FLOYD COUNTY, Ga. - Channel 2 Action News has reported extensively on the opioid epidemic, and investigative reporter Mark Winne uncovered new developments in two cases that have impacted one community.
U.S. Attorney Bjay Pak says the connection between the demolition of a notorious drug house and a separate federal case is the destruction the drug crisis -- specifically opioids and meth -- has wreaked on Floyd County, as well as other Georgia communities.
"Every citizen deserves to live in a safe, a clean community," Pak said. "We announce the indictment of Shane Terhune."
Pak said Terhune allegedly provided heroin to a Floyd County resident who overdosed and died.
"Mr. Terhune is currently incarcerated for violating his parole for a 2015 drug conviction," Pak said.
District Attorney Leigh Patterson identified the victim as 25-year-old Gabriella Leffew.
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Winne spoke to Leffew's aunt, Rebecca Wood, who said Leffew was a "kind, caring and loving young lady."
Wood said her niece was trained as an emergency medical technician, became addicted to heroin, got clean and must have relapsed after a personal tragedy.
"We are relying on God to help us through this," Wood said.
Police say in a seperate case, a home in Rome was used as a drug trap. Authorities said the building was demolished for code violations.
"At least two undercover buys of methamphetamine from this house. There were 12 arrests," the Floyd County chief said. "People were living in it and used it as a trap house. It was just crime-infested."
Amelia Woodard said she lives in the area with her four kids. She said she saw a lot of people coming in and out of the house.
The ex-wife of Terry Busby, the man who owns the home, said if drug dealing was going on, he did not know, saying he allowed countless strangers to stay there.
"(They) took advantage of his kindness to sell drugs," she said.
Patterson said she knows of no connection between Terhune and the demolished building.
They're two separate cases, but the combination illustrates the drug crisis in the county and cooperation between local and federal authorities.
Lawyer Rex Abernathy told Channel 2 Action News he formerly represented Terhune but has not spoken to him about the federal indictment. He said Terhune comes from an outstanding family.
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