Several drug arrests were made on Sand Mountain late Tuesday night.

Deputies with the DeKalb County Sheriff’s Office, Drug Task Force agents and police officers with Fort Payne, Henagar and Ider Police Departments assisted in the operation that resulted in seven arrests and the confiscation of a moonshine still, firearms and numerous narcotics.

Agents and officers executed a search warrant at a residence on County Road 754 in Ider where they confiscated Methamphetamine exceeding 28 grams, drug paraphernalia, two firearms, marijuana and an undisclosed amount of currency. John Jolley, 56, of Ider, and Ruth Smith, 49, of Ider, were arrested on charges of Trafficking Methamphetamine, Possession of Drug Paraphernalia, and Possession of Marijuana (2nd Degree).

An arrest warrant was executed at a residence on County Road 155. Three individuals fled on foot but were apprehended after a brief pursuit. Approximately 90 grams of Methamphetamine, a disassembled moonshine still, 50 gallons of mash and marijuana were found in the home.

“I’m very proud of our Drug Task Force agents and deputies for pursuing these cases,” DeKalb County Sheriff Nick Welden said. “Their work involves a lot of late nights and dangerous situations. They consistently put in the hard work to clean up this county.”

Those arrested at the residence on County Road 155 were:

Jonathan Matthew Higdon, 44, of Bryant

• Trafficking in Methamphetamine

• Possession of Marijuana (2nd Degree)

• Possession of Drug Paraphernalia

Erica Castleberry, 32, of Higdon

• Trafficking in Methamphetamine

• Possession of Marijuana (2nd Degree)

•  Possession of Drug Paraphernalia

Dustin Roberts, 32, of Higdon

• Possession of Controlled Substance

• Possession of Drug Paraphernalia

Brian Sartain, 48, of Trenton, Georgia

• Possession of Marijuana (2nd Degree)

• Possession of Drug Paraphernalia

Ryan Hardeman, 24, of Higdon

•  Possession of Marijuana (2nd Degree)

•  Possession of Drug Paraphernalia

A vehicle pulled into the driveway of the residence while deputies and officers were at the scene. The driver fled at a high rate of speed and was pursued on a chase that entered Jackson County. The driver escaped on foot but their identity has been confirmed and charges are pending. A large number of steroids were found in the suspect’s vehicle.

“I also can’t stress enough how much we appreciate tips from the public,” Welden said. “Some of our best information comes from concerned citizens who want to see our neighborhoods and communities cleaned up. It’s also great that we enjoy a good working relationship with our police departments. Their help is essential in pursuing these cases. God bless.”

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