Hahira, Lenox men arrested in firearms probe

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ADEL — Men from Hahira and Lenox were arrested in recent days on charges stemming from a firearms theft probe, law enforcement officials said.

A joint investigation led authorities on June 1 to a home in Hahira shared by Jordan C. Royal, 26, and James May, 23, a Cook County Sheriff’s Office statement said.

A search of the home found five firearms, including two reported stolen from Berrien and Lowndes counties, plus a rifle that had been illegally modified to fire fully automatic, the statement said.

Evidence of the manufacture of homemade “suppressors” — which mute the sound and hide the flash of weapons — was found, as were ballistic armor plates and “plate carriers,” a form of body armor vest, stolen from a Georgia State Patrol car in Tift County, the sheriff’s statement said.

May, a convicted felon, was arrested at the scene, while Royal was arrested by Berrien County on an unrelated warrant, the statement said.

As the investigation continued, a search warrant was carried out June 7 at the home of Chase White, 30, in Lenox, where investigators found more items taken from a trooper’s car, including a rifle with the State Patrol seal and additional body armor plates, carriers and gas masks, according to the statement.

White was not at home at the time, but three days later, his car was spotted at another Lenox residence; when White did not come to the door, a state patrol SWAT team was called in, only to find that White had left the home earlier, the sheriff’s office said.

He was picked up in a car on U.S. 41 south of Lenox and taken into custody.

May and White each face charges of possession by a convicted felon and theft by receiving stolen property, and the probe is being referred to federal authorities, the sheriff’s office said.

Terry Richards is senior reporter at The Valdosta Daily Times.

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