Madison County authorities execute search warrant on South Tusten, arrest four

“They were eating away from their own back yard, I suppose.” - Madison County Lt. Jimmy Patton

Five law enforcement agencies have filed felony warrants against four men, implicating them in a wide-ranging crime spree in Northeast Georgia.

The four men were arrested after Madison County Sheriff’s Department investigators and Elberton Police Department investigators executed a search warrant on South Tusten Street May 12.

“They were eating away from their own back yard, I suppose,” Madison County Lt. Jimmy Patton said, offering an explanation on why the four men were living in Elberton. “One of the four was living with a girl, so that might have had something to do with it. She left the house about two 

days before we obtained the search warrant in Elbert County.”

“Thank you to the Elberton Police Department and Royston Police Department for your assistance in the arrest (of the four men),” the Madison County Sheriff’s Department posted on its Facebook page Thursday.

The charges filed by authorities accuse the men of mostly breaking into businesses from Center community in Jackson County to a store near Hartwell.

The crimes occurred mostly in April and early May.

After allegedly robbing an ATM machine stolen from a Hart County store on May 6, Madison County Sheriff’s Investigator Steve Kimbel said the four took “a vacation” to Panama City, Florida.

The suspects were arrested on May 12 when investigators with the Madison County Sheriff’s Office showed up with a search warrant obtained in Elbert County at a house where they were living on a quiet street in Elberton.

The suspects were identified as Christian Seth Deese, 18, Leon Dewayne McKenzie, 28, James Ryan Holley, 19, all of Elberton, and Zackery Dannen Wade, 18, of Bowman. 

Holley also had a Colbert address, while Deese had identification showing he lived in Chester, S.C.

Madison investigators charged them with breaking into car washes in Danielsville and Colbert in early May.

On Tuesday, Jackson County Sheriff Janis Mangum announced the four suspects are charged with the May 3 attempted burglary of D’s Chevron on Old Highway 441 in Center community. The men allegedly shattered the glass door, but apparently fled without stealing anything when the burglar alarm sounded. As in some of the other crimes, investigators said surveillance video showed suspects dressed in dark clothing, masks, gloves and hoodies.

In Hart County, Sheriff Cleveland said Thursday the suspects are charged with attempting to break into the M&M store on Highway 172 on April 26 and with breaking into the Royal Food Store on Highway 77 on May 6, the latter in which they allegedly stole an ATM machine. 

The battered machine was later found minus its money, the sheriff said.

In Banks County, Sheriff’s Sgt. Carissa McFaddin said the suspects are charged with the May 12 burglary of Homer Grocery & Gas on Highway 59. In addition, they are charged with felony theft of a four-wheeler from a private residence off Highway 59 and a dirt bike on May 13 from Pool & Spa Clearance Center in the Banks Crossing area.

Both vehicles along with some of the cash from the store burglary were recovered, McFaddin said.

The Elbert County Sheriff’s Office charged the men with felony theft of a four-wheeler on May 11 from a home on Balchin Road.

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Mailing Address:
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Elberton, GA  30635

Phone: 706-283-8500
Fax: 706-283-9700