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Court filing itemizes large Athens drug seizure

Updated: Aug 28, 2019

Cody Ward Palmer

The full extent of an alleged Athens drug distribution operation that involved a downtown luxury apartment complex that caters to students at the University of Georgia and other area colleges was spelled out in a recent civil filing in Clarke County Superior Court.

An investigation began in July when Athens-Clarke County police were alerted to a large amount of marijuana and cash that were seen in an apartment at The Standard of Athens at 600 Thomas St.

The investigation led to the arrests of Amanda L. Gourley, 28, and Cody Ward Palmer, 27. Both lived in an apartment on Still Creek Lane off Barnett Shoals Road, but court records indicate they also had ties to the apartment at The Standard.

Amanda L. Gourley

Palmer was booked into the county jail with a Conyers address and court records indicate his name was on the lease for the Still Creek Lane residence.

According to court records, drugs seized from both locations included: 12 pounds of marijuana; 14 grams of cocaine; 453 grams of acetaminophen, which is used as a cutting agent for heroin and cocaine; 14 grams of hallucinogenic mushrooms; 10 doses of LSD; 20 grams of ketamine, a dissociative anesthetic that is found in “date rape” drugs; 275 vape cartridges containing THC, the chemical in marijuana that produces the “high” that users experience; 20 grams of MDMA, a club drug known as ecstasy; five grams of Fentanyl, a synthetic opioid that can be up to 100 times stronger than morphine and is used as a powerful substitute for heroin; one pint of codeine, and $64,304 in cash.

The Aug. 21 civil filing by Western Judicial Circuit District Attorney Ken Mauldin was a complaint for forfeiture of the drugs, cash and a 2105 Mazda 6 valued at $8,000.

Criminally, Palmer and Gourley were arrested Aug. 1 and charged with trafficking in marijuana and possession with intent to distribute Schedule I, II and IV controlled substances.

Gourley, who had no prior criminal record, was released from jail on a $25,000 with the condition she live with her parents in Henry County while her court case is pending.

At the time of his arrest, Palmer was on probation from a 2017 conviction in Clarke County Superior Court on charges of possession with intent to distribute cocaine and hydrocodone.

He remains in custody without bail at the Clarke County Jail.

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