ROSWELL — A 47-year-old man is accused of disguising and funneling drugs into several Georgia prisons.
Roswell Police spokesman Tim Lupo said that officers were searching for stolen vehicles or wanted persons in the parking lot of a Roswell Comfort Inn on July 11 when they came across a vehicle belonging to Stephen Mott, of Columbus, who was wanted out of Cobb County on felony drug charges.
The officers confirmed with the front desk that Mott was staying there and proceeded to knock on his room door. After knocking a second time and receiving no answer, the police report states the officers heard someone lock the door from the inside and turn up the volume of a TV or radio.
Moments later, the officers saw Mott drive eastbound on Holcomb Bridge Road and pull into a BP gas station, where they initiated a felony traffic stop. The report states the officers drew their weapons and pointed them at Mott. He cooperated, and the officers placed him under arrest.
During the arrest, the police report states, the officers discovered three cell phones, numerous syringes, scales, drug testing kits and other drug-related objects inside Mott’s black 2003 Chevrolet Avalanche.
Lupo said officers also executed a search warrant on Mott’s hotel room, where they found more items including 8.5 pounds of synthetic cannabinoids, 1.57 ounces of methamphetamine, 14.7 grams of heroin and numerous items used to manufacture or process drug materials.
The Georgia Bureau of Investigation Clandestine Laboratory Response Team helped to safely process and dismantle the items that were found in the hotel room, Lupo said.
Detectives with Roswell’s Special Investigations Section conducted a months-long probe following the arrest and determined that Mott is a known member of the “Ghostface Gangsters.”
According to the Department of Justice, the Ghostface Gangsters is a whites-only prison gang that formed in the Cobb County jail system in 2000. The gang has since expanded outside the prison system, and its membership is now estimated at 5,000.
“Members follow written gang literature, use violence to enforce gang rules and facilitate the gang’s criminal activities from within prisons using contraband cell phones,” the Department of Justice stated.
Lupo said Mott is believed to have been purchasing synthetic cannabinoids in powdered form and converting the powder into a liquid before soaking it into paper and disguising it as official correspondence.
It is alleged that he would then mail the drug-infused paper to various contacts within the Georgia prison system for consumption. Lupo said he may have been doing this since at least the beginning of this year.
“But likely longer,” Lupo said. “There have been no other arrests in connection with our investigation at this time.”
Mott has been in custody at the Fulton County Jail since July 13. He is facing nine charges including trafficking in heroin, trafficking in methamphetamine, use of communication facility in committing a crime and participating in criminal gang activity.