Largest Heroin Bust in Cherokee County Leads to 45-Year Prison Sentence for Woodstock Man

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Photo by Ichigo121212 on Pixabay

Following the largest heroin bust in Cherokee County history, Edward “Jay” Lionel Ball was convicted on Feb. 9, of multiple drug charges, including distribution of methamphetamine, distribution of heroin, trafficking heroin, manufacturing heroin and possession of a firearm by a convicted felon.

Ball was sentenced to 60 years, with 45 years to serve in confinement and the remainder on probation.

Superior Court Judge David Cannon Jr. handed down the sentence on March 9.

As a repeat-offender, Ball will be required to serve the entire prison portion of his sentence without parole eligibility. The case was prosecuted by Assistant District Attorney Rachel Clark on behalf of the state.

The charges stemmed from a Cherokee Multi-Agency Narcotics Squad investigation that began when they received a tip about Reginald Jerome Foster selling methamphetamine in Cherokee County. During the investigation, prosecutors say Ball was observed supplying Foster with methamphetamine and heroin in a Woodstock subdivision parking lot.

The drugs were later sold to an undercover agent.

On June 27, 2019, law enforcement executed a search warrant at Ball’s rented house in the Kingsgate subdivision. Police say they discovered nearly a pound of heroin in a baking dish on the stove, surrounded by kitchen tools and cutting agents. The house was deemed unsafe for habitation due to the hazardous levels of heroin in the air, and law enforcement had to wear hazmat gear to complete the search.

According to the Georgia Bureau of Investigation, the heroin found in Ball’s home totaled more than 245 grams, well above the 28 grams required for the highest level of trafficking charge under Georgia law. Agents also found methamphetamine, scales and baggies for distribution, handguns and ammunition at the scene.

A co-defendant testified that Ball used his kitchen to “cut” the heroin, adding substances to expand the product and increase profit. The co-defendant also recounted traveling with Ball to buy and sell large amounts of drugs in the metro Atlanta area and described how Ball would become physically violent if she tried to leave their partnership.

Acting District Attorney Susan K. Treadaway expressed satisfaction with the jury’s verdict and sentence, saying, “The jury verdict and sentence in this case ensure that another drug operation has ceased, and Mr. Ball will never again sell drugs in our county.”

During the investigation and prosecution of this case, Foster, 39, and Katie Marissa Zepeta, 35, were also charged for their part in the crimes. Both pleaded guilty and were sentenced to 20 years, with 10 to serve in confinement.

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