Investigators bust 'rolling pill lab' capable of producing 16,000 pills per hour

WALTON COUNTY, Ga. — Four suspects are in custody after a bust of what deputies called a "rolling pill lab."

Walton County deputies made the arrests of the Athens-area men late Monday night. Investigators said two of the suspects were college students.

According to investigators, the suspects had a press that could produce 16,000 pills of opioids per hour.

Channel 2's Christian Jennings learned the estimated worth of the press could be between $15,000 and $20,000.

A deputy on patrol discovered the pill lab after he spotted a U-Haul truck and trailer backed into the wooded area near Jack’s Creek Road.

“There’s an old barn backed into the wooded area and we believe they were going to try to set it up inside that barn,” Walton County Sheriff Joe Chapman said.


With opioids selling for $4 to $5 a pull on the street, it can be a lucrative business, Chapman said.

The suspects, aged 18 to 21 years old, were identified as Austin Marshall, Jakob Sullins, Nicholas Felker and Timothy Ballard. The four have been booked into the Walton County Jail and the sheriff says more charges are possible.

Investigators believe the suspects bought the pill press on the dark web.

“A lot of people are coming from surrounding counties thinking we're a rural county and they’re possibly not going to be caught, but they’re mistaken if they believe that,” Chapman said.

Agents from the Drug Enforcement Agency were called in to assist in the cleanup.