Alapaha Judicial Circuit District Attorney Chase Studstill recently filed a civil action, 2024CV005, in Cook County Superior Court against local defendants Michelle Meadows, Rusty Meadows, Heather Danielle Edmondson, Ashlin Meadows, and James Shivers Jr.
In the action, filed Jan. 12, 2024, in Superior Court, the State seeks confiscation of U.S. currency, inventory, equipment, and personal property seized by law enforcement after serving a search warrant on Dec. 14, 2023, at 11417 Highway 37, Adel. The complaint also seeks confiscation of a 2023 Mercedes-Benz GLC Coupe, a 2010 Ford Taurus, and a 2007 Forest River Inc. 26 T (RV).
According to court records, the civil action is a complaint for relief and notice of seizure under the Georgia Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations (RICO) Act, O.C.G.A. 16-14-1, and Uniform Civil Forfeiture Procedure Act, O.C.G.A. 9-16-1. The complaint “seeks forfeiture to the State and divestiture by the Defendants of all property named and identified.” The complaint alleges that the currency, property, and vehicles were received by the defendants “through a pattern of racketeering activity.”
According to the civil action, “The RICO Enterprise has as its purpose the trafficking of counterfeit merchandise. … In furtherance of the RICO scheme, the Defendants utilized electronic transmission of funds derived from their illegal activity and transferred it through interstate commerce.”
The complaint further alleges the defendants “engaged in and committed at least two or more acts of racketeering activity, including but not limited to, wire and mail fraud and trafficking in counterfeit goods. …
“(The defendants) operated a RICO Enterprise whereby they purchased counterfeit merchandise, offered it for sale, and did sell such goods to unsuspecting customers.”
According to the complaint, the counterfeit merchandise included such items as handbags, wallets, belts, scarves, and luggage purportedly being high-end brands by Louis Vuitton, Chanel, Gucci, and others.”
According to the complaint, “in furtherance of the RICO scheme, the Defendants used various internet platforms such as Facebook Marketplace to market and sell the counterfeit merchandise.
“The Defendants’ Facebook stores operated under the names of Michelle’s Private Group, Suzi’s Pretty Things, Danielle’s Private Group, Raising Royals Boutique, and possibly others.”
No indictments or arrests have been announced in the case at this point.
The Adel News’ editorial policy ordinarily is to not identify private individuals under criminal investigation until formal charges have been filed. However, the State has officially identified defendants in a formal court filing of the civil action alleging criminal offenses under the RICO Act.
The Adel News will report the defendants’ response as soon as it is officially filed in Cook County Superior Court.
The Adel News will provide updates on this case as more information becomes available from official sources.
Read the full story in this week’s edition of the Adel News Tribune.