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Firefighter Arrested for Illegal Drug Use

Officials discovered tampered medicine vials on a county ambulance.

A Cherokee County firefighter from Canton was arrested Wednesday and suspended without pay after an investigation revealed illegal drug use that could lead to more arrests.

Johnathan Wayne Thomas, 34, is at the with no bond. He has been charged with the sell of hydrocodone, felony possession of marijuana, possession of a schedule II controlled substance, possession of a schedule III controlled substance and possession of a schedule IV controlled substance.

Investigators were led to Thomas after officials discovered tampered medicine vials on a county ambulance.

“Cherokee County fire officials reported the incident to the , who investigated the incident in conjunction with the Cherokee Multi-Agency Narcotics Squad (CMANS),” spokesman Tim Cavender said.

An undercover operation was conducted, and Thomas was arrested at his home Wednesday afternoon following a search warrant at the location. 

“This agency will not tolerate any type of illegal management or mishandling of our controlled substances, nor will we permit the possession and use of illegal drugs by our employees,” Cherokee County Fire Chief Tim Prather said in a statement. “Illegal drug use is a debilitating disease that can interfere and destroy a family, a person’s health and career. I hope Mr. Thomas will take the necessary steps to overcome this issue and situation.” 

A press conference is scheduled for 1:30 p.m. today at the Cherokee County Sheriff's Office headquarters.

“The investigation into the tampered vials is ongoing,” said Lt. Jay Baker, spokesman for the Cherokee Sheriff's Office. “Other arrests are possible.”

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