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Canton man granted $500K bond after drug trafficking arrest with Dawson County suspect
Drug bust 2
Joshua McLaughlin

A Canton man has been granted a sizable bond where he was arrested for alleged drug trafficking alongside another man from Dawson County last year. 

This story continues below.

Joshua McLaughlin, 34, was granted a $500,000 bond on Jan. 10, 2023, according to documents filed in White County Superior Court.

However, as of publication, his bond hasn’t been paid, and he has not been released.

Thomas Earl Garnsey, 49, of Dawsonville, was released on a $25,000 cash bond on Dec. 12, 2022 after being granted it on Dec. 8, court documents stated. 

Drug bust 1
Thomas Earl Garnsey - photo by Julia Hansen

McLaughlin and Garnsey were arrested on Sept. 25, 2022 following large drug seizures by the Appalachian Regional Drug Enforcement Office, stated a prior press release from the agency.

The arrests came in light of an investigation done by the White and Lumpkin County sheriff’s offices, Riverdale Police Department, Atlanta-Carolinas High Intensity Drug Trafficking Area program and the ARDEO.

Agents seized more than 168 grams of fentanyl, 500 grams of methamphetamine, 60 grams of cocaine, 14 grams of ecstasy, 103 grams of Alprazolam, as well as black tar heroin, crack cocaine, marijuana, and over $10,000 in assets.

“This is the largest fentanyl seizure ever made inside of White County,” the ARDEO’s press release stated. 

The fentanyl and meth alone were valued at $25,200 and about $35,000 respectively, GBI Assistant Special Agent in Charge Aaron Maupin previously said.  

Garnsey was charged with trafficking methamphetamine, possession of methamphetamine and crossing guard lines with drugs without consent, according to court records. 

McLaughlin was charged with one count each of trafficking methamphetamine and cocaine. He also received charges for possession with the intent to distribute fentanyl, heroin, ecstasy, alprazolam and marijuana. Authorities also cited him for speeding and having defective tires.

Lumpkin County belongs to the Enotah Judicial Circuit, which also includes Towns, Union and White counties. 

Both Garnsey and McLaughlin’s cases are under pre-indictment. In other words, the cases are still being prepared for a grand jury, after which formal charges could be filed against the men. 

DCN will continue to follow these cases.