A Gwinnett County judge recently sentenced two co-defendants to 37 years in prison for trafficking drugs The conviction was due, in large part, to the work on the case.
Snellville resident Lisa Meeks, convicted of trafficking in methamphetamine and possession of a firearm during the commission of a felony, was sentenced to 17 years. According to Snellville Police and court records, she will serve 10 years in prison and pay a $200,000 fine, along with other conditions.
Jessen Shears, of Alto, Ga., was convicted on trafficking in methamphetamine and possession of methylphenidate (a Schedule II controlled substance) and his sentence was 20 years. According to Snellville Police and court records, he will serve the first 12 in prison and pay a $200,000 fine, along with other conditions.
Meeks, whose last name was Petrowski during the trial, and Shears were sentenced January 13, 2012, a little more than three years after they were charged.
According to an account from Snellville Police Chief Roy Whitehead:
In October 2008, officers first observed a vehicle parked at a business on Scenic Highway. A computer check of the vehicle indicated the registered owner was wanted out of Gwinnett County on a warrant for possession of methamphetamine.
Officers later observed the vehicle at a residence on North Road in the morning of October 7. Different officers began to watch for the vehicle, and later, another officer located the vehicle at a local parking lot. The next day, an officer observed the vehicle again at the residence on North Road.
Officers conducted surveillance, and a couple of hours later, observed the vehicle leaving the residence. Police determined the driver was the individual for whom the warrant had been issued. A front-seat passenger also had warrants, and both suspects were arrested.
The two people provided information about a large quantity of narcotics at the North Road home, and those inside had video surveillance and weapons. The two suspects also provided information about Jessen Shears, who they indicated would use his weapons against police or rival drug dealers.
Investigators determined that Lisa Petrowski and Benjamin Carl Shears were at the home. After obtaining a search warrant, police located Petrowski in a master bedroom; Benjamin Shear and another man were outside. Jessen Shears returned a while later, and he was taken into custody, as well.
In the search, Snellville Police found 48.1 grams of methamphetamine, two tablets of Anexisia (a narcotic pain reliever), eight tablets of Lortab (a narcotic pain reliever), 35 tablets of Klonopin (a drug used to control seizures in epilepsy and for the treatment of panic), six tables of Concerta (a methylphenidate used to treat attention deficit disorder and attention deficit hyperactivity disorder) and 17.7 grams of marijuana.
Officers also seized $4,049 dollars, two handguns and surveillance equipment used by Lisa Petrowski and Jessen Shears.
Assistant District Attorney Richard Armond commended Snellville Police for their work in the case.
"The Snellville PD officers did a good job handling the case from the start and followed through by being available and prepared to testify as the case was tried," he said in an email to Snellville Patch.