2011-10-05 / For The Record

Meth bust cracks $30,000 theft

By Elizabeth Billips lizbillips@yahoo.com

Robert Joseph Gravelle Robert Joseph Gravelle A tip about a meth lab didn’t quite pan out, but it solved a $30,000 theft.

Last Thursday, an anonymous caller sent GBI agents and Burke County deputies to a Corley Road home where methamphetamine was reportedly being cooked.

Officers found several small rocks in a makeup bag and believed a portable lab had been used in the house to make them – but they couldn’t find the equipment or chemicals to back up their suspicions.

What they did find, however, was around $30- grand in logging equipment, according to Sgt. Dedric Smith, an investigator for the sheriff’s office.

Deputy Jon Hollingsworth, who was among the officers looking for the lab, had worked a theft case for a logging company just one week prior and around 10 miles from the Hephzibah home.

It didn’t take long for him to recognize the hydraulic hoses, diesel tank, trailer, air compressor and other work tools dumped just outside the house as the same items stolen from a logging site on Bridge Taylor Road.

Brandy Marlene Jordan Brandy Marlene Jordan “The stuff was just scattered across the yard … in plain sight,” Sgt. Smith said.

Deputies arrested the couple living in the home, Robert Joseph Gravelle, 33, and Brandy Marlene Jordan, 32, on felony charges of possession of methamphetamine and theft by receiving stolen property

Investigators said Gravelle was out of jail on bond from a 2009 arrest for operating a large meth lab inside his home.

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