Collared: Georgia man gets prison after dog finds meth-filled bag

VALDOSTA, Ga. — A southwest Georgia man, collared by a dog that found a bag full of narcotics, will spend 75 months in federal prison.

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Timothy Bernard Reese, 44, of Meigs, also must serve three years of supervised release after he pleaded guilty to possession with intent to distribute methamphetamine, according to a news release from the U.S. Attorney’s Office from the Middle District of Georgia.

There is no parole in the federal system.

“The unusual facts in this case do not diminish the serious consequences repeat offenders face when caught trafficking methamphetamine in the Middle District of Georgia,” acting U.S. Attorney Peter D. Leary said in a statement. “Our office, working alongside our law enforcement partners, will work to bring to justice those who repeatedly break the law and endanger citizens by their criminal actions.”

According to the news release, a resident in Ochlocknee, Georgia, called authorities on Dec. 13, 2019, about a suspicious brown satchel found by his dog. The canine had come home carrying the satchel, and when the resident opened it he found what appeared to be large quantities of illegal narcotics.

The dog usually roams the area and brings his owner undesirable, smelly trash, Louis Schofill, Thomas County’s narcotics-vice commander, told the Thomasville Times-Enterprise in December 2019.

The contents turned out to be meth, and there were 154.78 grams inside the satchel, according to the news release.

About 13 lottery tickets were also found inside the satchel, according to the Times-Enterprise.

Authorities in Thomasville and Thomas County used the lottery tickets to pinpoint where and when they were bought and observed Reese buying them, federal prosecutors said.

On Dec. 17, 2019, a woman filed a report with the Cairo Police Department, alleging that four days earlier, Reese came to her room at the Grady Lodge in Cairo, located in nearby Grady County, and struck her in the face, demanding to know where his narcotics were, WSB-TV reported.

The woman suffered a fractured eye socket, the television station reported.

Reese was arrested on Dec. 19, 2019, according to the news release. Reese later admitted to authorities that the satchel belonged to him and that he intended to distribute the methamphetamine.

“Reese admitted to putting the bag there,” Schofill told the Times-Enterprise. “We will take any help we can get from the community, even from a dog.”