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Badge and Bar: Man found guilty in meth trafficking case
Victor Alfonso Martinez
Victor Alfonso Martinez

A man on trial in Hall County Superior Court on drug trafficking charges was found guilty on most charges last Thursday.

Keith Gregory Bennett was convicted by a Hall County jury Oct. 24 of trafficking 200 or more grams of methamphetamine.

The 29-year-old Flowery Branch man was indicted in January on charges of trafficking methamphetamine, possession of methamphetamine with intent to distribute, possession of marijuana with intent to distribute, possession of marijuana, two counts of violation of the Georgia Controlled Substances Act, possession of a firearm by a convicted felon and possession of a firearm during the commission of a crime.

He was found not guilty on the marijuana charges and pleaded guilty to the gun possession charge.

Bennett was sentenced to 15 years in prison and 10 years’ probation. He was ordered to pay a $525,000 fine.

Agents arrested Bennett at Dorsey Circle in Gainesville on Oct. 17, 2012, after an investigation by the Multi Agency Narcotics Squad.

A co-defendant, Kenny Choe Pogue, 28, of Dawsonville, pleaded guilty and was sentenced to 25 years in prison and 15 years’ probation.

Arraignment scheduled on murder charge

A man accused of malice murder in the death of a young child is scheduled for arraignment today in Hall County Superior Court.

Victor Alfonso Martinez, 31, had previously been implicated in the then-newborn’s shaking injuries and was indicted on the murder charge in September, stemming from the March death of the 6-year-old boy.

In 2006, Martinez, also listed in the indictment as Victor Ledesma, pleaded guilty to four counts of aggravated battery and cruelty to a child in the first degree after the days-old infant, Edwin Ledesma, suffered severe injuries by shaking.

The boy succumbed to those injuries on March 11, the indictment states. According to court records of the 2006 charges, the baby suffered retinal bleeding, which caused blindness, deafness and a fractured leg.

Martinez is currently serving a 20-year sentence in state prison.

Two-day gun safety course set for Nov. 7, 9

The Gainesville Police Department is offering a two-day handgun safety course for citizens age 21 and over.

Students will attend the classroom portion of the course on the evening of Nov. 7, and have a “live fire” session at a range Nov. 9 in the morning, police said.

The course is free and open to the public, and will teach participants about all aspects of safe and legal handgun use. Students will learn rules for safe weapon handling, cycle of operation, ammunition selection, shooting fundamentals and positions, and there will be instruction on Georgia’s gun-carry laws.

Police said seats are limited, and citizens are required to consent to a background check, have a valid government ID and sign a release and indemnity waiver.

Applications can be picked up at the Gainesville Justice Center at 701 Queen City Parkway. Call 770-531-6590 for more information.

Emma Witman covers public safety issues for The Times. Share your thoughts, news tips and questions with her:


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