Sheriff Wendell Beam issues press release in response to The GRIP article


Recently Sheila A. Mathews published an article in the GRIP which indicated members of the Spalding County Sheriff’s Office engaged in an illegal narcotics investigation in 2012. This incident is not involved in a current litigation process; therefore I am at liberty to respond to Sheila A. Mathew’s article.

In November 2012, members of the Spalding County Sheriff’s Office Narcotics Unit were involved in an investigation. An individual in this investigation offered to provide information to the Agents. This individual volunteered to provide information on another person who was involved in illegal drug trafficking. The individual involved in the investigation and who had authority over the vehicle gave permission to the Agents to install a tracking device on the vehicle. The individual agreed to notify the Agents when he had contact with the person who was trafficking illegal drugs. The purpose of the tracking device was to enable the Agents to follow the movement of the vehicle at that time.

The tracking device was installed on the vehicle with the voluntary consent of the operator. The operator was told to notify the Agents when a meeting was arranged with the person trafficking drugs.

The tracking device used by the Agents is automatically activated when it is installed. The activity or location of the vehicle is not known by the Agents unless they Monitor the log created by the device. The tracking system creates an activity log available to Agents.

In this case the Agents did not Monitor the log. They were waiting to be notified when contact would be made with the person trafficking drugs.

The individual operating the vehicle did not contact the Agents and they did not monitor the vehicles activities. After approximately a week contact was made between the Agents and the individual. Since no contact had been made with the person trafficking drugs the tracking device was removed and that investigation ended.

During the investigation the Agents contacted a member of the District Attorney’s Office. The Assistant District Attorney confirmed that they did not need a Court Order to install the tracking device when the operator gave consent to have it installed.

Since the investigation did not result in any arrest or recovery of illegal drugs the tracking log was never printed nor was the activity of the vehicle Monitored. The Agent in charge did not print the log nor did he authorize any other Agents in the unit to print the log.

The article by Shelia A. Mathews states she is in possession of a 112 page tracker report. Since it was never authorized to print the tracking log, the question is “how did she come to be in possession of it?” The company that sold the tracking device is no longer in business.

I want to take this opportunity to insure the citizens of Griffin and Spalding County, that as your Sheriff, I maintain a high standard of conduct for myself and all my employees. We strive to provide the highest level of conduct at all times within the limits of the law.


  1. “the question is ‘how did she come to be in possession of it?'”

    How is that the question? Is the sheriff implying that Sheila Mathews is lying about having a report, or that she obtained the report through some nefarious means? I’m pretty sure she’s not lying, and since she’s not a cop, she doesn’t need a search warrant to obtain the report. I dunno, but it seems like the sheriff is trying to distract us from the issue, instead of addressing it.

  2. Martin L. Sullivan says:

    ? So, who is crooked here and did nothing not really happen

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