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(UPDATE) DeKalb Police: Murder on McLendon Drive tied to marijuana trafficking operation

Crime and public safety Metro ATL

(UPDATE) DeKalb Police: Murder on McLendon Drive tied to marijuana trafficking operation

A DeKalb County Police vehicle. Photo obtained via Wikimedia Commons
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Illustration: A DeKalb County Police vehicle. Photo obtained via Wikimedia Commons

The DeKalb Police Department says that someone was murdered during an apparent early-morning home invasion on Sept. 30.

The incident occurred at 1360 McLendon Drive in greater Decatur at around 2 a.m. Police officials, who did not notify the community for more than 24 hours after the crime occurred, initially said the murder was the result of an apparent home invasion.

A spokesperson for the county later clarified that officials believe this was not a random act, but was tied to an alleged marijuana trafficking operation at the home.

“On Sept. 30, 2018, at 2:10 a.m., DeKalb County Police responded to a call of a person shot at 1360 McLendon Drive,” the county spokesperson said. “The initial investigation revealed that the victim, Teddy Mierzwa, a 41-year-old white male, was shot in the chest during an apparent drug-related robbery at his residence. These crimes are not believed to be random criminal acts, but appear to be targeted crimes. Mr. Mierzwa subsequently died as a result of his injuries while being transported to a local area hospital.

“During the initial investigation, large quantities of illegal narcotics were located throughout the residence. Mr. Mierzwa’s wife, Gracie Beavers, a 35-year-old white female, was arrested and charged with trafficking marijuana. She was booked and remains in the DeKalb County Jail. Police continue their investigation to identify those involved in this drug-related crime.”

The full details only came to light after repeated questions from Decaturish. Police did not immediately respond to a request for information on the day of the incident, Sept. 30 and did not send out any alerts to the surrounding neighborhood after it had happened. A spokesperson responded to Decaturish after a follow up email was sent to DeKalb County police on Monday morning. Oct. 1. Spokespeople working for DeKalb County government were copied on that email.

Decaturish has asked why police waited more than 24 hours to acknowledge a crime had occurred and waited longer still to divulge more information about the incident. This story will be updated when the Police Department responds.

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