Task force takes down drug dealers targeting teens

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new drug task force just north of Atlanta joins forces among police agencies to target the drug trade and take down dealers that market to teenagers. 

The Johns Creek, Alpharetta Forsyth Drug Task Force is made up of 18 agents who work together to take dangerous drugs off the streets in the suburbs north of Atlanta.

"This task force has taken out since January has taken out three of the largest dealers that we were aware of, selling to our local high schools between these three jurisdictions," said Sheriff Ron Freeman of Forsyth County. 

Some recent busts have netted drugs and drug paraphernalia that mimic toys, candy in the form of gummy bears and lollipops or other kids' items, sold by drug dealers to youth, Freeman said.

Recently in the Cumming area, authorities arrested Keven and Erica Pope and seized numerous drugs, drug paraphernalia and guns from their home, including colorful THC pods that appear to look like candy or a toy. 

In January, FOX 5 News told reported about the arrest of a family in the Aberdeen subdivision where a father, mother and 18-year-old son were all arrested on drug-related charges. The son 18-year-old John Coleman, deputies said, sold drugs to local high school students. 

Freeman said parents may have trouble spotting some of these deceptively manufactured drugs in their own home or child's bedroom, but can look for warning signs: 

  • changes in behavior or moods
  • drastic change in appearance and dress
  • appearing to be "high," even with no smell of marijuana in the home 
  • candies that appear to be in unusual wrappers
  • wrappers strewn about a bedroom