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DNR Fishing License Check Nets Arrests

Two men are in custody at the Toombs County Jail after Georgia Department of Natural Resources (DNR) officers found marijuana and stolen property while checking fishing licenses on the Altamaha River in Uvalda on March 6. DNR Sergeant Chris Moore and Ranger Bobby Sanders stopped to check the fishing licenses of four occupants within an anchored boat, which caught the attention of the wardens because of its lack of registration numbers. The boat belonged to Chandler Stewart, who was fishing on the boat, along with Joshua Raper, and two others.

Wardens noticed a strong odor of marijuana when checking the boating safety equipment, which only intensified as the equipment was moved around. The officers questioned the occupants about the odor, which led Stewart to produce a bag of marijuana that he claimed totaled less than an ounce. When interrogated about the location of firearms on the boat, Raper informed wardens that he had a gun in his pocket, as well as one on the floor of the vessel.

Because of the wardens’ familiarity with Raper, they were aware of his identity as a convicted felon, and asked him to come aboard the DNR boat to have his identity confirmed. The Georgia State Patrol confirmed that Raper was a felon and the wardens and two suspects traveled to the McNatt Falls Boat Ramp for further investigation. While at the ramp, Sergeant Moore ran the serial number of the firearms, and discovered that the gun from Raper’s pocket was stolen.

Wardens requested help from the Toombs County Sheriff’s Office, which led Deputy Sergeant Mann Denmark to discover active warrants for Stewart upon his arrival at the scene.

Both Raper and Stewart were arrested and charged at the scene. Raper was charged with Possession of a Firearm by a Convicted Felon, Theft by Receiving Stolen Property, and Possession of marijuana less than one ounce. Stewart was charged with Possession of Marijuana, less than one ounce.

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