Ellijay man arrested in North Carolina on drug charges, wanted by GBI

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Tracy Shirley, arrest

ELLIJAY, Ga. – The Cherokee County, North Carolina, Sheriff’s Office has confirmed the arrest of a man from the Ellijay area in relation to drug charges. Shirley was wanted in connection to the massive drug bust with gang ties that took place last week in Pickens County.

According to the incident report, Cherokee County Deputies arrested Tracy Shirley, 47,  after finding narcotics in his possession. He was arrested Monday, June 29, 2020, at 9:41 p.m. near the city of Murphy, North Carolina.

The incident report stated that authorities began surveillance on a vehicle operated by Shirley on June 27, 2020, two days earlier. A later press release from the Sheriff’s Office stated that they conducted an investigation into Shirley, determining that he was returning to Cherokee County with an additional amount of methamphetamine to sell. From surveillance of Shirley, they caught up with him in the Wolf Creek area. At the time of the stop, Shirley collided with a Cherokee County Sheriff’s Office vehicle and a residence. Reports indicate that no one was hurt in the collision.

Also noted as seized property with the arrest was a Red Lexus vehicle. The arrest came after charges indicate they found Shirley in possession of methamphetamine.

Currently being held at the Cherokee Detention Center according to the reports, Shirley faces charges of Conspiring to Traffic Methamphetamine,  Possession of Methamphetamine, Resisting Public Officers, and Injury to Real Property among others.

He is also facing a probation violation in Fannin County as the report says, “Probation violation, second-degree burglary, theft by taking out of Fannin.”

His first court date is set for July 9, 2020, in Cherokee, North Carolina. According to Cherokee’s website, Shirley has bond set for the charges totaling $275,000.

A press release from Sheriff Derrick Palmer announced the June 28, 2020 arrest of Tracy Ev Shirley, a 47-year-old male from Ellijay Georgia, Miranda Kathaleen Gibson, a 29-year-old female from White County, Georgia, and the June 29, 2020 arrest of 41-year-old, Travis Bateman of Andrews, North Carolina for violations of the North Carolina Controlled Substance laws.

The releases stated, “During the month of June 2020 Investigators with the Cherokee County North Carolina Sheriff’s Office received information from Investigators in North Georgia Counties that Tracy Shirley was involved in a large scale distribution operation of illegal drugs and was presently distributing the drugs in Cherokee County North Carolina. Additionally, information supplied was that Shirley was wanted and was presently a fugitive from justice.”

Travis Bateman

From additional information obtained in the investigation, Travis Bateman was identified as a co-conspirator in the distribution operation in Cherokee County. In a search of a residence that Bateman had been occupying in the Ranger Community to distribute methamphetamine, several marijuana plants were found growing as well as other illegal controlled substances.

Tracy Ev Shirley was charged with CONSPIRE TO TRAFFIC METHAMPHETAMINE X 2, POSSESS METHAMPHETAMINE, MAINTAIN PLACE CONTROLLED SUBSTANCE, RESISTING PUBLIC OFFICER, INJURY TO REAL PROPERTY, EXTRADITION/FUGITIVE OTHER STATE, The North Carolina Magistrate set a $275,000.00 secure bond. Shirley is currently in the Cherokee County Detention Center awaiting a Cherokee County District Court date on July 09, 2020 for his initial hearing.

Miranda Kathaleen Gibson was charged with CONSPIRE TO TRAFFIC METHAMPHETAMINE, POSSESS METHAMPHETAMINE, POSSESS MARIJUANA UP TO 1/2 OZ. The North Carolina Magistrate set a $150,000.00 secure bond. Gibson is currently in the Cherokee County Detention Center awaiting a Cherokee County District Court date on July 09, 2020 for her initial hearing.

Travis Bateman was charged with POSSESS SCHEDULE I CONTROLLED SUBSTANCE, SIMPLE POSSESSION SCHEDULE II CONTROLLED SUBSTANCE, SIMPLE POSSESSION SCHEDULE V CONTROLLED SUBSTANCE, CONSPIRE TRAFFIC METHAMPHETAMINE, POSSESSION OF FIREARM BY FELON, MAINTAIN PLACE CONTROLLED SUBSTANCE, POSSESS METHAMPHETAMINE, MANUFACTURE MARIJUANA, FELONY POSSESSION MARIJUANA. The North Carolina Magistrate set a $75,000.00 secure bond. Bateman is currently in the Cherokee County Detention Center awaiting a Cherokee County District Court date on July 09, 2020 for his initial hearing.

Miranda Gibson

This is not the only arrests seen recently from what authorities are calling “Operation the Real McCoy.” Pickens County has also seen new arrests and drug seizures as a part of this operation.

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