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Three convicted in Hall County drug cases
Buford man among 2 receiving 12-year sentences
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A Buford man was sentenced to 12 years in prison this week after being convicted of multiple drug and traffic offenses.

It was one of three felony drug cases tried in Hall County Superior Court this week.

James Grizzle, 30, was riding a motorcycle when he fled a roadbock set up by the Georgia State Patrol on June 21, 2008, Hall County Assistant District Attorney Wanda Vance said. Grizzle was caught after he ran the motorcycle off the road while fleeing.

Troopers found six grams of methamphetamine, three tablets of the designer drug Ecstacy and a handgun under the seat of Grizzle’s motorcycle. They also found more than $4,000 in cash in a case, including $3,000 in $20 bills, Vance said.

Evidence of two later incidents involving Grizzle was introduced in court. In August 2008, Grizzle fled from Gwinnett County police in a car and on foot and escaped, discarding 6 grams of methamphetamine.

In November 2009, Grizzle wrecked his car in Gwinnett County. When officers responded, they found a pipe with meth residue and a handgun in the back seat, and Grizzle was carrying $2,400 in cash.

A Hall County jury deliberated for 2½ hours before finding Grizzle guilty of all counts, which included possession of methamphetamine with intent to distribute, possession of MDMA, possession of a firearm during the commission of a felony, fleeing and attempting to elude and reckless driving.

Judge Jason Deal sentenced Grizzle to consecutive prison sentences totaling 25 years, with 12 years to serve in prison and the remainder on probation.

Another drug defendant was sentenced to 12 years in prison in Judge C. Andrew Fuller’s court this week.

Joseph Ahmad, 39, of Flowery Branch was arrested on charges of driving while his license was suspended and no proof of insurance in May 2008. A search of his car turned up 132 MDMA pills, which contain methamphetamine, Assistant District Attorney Lindsay Burton said.

Ahmad admitted to possessing the drugs, but claimed he was working as a confidential informant for the Multi-Agency Narcotics Squad, Burton said. A MANS agent testified that while he knew the defendant, Ahmad was not working for him and he had no knowledge that he possessed the illegal drugs.

A Hall County jury found Ahmad guilty of trafficking in methamphetamine, possession of MDMA, Violation of the Georgia Controlled Substance Act, driving on a suspended license and no insurance.

Fuller sentenced Ahmad to 30 years, with 12 years to serve in prison and the remainder on probation, and ordered him to pay a $200,000 fine, Burton said.

Also this week, a man who ditched a car containing cocaine, MDMA and marijuana pleaded guilty at the close of his trial.

Shomarkus Shields, 30, pleaded guilty to possession of cocaine with intent to distribute, violation of the Georgia Controlled Substance Act by possession of MDMA with intent to distribute, and possession of marijuana with intent to distribute.

Prosecutors said Shields and another man, 29-year-old Dwayne Brown, abandoned a car on Half Circle after a Gainesville police car pulled up behind it. The car belonged to Shields.

After the state finished presenting its evidence, Judge Kathlene Gosselin granted a directed verdict of not guilty for Brown in the circumstantial case.

Shields was sentenced to four years in prison followed by 11 years of probation.