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Glynn County grand jury indicts 12
A Glynn County grand jury this week indicted eight people in connection with an alleged illegal synthetic marijuana sales scheme, two men accused of stabbing and robbing a Tennessee man and two men on unrelated rape and attempted rape charges.

Jason P. LaRoche, Monroe Parker LaRoche, Sean Tristan LaRoche Jr., Sean Tristan LaRoche Sr., Chealsea Marie Purvis, Rebecca Armstrong, James Thompson and Shane Simpson were all indicted by the grand jury on Wednesday of charges of either selling, possessing or intending to sell illegal forms of synthetic marijuana. Police say the synthetic marijuana they sold in September was the cause of nearly two dozen people being sent to the emergency room after being sickened by chemicals used to produce the designer drug commonly known as "spice."

The rash of sicknesses led drug investigators in September to a duplex on Fourth Avenue in Brunswick where they discovered chemicals and devices they believed were used to make what police say was the "Crazy Clown" version of the substance that may have been responsible for the illnesses. That raid and another September raid at Mary Jane's Emporium, a store formerly at 5441 Altama Ave. and known for selling spice, resulted in the arrest of Monroe Parker Laroche, Sean Tristan LaRoche Jr. and Thompson.

Synthetic marijuana is intended to mimic the effects felt after smoking marijuana.

A separate indictment Wednesday accused Justin Cole Johnson, 22, and Christopher Todd Knowles, 20, of armed robbery, aggravated assault and theft by taking for allegedly stabbing Justin Atchison, a Memphis native, and stealing his truck and wallet.

Atchison, who was staying at a hotel near Interstate 95, said he agreed to give Johnson and Knowles a ride. Atchison said the pair directed him to Two Way Fish Camp and proceeded to attack him with a knife. They are accused of taking his truck and wallet, leaving him for dead.

Johnson and Knowles are in custody at the Glynn County Detention Center.

Another indictment Wednesday charged a 31-year-old Brunswick man with two counts of rape, four counts of child molestation and four counts of aggravated child molestation for allegedly having inappropriate sexual contact with two minor females under the age of 16 years multiple times between March 2011 and September 2013. The man, who The News will not identify because he is the father of the victims, remains in custody at the Glynn County Detention Center. The News does not identify victims of rape and sex offenses as a matter of policy.

In an unrelated case, Dene Terrell Stephens, 29, was indicted on charges of burglary, criminal attempt to commit a felony, aggravated assault, false imprisonment, robbery by intimidation and identity fraud.

Stephens was arrested Sunday for allegedly breaking into a St. Simons Island apartment and attempting to rape the woman who lives there, restraining her with a belt and stealing her debit card.

Stephens is in custody at the Glynn County Detention Center.

* Reporter Michael Hall writes about public safety, environment and other local topics. Contact him at, on Facebook or at 265-8320, ext. 320.

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