A Douglas County fireman has been suspended after being accused of selling meth at his home and near an elementary school.
Alex Trace White, 23, of Douglasville was charged with two counts of sales of meth, possession of meth with the intent to distribute, two counts of use of a telecommunications device to facilitate a drug transaction, sale of drugs within 1,000 feet of a school, possession of a firearm during the commission of a crime, possession of drug-related objects and possession of marijuana less than an ounce.
Codefendants Phillip Tyler Brown, 19, and Edward Allen Craft, 23, both of Douglasville, were charged with possession of meth with the intent to distribute, possession of marijuana and possession of drug-related objects. Chief Magistrate Judge Susan Camp set White's bond at $61,000, while his codefendant's bonds were set at $10,000 each.
"The sheriff's office received a complaint that Mr. White, who is a fireman for the county, was selling methamphetamine," Sheriff's Lt. Jon Mauney said. "We were able on two separate occasions to make purchases of methamphetamine using a cellular phone to set up the transactions. One of transactions happened at his residence at Brook Valley Apartments. The other happened at the CVS on Fairburn Road which is right behind Burnett and Eastside elementary schools."
After securing arrest warrants and a search warrant for White's residence Friday afternoon, deputies went there to take him into custody, but he wasn't at home.
"Some of our crime suppression units had set up in the Highway 5 area and conducted a traffic stop on him at the Publix there on Highway 5," Mauney said. "When they got the car stopped, they took him into custody. He had two other individuals in the car with him. We located seven to 10 grams of methamphetamine, about half an ounce of marijuana and multiple objects that are used for ingesting smoke and packaging illegal drugs in the vehicle."
White admitted that he is addicted to meth.
"I did the drug," he said. "It was very powerful and it sucked me in. It really took over control of my body and my thought process. I wasn't in the right state of mind. I feel that the drug really took over me and I just got caught with the wrong people at the wrong time."
White told the judge he turned to drugs because of stress.
"My job is very stressful," he said. "My kid's mother is taking me back to court in a child custody case, planning a wedding - it just all hit me at one time. It's just very stressful to me."
Douglas County Director of Communications Wes Tallon told the judge that White is an EMT firefighter.
"He has been suspended as an employee," Tallon said. "The Douglas County Fire Department is cooperating with the sheriff's department in this investigation and will continue to do so. There is no evidence at this time that anything occurred at the fire stations or while he was on duty."
As part of White's bond conditions, Camp ordered that he complete an in-house substance abuse therapy program for meth and stay away from all Douglas County fire stations. She also ordered him to surrender all his credentials as an EMT.
"I'm really surprised by all of this," she said. "You need to get your act together."