residence in Stone Mountain, agents with the ARDEO and the Georgia Bureau of Investigation West Metro Regional Drug Enforcement Office executed a search warrant. The agents seized one ounce of heroin, one ounce of methamphetamine, one ounce of cocaine, and a cache of firearms.
Michelle Dawn Dorsey, 45, of Demorest, Georgia, Nigel Alan Waddell, 28, of Cornelia, Georgia, and Tyler Josiah Matthews, 26, of Cleveland, Georgia, were arraigned before U.S. Magistrate Judge J. Clay Fuller. Dorsey, Waddell, Matthews and Derrik Omar Frazier, 42, of Stone Mountain, Georgia, were indicted by a federal grand jury on July 12, 2017.
Members of the public are reminded that the indictment only contains charges. Each defendant is presumed innocent of the charges and it will be the government’s burden to prove each defendant’s guilt beyond a reasonable doubt at trial.
This case is being investigated by the Appalachian Regional Drug Enforcement Office. 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, Habersham County, Stephens County, Rabun County and Franklin County, along with the Cleveland Police Department, Lavonia Police Department, the Georgia National Guard Counter Drug Task Force, the Department of Public Safety,, and the Georgia Bureau of Investigation.
Assistant U.S. Attorneys William L. McKinnon, Jr. and Nicholas Hartigan are prosecuting the case.
The U.S. Attorney’s Office in Atlanta recommends parents and children learn about the dangers of drugs at the following web site: www.justthinktwice.gov.
For further information please contact the U.S. Attorney’s Public Affairs Office at USAGAN.PressEmails@usdoj.gov or (404) 581-6016. The Internet address for the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Northern District of Georgia is http://www.justice.gov/usao-ndga.