Updated: Oct 23, 2019
By Joe Johnson
After identifying a third suspect in the murder of a Watkinsville teen three months ago, members of a local and federal task force tracked him down to Mexico, where he was arrested last week for the shooting death of Joseph “Joey” Kendall Jackson near the victim’s home on Whippoorwill Road.
Athens brothers Akhemu Nehisi Dunston, 18, and Quentin Keith Dunston, 19, were arrested later in the week of the deadly shooting and were charged with malice murder and aggravated assault.
Ryan Timothy O’Neal, 18, was captured in a joint effort by sheriff’s deputies with Oconee and Wilkes counties and the FBI Safe Streets Task Force.
When investigators learned that 18-year-old Dallas Logan McCabe of Tennessee had also been involved in the alleged murder, they obtained warrants for his arrest, but McCabe’s identity was withheld from the public for tactical reasons, Berry said.
“We knew McCabe had gone to Mexico, first to Juarez and then to Mexico City,” the sheriff said. “We had to let him get comfortable and think that we had forgotten about him, or didn't even know who he was,” he said.
“We wanted him to relax and let him let his guard down,” which he did,” Berry said.
Mexican police took McCabe into custody Thursday night.
Berry said investigators know who the gunmen were as well as their motive for killing Jackson.
“I think the state’s evidence will be there was some gang involvement” in Jackson’s death, he said.
According to Berry, the day after Jackson was killed, he involved Oconee deputies with the Northeast Georgia Safe Streets Task Force, a federally-funded program that is led by the FBI with a goal of reducing violent crime nationwide.
FBI international legal attaches were involved in the case, as was the U.S, State Department, Berry said.
“All the while the net was closing in on McCabe.” The sheriff said. “The Mexican authorities placed him under observation until his apprehension. He was deported upon apprehension and delivered to FBI agents and my deputies in Atlanta at the airport.”
All four suspects were being held without bail at the Oconee County Jail.
Berry said that his agency now has a deputy assigned full time to the Safe Streets Task Force
“This is a budget neutral decision, as we continue to pay his salary, but any other expenses are paid by the FBI,” the sheriff said. “We needed to extend our reach into criminal street gangs and other investigations that touch on our county and our citizens. “