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Five face heroin trafficking charges
Brandon Gilbert
Brandon Gilbert

Five Gainesville residents were arrested on heroin trafficking charges Tuesday, according to law enforcement authorities.

The estimated street value of the drugs seized exceeded $7,200, authorities said.

Harold Gilbert, 37, Joseph Andrew Washington, 27, David Johnson, 29, and Karen Christine Reed, 23, are charged with trafficking heroin and possession of marijuana with the intent to distribute.

Washington and Gilbert were additionally charged with possession of heroin with the intent to distribute and reckless conduct.

“Possessing 4 or more grams of heroin constitutes trafficking,” Lt. Scott Ware said, who heads the Multi-Agency Narcotics Squad.

With other drugs, such as cocaine or methamphetamine, a trafficking charge constitutes an ounce, or 28 grams. But heroin is both more dangerous, and more expensive.

“Where typically cocaine and meth run at about 100 dollars a gram; heroin runs 400 dollars a gram,” he said.

18 grams of heroin was seized, Ware said.

Brandon Tremain Gilbert, 18, and son of Harold Gilbert, was charged with being a party to the crimes of possession of marijuana with the intent to distribute and possession of heroin with the intent to distribute.

MANS agents stopped a car being driven by Brandon Gilbert in the 3000 block of Athens Highway, Ware said. Also in the car were Harold Gilbert and an infant.

A search of the car led to the seizure of heroin and marijuana, and both Gilberts were arrested.

Agents then executed a search warrant at a Baker Road home, where after finding heroin, marijuana, digital scales and packaging materials, residents Washington, Johnson and Reed were arrested, Ware said.

“Between the car and the house, it was one big investigation, with the main target being Harold Gilbert,” Ware said.

The elder Gilbert had a 2-year-old with him, and later was charged with tampering with evidence when handing off the child at the office, Ware said.

“Basically he jammed a wad of drug money in his 2-year-old’s diaper, and we caught him,” Ware said.

All five suspects were booked in at the Hall County Jail and are being held without bond.

Both Gilberts, Washington and Reed requested a committal hearing, set for Sept. 16. Johnson, declining a probable cause hearing, will have his next appearance in Superior Court.

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