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Local AC thieves at heart of plea bargaining dispute

Five alleged local air conditioner thieves are at the heart of a dispute involving the Griffin Police Dept. and the Griffin circuit district attorney’s office. GPD chief Frank Strickland has alleged district attorney Scott Ballard is soft on crime and enters into too many plea agreements with criminals. The case that brought the dispute to a head involves Trawick Moore, Tracy Faron and Joseph Mueller, all of 208 Taylor St. in Barnesville; Jerez Watkins of 182 Howard Rd. in Lamar County; and Faron’s juvenile son. All were allegedly involved in an air conditioner theft ring headed up by Moore who is Faron’s common law husband. Strickland also alleged one of Ballard’s assistants told him ‘We do not put thieves in jail because there is no room.’ Strickland said Moore admitted to more than 56 thefts in Lamar, Spalding, Pike and Upson counties and, at times, was selling more than 500 pounds of copper per day as a result of multiple thefts. The cases against the members of the Faron-Moore gang have not yet gone before a grand jury in Lamar County.

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