FORSYTH COUNTY, Ga. - Deputies charged and arrested a wanted man who dug a hole and stashed his loaded gun outside the Forsyth County courthouse.
Forsyth investigators said 23-year-old Sheldon Oliver is still in the Forsyth County Jail on charges of burglary, reckless conduct and carrying a weapon without a license. He has a bond of more than $25,000.
"Do I believe he had intent to do harm inside the courthouse? No. There's no evidence to lead to that. But yet this is a person involved in criminal activity," said Sheriff Ron Freeman, concerned a member of the public and children could have gotten their hands on the weapon.
"You can't take anything for granted. Was it something innocuous? Was it an explosive device?" Freeman said.
Deputies said Oliver wanted to hide his weapon that is banned from the courthouse and traveled there to appear in court as a suspect in a prowling case.
After digging a hole and burying a Louis Vuitton bag with the loaded handgun, investigators said civilian and deputy staff watched the man on surveillance cameras and then walk towards the courthouse.
Deputies then allowed Oliver to walk through metal detectors before confronting him.
Unbeknownst to Oliver, deputies had a warrant for his arrest for an armed burglary of a donation box at a local Islamic Center.
Freeman said this is an example of how law enforcement must constantly be vigilant of possible threats outside any courthouse. In 2014, gunman Dennis Marx stormed the old courthouse in a vehicle loaded with guns and grenades.
"We're very aware of the dangers that can happen ... No, We're never going to let our guard down," Freeman said.
UPDATE: Oliver pleaded guilty in January 2019, according to the Forsyth County District Attorney’s Office, and the case has been closed.