Three convicted felons found with guns and drugs at Clarke Gardens


Christopher Ryan Middlebrooks

Deneraious La'Quete Barnes

Christopher George Austin

By Joe Johnson

Three convicted felons were arrested Tuesday after they were found to be illegally in possession of guns and drugs at Clarke Gardens apartments, according to an Athens-Clarke County police report.

The incident occurred at about 11 a.m. when Officer Jeremiah Theus responded to the apartment complex off Barnett Shoals Road to investigate a report that three males were driving around in a car and waving guns.

Upon arrival, Theus saw the car backed into a parking space in front of an apartment on Carriage Court, according to the report, and one of the occupants, later identified as Deneraious La'Quete Barnes, exited the vehicle and walked to the apartment while ignoring the officer’s commands to stop.

The car’s other occupants, Christopher Ryan Middlebrooks and Christopher George Austin, were detained in handcuffs as the officer continued to investigate, the report noted.

The officer reportedly briefly drew his pistol when Middlebrooks and Austin did not obey his command to show him their hands.

A couple minutes later, Barnes exited the apartment and returned to the car, which he said was his, and he was also placed into custody, according to the report.

When the resident of the apartment later arrived, she said she knew Barnes but he did not live with her and had never spent the night at her place, the report noted.

Theus then spoke to one of the woman’s children, who told the officer that Barnes entered the apartment and believed that he hid something, according to the report.

With the resident’s consent, the apartment was subsequently searched but no contraband was found, according to the report.

However, “An investigation revealed that Barnes, Middlebrooks and Austin were in possession of three separate firearms in the vehicle,” Theus wrote in the report, at which time all three suspects were each arrested for possession of a firearm by a convicted felon.

Middlebrooks was additionally charged with possession of a firearm during the commission of a felony, possession of prescription drugs outside of the original container, two counts of possession of a Schedule IV controlled substance and possession of a Schedule I controlled substance, according to the report.

According to the Clarke County Sheriff's Office, Barnes, 24, of Crest Way was released from jail upon posting a $5,000bond; Austin, 26 of Blake Way, was released on a $5,000 own recognizance bond; and Middlebrooks, of Carriage Court, 25, Court, was denied bond due to a pair of felony probation violations.

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