Special to the Enterprise
The Brantley Enterprise has learned that a Brantley County fugitive wanted on several warrants escaped an extensive manhunt in southwest Glynn County by local and state police on the ground and in the air Monday.
The search, which began after 5 p.m. and went on well past 9 p.m., commenced when two suspects fled a residence at 495 Old Brookman Road and while the search did not include Brantley officials it drew questions from Brantley residents about the activity just across the county line.
The two suspects who bolted from the house were Jeremiah Bennett, who is wanted by the Brantley County Sheriff’s Office on a number of warrants, and Gerald Ashley Smith.
Smith tripped and fell while trying to flee and was quickly taken into custody, but Bennett made it to the woods and was able to evade police the rest of the night.
Smith was charged with the alleged manufacture of methamphetamine, a homemade stimulant sold on the streets, after police found an alleged meth lab inside the Brookman Roley.
Bennett is wanted in Brantley County on warrants for robbery, aggravated battery and possession of a firearm by a felon. He also is wanted for allegedly manufacturing meth.
Glynn County Police Chief Matt Doering said Bennett and Smith darted from the back door of the residence.
Smith allegedly had in his possession a bag containing items needed for the manufacture of meth. He was arrested and charged with manufacturing the illegal drug.
A K-9 unit attempted to track Bennett, but the effort proved futile, Doering said.
Others were brought in to assist in the search, including deputies with tracking dogs from the Camden County Sheriff’s Office. Glynn County Sheriff Neal Jump and officers with the Glynn-Brunswick Narcotics Enforcement Team also participated in the search.
Doering said a helicopter crew, who switched to night vision after dark, from the Georgia State Patrol was requested due to the severity of the charges against Bennett.
At around 9 p.m., the pilot of helicopter told ground searchers he would have to return to Jesup for refueling. The pilot said the two airports in Glynn County were closed for the night.
Doering said the Glynn County Fire Department was called in as a safety measure while the Georgia Bureau of Investigation collected evidence from the alleged meth lab.