Steady stream of drugs through Washington Road motels

By: Kate Tillotson
By: Kate Tillotson

Motels along Washington Road continue attracting drug dealers.

The most recent bust happened in the 2800 block, just off the interstate.

With limited night staff, motels and narcotic teams are relying on one another to prevent drugs from checking in on Augusta's busiest road.

"We make cocaine arrests, methamphetamine arrests, arrests for marijuana, arrests for ecstasy," says Lt. Robert Partain of the Richmond County Sheriff's Office's Narcotics Division.

Just two months ago, the sheriff's office recovered nearly two grams of crack cocaine in room 121 at the Rodeway Inn.

It's become a common trend in drug dealing: "They just choose to go to a motel for whatever reason to do their business," Lt. Partain says.

Rodeway Inn general manager Perry Sareen just wants to protect his business...but he admits it is tough to monitor his customers.

"You see, from appearance it is very difficult to tell what kind of person he is," Sareen says.

That's why he requires every customer show a proper driver's license or other state ID.

But the numbers of drug dealers checking in to the Garden City remains steady.

Narcotic teams often set up surveillance on motels. It's a tool they implement after receiving a reliable tip.

But while those tips may lead to arrests, Lt. Partain doubts the amount of drugs is diminishing.

"The price of drugs are down, which means there's a great supply of drugs to be supplied--whether it be in Augusta or nationwide," he says.

It appears most of Augusta's drugs originate in Atlanta. They're delivered here, then filtered throughout the community.

The narcotics team works around the clock and it aggressively patrols motel parking lots.

The team makes roughly 100 drug busts a month.

Mailing Address: P.O. Box 1212 Augusta, GA 30903 Main Telephone: (803) 278-1212 Newsroom: (803) 278-3111 Fax: (803) 442-4561
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