Law enforcement has made five more arrests since the death of Hall County Deputy Nicolas Blane Dixon “that stem from other crimes committed by a group of individuals associated with the persons involved” in the shooting.
The Georgia Bureau of Investigation announced Wednesday the arrests of Jiovanny Castillo, 17, Antony Macias, 18, Adrian Gonzalez Verduzco, 18, Rodolfo Rodriguez Puentes, 17, and Jorge Rodriguez, 19.
All of those arrested are from Gainesville and were charged with tampering with evidence and hindering apprehension of a criminal.
“Macias, Verduzco, Puentes and Rodriguez were additionally charged with theft by receiving stolen property,” according to a press release.
Hector Garcia-Solis, London Alexander Clements, Brayan Omar Cruz and Eric Edgardo Velazquez, all 17, have been charged with felony murder in Dixon’s slaying. Police have alleged Garcia-Solis was the shooter.
Law enforcement has also recovered 25 of 27 stolen firearms taken July 6 from Double Deuce Pawn and Gun Store on Shallowford Road.
“A large cache of ammunition and two crossbows were also recovered. Additional crimes were identified as having been done by this group. As a result of the joint investigation, an additional firearm and seven stolen vehicles have been recovered,” according to the news release.
Double Deuce Pawn owner Jesse Mowbray said he was shut down for roughly four days as he took inventory, spoke with law enforcement and worked on getting the store back in order.
“To be honest with you, I’ve kind of gone through this kind of thing before but not with this quantity of guns. Whenever someone breaks into your shop, you feel violated. You don’t know what’s missing. You don’t know what’s going to happen,” Mowbray said.
The missing firearms included shotguns, long guns, handguns and even an AK-47.
Mowbray said tie-down straps were tied around the front door and then attached to a vehicle to pull the door open.
The GBI said it has solved six related burglaries, two thefts of motor vehicles and three entering auto cases.
“Solis and Velazquez will face additional charges related to the burglaries, theft of motor vehicles and entering autos,” according to the news release.
Dixon was shot to death in an exchange of gunfire in Gainesville July 7 after pulling over a car and engaging in a foot pursuit with four suspects. Police said the car was stolen, and a preliminary investigation showed the pawn shop burglary was connected.
Solis was hit multiple times and is still under medical care.
Sheriff Gerald Couch released a statement Wednesday, July 17:
“In the days since the line of duty death of Deputy Nicolas Blane Dixon, members of the Hall County Sheriff’s Office team have devoted themselves to honoring our fallen colleague while at the same time continuing their law enforcement duties.
“A monumental part of those duties has been the tireless efforts of personnel with the HCSO Criminal Investigations Division. Our CID members have spent a total of approximately 1,200 hours working the investigation into Dep, Dixon’s death.
“A large part of the work has centered on locating the firearms stolen during a burglary that was a precursor to the events leading to the gunshot that claimed Dep. Dixon’s life.”
Couch went on to say the investigation was a collaborative effort.
“Members of the Sheriff’s Office, Gainesville Police Department and the Georgia Bureau of Investigation worked side-by-side, around the clock at times, to bring the case to this point. While the events of the past week have been difficult for Dep. Dixon’s family, our agency and this community, I take heart in the spirit of cooperation this multi-agency investigative team has shown in its successful work.”