The Cherokee Multi-Agency Narcotics Squad (CMANS) is one of the premier narcotics squads in Georgia. The officers assigned to CMANS have been extremely successful in their efforts to combat the drug problems in Cherokee County. Their success is due in large part to the continued commitment and support of the participating task force agencies as well as the assistance of the citizens of Cherokee County.
The CMANS was formed in 1993 to combat drugs in Cherokee County in a united effort. All law enforcement agencies in Cherokee County were invited to participate in the task force. Agents from the City of Canton and the City of Woodstock joined Cherokee deputies, a Georgia Bureau of Investigation (GBI) supervisor and a Georgia State Patrol Trooper to start the CMANS. Since that time the City of Holly Springs has added an agent, and the total number of sworn agents is now fifteen.
When originally formed the task force was funded by a federal grant, but over the years the grant amount declined until in 2003 the task force funding was assumed by the local agencies involved. Originally the GBI provided an Assistant Special Agent in Charge to command the combined effort.
As the State Budget was reduced in 2009 local law enforcement was required to assume supervision of the task force. While the GBI and the Georgia State Patrol no longer provide staff to the CMANS, they continue to provide valuable leadership as representatives on the CMANS Control Board.
Chief Mark Mitchell of the Canton Police Department is currently the Chairman of the CMANS Control Board.
Control Board Members are:
- Cherokee Sheriff Frank Reynolds
- Pickens Sheriff Donnie Craig
- Woodstock Chief of Police Calvin Moss
- Holly Springs Chief of Police Mike Carswell
- Ball Ground Chief of Police R. Bryon Reeves
- Canton Chief of Police Mark Mitchell
- Cherokee Chief Marshal Ron Hunton
- District Attorney of the Blue Ridge Judicial Circuit Shannon Wallace
- Sgt. Tim Nichols of the Georgia State Patrol
In addition, the Control Board encourages participation by other Cherokee law enforcement agencies.
The law enforcement executives who sit on the Control Board provide guidance and oversight to the management and operations of the CMANS. The members approve major expenditures and provide guidance in personnel matters. The Control Board unifies the investigation of drug-related matters, as the law enforcement executive from every agency in Cherokee County is actively involved in the guidance of the Commander of CMANS.
The Director of Drug Enforcement is a retired Special Agent-in-Charge from the Georgia Bureau of Investigation. The Director along with the Commander manage CMANS and are both employed by the Cherokee Sheriff’s Office, and have more than 50 years of law enforcement experience combined.
The dedicated response to the methamphetamine lab problem in Georgia has been successful. In the Southern United States, the location and investigation of methamphetamine clandestine laboratories has decreased significantly. In 2009 CMANS only seized one methamphetamine laboratory in Cherokee County Georgia. There is still a large problem with the use and possession of methamphetamine, but the existence of volatile laboratories has slowed.
During 2010 and 2011, CMANS Agents mounted substantial efforts against an increase in the abuse and sales of prescription medication. Agents worked with medical professionals and other law enforcement agencies to fight the increase in prescription forgery cases and doctor shopping. A Summit was held by CMANS to being law enforcement officers, prosecutors, pharmacists and medical doctors together to address this problem in November of 2011. About 100 participants heard from subject matter experts about their experiences in this area.
In 2012, the pressure on prescription medications resulted in an upsurge in the seizure of heroin in Cherokee County. CMANS Agents made the first Heroin Trafficking case in the history of Cherokee County in 2012. The drug problem in Cherokee County and metro Atlanta continues to evolve and CMANS Agents participate in advanced training to keep pace with the current trends. CMANS Agents receive on average 100 hours of training per agent each year.
In 2019, Pickens County joined CMANS allowing CMANS Agents to fight the drug epidemic in two neighboring counties.
CMANS appreciates the continued assistance of the Cherokee & Pickens County citizens. To report a drug dealer call the tip line at 770-345-7920 or by submitting a tip online. The calls and online tips can be anonymous. You can also contact an agent with CMANS at (678) 493-7625.