DOUGLASVILLE, Ga. (FOX 5 Atlanta) - The mastermind behind a pot-laced snack operation that targeted kids asked a Douglas County judge to dismiss all charges, claiming he faces double jeopardy after pleading guilty to felonies in Fulton County.
Addae Simmons and his Trill Treats company were first exposed by a December, 2017 undercover FOX 5 I-Team investigation. The Fairburn man admitted running a pot edible company from his parents' home. His Instagram page targeted high school kids and detailed the network he had set up to deliver the drugs to students inside metro high schools. Simmons charged $100 for a dozen edibles, plus a $5 delivery charge.
The page had more than 4000 followers.
High school parents contacted the FOX 5 I-Team upset their kids had secretly bought edibles through that Instagram Page, ate too much and had to be hospitalized.
We placed an order ourselves to get samples for a lab to test, meeting Simmons in a Douglasville shopping center parking lot. The independent lab later confirmed the parents’ claims.
We alerted authorities in Douglas County who did their own undercover investigation.
"I texted and asked him if I could get some cookies and cream brownies," Douglasville detective Jeff Shelton testified. "He texted back asking who this was. He said he'd have to look at my page. He got back with me and asked me what did I need and I ordered up 12 cookies and cream brownies."
After two undercover buys, Douglasville police arrested Simmons and charged him with three felonies.
Even those pushing for the legalization of marijuana criticized Simmons for marketing his products to underage customers.
After his arrest, Fulton County investigators executed a search warrant at his Fairburn home. They recovered multiple crock pots, marijuana residue, ledgers showing a $5000 monthly profit on his business and more freshly baked edibles.
In March, Simmons pled guilty to three felony counts in Fulton County involving what was discovered in his home. He received a relatively light sentence: two days a week in the Fulton County jail for a year. He still faces three felonies in Douglas County, including two counts of selling a schedule 1 drug to an undercover officer.
Simmons lawyer argued it's double jeopardy to prosecute Simmons in two different counties for what she believes is basically the same crime.
"It's clear that the actions, that they were working together, the actions were intertwined with each other," attorney Tawanna Morgan told the court. "The phone call to make the product. Then the product is made in Fulton and then taken... it's all one ongoing situation."
But chief assistant district attorney Jeff Gore pointed out that the Douglas County charges involve only what happened in that Douglasville shopping center parking lot. The edibles Simmons allegedly sold -- and the additional ones recovered from his car after the arrest -- were not part of the charges he admitted to in Fulton County.
"This guy is suddenly coming out to Douglas County and selling brownies that were ultimately confirmed to have THC content in them," Gore explained. "I don't think there's anything improper at all on how this investigation got started."
Judge Cynthia Adams says she will rule later on the motion to dismiss the charges. If she denies the motion, expect the case to be set for trial in Douglas County early next year.