Big bust sheds light on old cases in Bulloch, Screven counties

Big bust sheds light on old cases in Bulloch, Screven counties
(Source: WTOC)

SCREVEN CO., GA (WTOC) - A federal indictment led to the arrests of 20 suspects in Bulloch and Screven counties, including one taken down in a manhunt we showed you on Wednesday.

The case could involve even more than illegal drug and gun sales.

The federal indictment, announced Wednesday, helps shed new light on two unsolved cases in Screven County. The dramatic capture of John Joyner gave authorities all but one suspect in a 20-person federal case. Sheriff Mike Kile says the federal and state help, including undercover agents, helped his small town agency solve a big crime problem.

"This is one of the biggest we've ever had. It will help knock this thing in the head for a little while," Sheriff Kile, Screven County, said.

He says the arrests could also help them solve other cases. Last October, a woman came home to burglars looking for money who killed her then set the home on fire. Two years ago, Travis Tankersly disappeared and hasn't been found yet. Teams searching for him back then believe he'd gotten crossed up with someone over drugs. Kile says he hopes one of the 20 suspects in the indictment can offer up some information.

"It's as aggravating as it can be," Sheriff Kile said. "Because the family deserves closure and peace of mind in what happened."

He's glad their two-year investigation has now made it this far.

The sheriff hopes people realize now the complaints and the tips they passed along about this didn't fall on deaf ears.

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