DOUGLAS COUNTY, Ga. - Deputies arrested three people at a Douglasville home last week not realizing they were about to uncover a drug trafficking operation.
Austin Strickland is a known thief, according to Douglas County investigators. He failed to appear on a court date and deputies found him last Thursday at the home hiding in the backroom, in a huge safe he could fit into.
Once they cuffed him and arrested the two others, they learned he was a heavily armed drug trafficker, as well.
Deputies arrested 3 people at this home last week, not realizing that they were about to uncover a drug trafficking operation. We got an exclusive look at everything they found. Story coming up on Ch2 Action News at 4pm pic.twitter.com/q9TEe1zbxK— Tyisha Fernandes (@TyishaWSB) February 26, 2019
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Investigators said Strickland had all of these weapons within his reach while he was hiding.
Deputies only came to the home on Westwood Lane to arrest him on theft charges because he never showed up to court.
When deputies knew exactly where Strickland was hiding, they talked him out of the locked safe without anyone getting hurt.
They also arrested another man and a woman in the home.
"These are the kinds of things we see that make us who we are as officers because we never know what we’re gona get and that’s what happened with this," said Sgt. Jesse Hambrick with the Douglas County Sheriff's Office.
Drugs, known as ICE, were found among the stash. Hambrick said this type of drug is a growing problem, not only in Douglas County.
"These are drugs and guns that can’t hurt anyone else in Douglas County," he said.
Possessing a kind of weapon with the serial number rubbed off (like the ones found in the home) is a federal offense
"Something that could be used to commit a crime, whether it be a murder, an armed robbery and it can be thrown down and no one will ever trace it back to an original owner," Hambrick said.
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