Lee County Sheriff Reggie Rachals sits with the items seized as part of a drug bust that resulted in the recent arrests of two individuals who Lee deputies consider to be the largest meth dealers in the area. (Staff Photo: Jennifer Parks)
LEESBURG — Two individuals thought by officers with the Lee County Sheriff’s Department to be the biggest methamphetamine dealers in Lee County are behind bars.
The Lee County Narcotics Team and the Drug Enforcement Administration have been conducting several investigations in the Lee County area. Amanda Mason and Earnest Ware, who officers say are not connected but shared some of the same clients, were arrested on Friday and June 12, respectively, officials said.
During the investigation, officials with the Lee County Sheriff’s Office said Monday that evidence shows both Mason and Ware were traveling to Atlanta and purchasing several ounces of meth to bring back to Lee County. Both subjects made at least one trip a week, getting anywhere from three to eight ounces at a time. officers said. In just the past three months, officers estimate that the two suspects distributed several pounds of the drug in and around Albany.
Three vehicles have been seized along with several handguns.
The investigation is still ongoing and more arrests are expected, officers said.
“This is a good pop and I’m proud we got it off the streets,” said Lee County Sheriff Reggie Rachals.
Officials say Mason, 31, of 904 Graves Springs Road, was also arrested by the narcotics team in March for distribution of meth and several other drug offenses. Her most recent arrest has multiple charges attached to it including possession of meth with intent to distribute. She was pulled over on U.S. Highway 19 South after officers believed the had just made a drug delivery. A search of her vehicle resulted in two packages of meth being found in addition to scales.
A search of Mason’s house was also conducted. Several more items were found that are connected to making and trafficking meth, officers said. She is being held without bail.
Ware, 34, of 1252 New York Road, was arrested for trafficking meth. The narcotics team had information that Ware was on his way back from Atlanta with a large quantity of meth. A road block was staged and Ware was taken into custody. Approximately two ounces of the drug was found in Ware’s vehicle, officers said. He is being held on $200,000 bond.
About $18,000 in cash was also taken as part of the investigation. Mason and Ware could both be facing life in prison, Rachals said.