The following press release has been issued by Cherokee County Sheriff's Office. All suspects are presumed innocent until proven guilty in a court of law.
Murphy, NC— Sheriff Derrick Palmer announced the June 28, 2020 arrest of Tracy Ev Shirley, a 47-year \-old male from Ellijay, Georgia, Miranda Kathaleen Gibson, a 29-year-old female from White County, Georgia, and the June 29, 2020 arrest of 41-year-old Travis Bateman of Andrews, North Carolina for violations of the North Carolina Controlled Substance laws.
During the month of June 2020, investigators with the Cherokee County North Carolina Sheriff’s Office received information from investigators in North Georgia counties that Tracy Shirley was involved in a large scale distribution operation of illegal drugs and was presently distributing the drugs in Cherokee County, North Carolina. Additionally, information supplied was that Shirley was wanted and was presently a fugitive from justice. (GBI Press Release https://gbi.georgia.gov/…/operation-real-mccoy-yields-47-ar…)
From this information, the Cherokee County investigators conducted an investigation and was able to determine that Shirley was returning to Cherokee County with an additional amount of methamphetamine to sell in Cherokee County, North Carolina. From surveillance of Shirley, a stop in the Wolf Creek area of Cherokee County was done and Shirley along with Gibson were taken into custody and incarcerated in the Cherokee County Detention Center in Murphy, North Carolina. At the time of the stop, Shirley collided with a Cherokee County Sheriff’s Office vehicle and a residence. No one was hurt in the collision.
From additional information obtained in the investigation, Travis Bateman was identified as a co-conspirator in the distribution operation in Cherokee County. In a search of a residence that Bateman had been occupying in the Ranger Community to distribute methamphetamine, several marijuana plants were found growing as well as other illegal controlled substances.
Tracy Ev Shirley was charged with CONSPIRE TO TRAFFIC METHAMPHETAMINE X 2, POSSESS METHAMPHETAMINE, MAINTAIN PLACE CONTROLLED SUBSTANCE, RESISTING PUBLIC OFFICER, INJURY TO REAL PROPERTY, EXTRADITION/FUGITIVE OTHER STATE, The North Carolina Magistrate set a $275,000.00 secure bond. Shirley is currently in the Cherokee County Detention Center awaiting a Cherokee County District Court date on July 9, 2020 for his initial hearing.
Miranda Kathaleen Gibson was charged with CONSPIRE TO TRAFFIC METHAMPHETAMINE, POSSESS METHAMPHETAMINE, POSSESS MARIJUANA UP TO 1/2 OZ. The North Carolina Magistrate set a $150,000.00 secure bond. Gibson is currently in the Cherokee County Detention Center awaiting a Cherokee County District Court date on July 9, 2020 for her initial hearing.
Travis Bateman was charged with POSSESS SCHEDULE I CONTROLLED SUBSTANCE, SIMPLE POSSESSION SCHEDULE II CONTROLLED SUBSTANCE, SIMPLE POSSESSION SCHEDULE V CONTROLLED SUBSTANCE, CONSPIRE TRAFFIC METHAMPHETAMINE, POSSESSION OF FIREARM BY FELON, MAINTAIN PLACE CONTROLLED SUBSTANCE, POSSESS METHAMPHETAMINE, MANUFACTURE MARIJUANA, FELONY POSSESSION MARIJUANA. The North Carolina Magistrate set a $75,000.00 secure bond. Bateman is currently in the Cherokee County Detention Center awaiting a Cherokee County District Court date on July 9, 2020 for his initial hearing.
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