Message From The Sheriff
NICK WELDEN  ( read )
24 Hours:
Crime Tip:
2801 Jordan Road SW
Fort Payne, AL 35968
Administrative Office:
Monday - Friday
8:00am - 4:00pm


Moonshine, Meth, and Steroids found on Sand Mountain

Late last night (Tuesday, April 23), Deputies with the DeKalb County Sheriff’s Office, Drug Task Force Agents, and police officers with the Fort Payne, Henagar, and Ider Police Departments made several arrests on Sand Mountain. A moonshine steel, firearms, and several different types of narcotics were confiscated.  

The night began with a search warrant executed on County Road 754 in Ider. Agents and officers confiscated Methamphetamine exceeding 28 grams, drug paraphernalia, two firearms, marijuana, and an undisclosed amount of currency. 

JohnJollyApr24.jpg RuthSmithApr24.jpg
John Jolley (56 of Ider) Ruth Smith (49 of Ider)

At the residence, John Jolley (56 of Ider) and Ruth Smith (49 of Ider) were arrested on charges of Trafficking Methamphetamine, Possession of Drug Paraphernalia, and Possession of Marijuana (2nd Degree).

The team then moved to a residence on County Road 155 to serve an arrest warrant. Upon arrival, three individuals fled the residence on foot. The suspects were captured after a brief foot pursuit.

After searching the residence, approximately 90 grams of methamphetamine was found, along with a disassembled moonshine steel. 50 gallons of mash and marijuana was also found at the home.


Those arrested at the residence on County Road 155 were:


Jonathan Matthew Higdon (44 of Bryant)

  • - Trafficking in Methamphetamine
  • - Possession of Marijuana (2nd Degree)
  • - Possession of Drug Paraphernalia

Erica Castleberry (32 of Higdon)

  • - Trafficking in Methamphetamine
  • - Possession of Marijuana (2nd Degree)
  • - Possession of Drug Paraphernalia

Dustin Roberts (32 of Higdon)

  • - Possession of Controlled Substance
  • - Possession of Drug Paraphernalia

Brian Sartain (48 of Trenton, Georgia)

  • - Possession of Marijuana (2nd Degree)
  • - Possession of Drug Paraphernalia

Ryan Hardeman (24 of Higdon)

  • - Possession of Marijuana (2nd Degree)
  • - Possession of Drug Paraphernalia

While the team was at the residence, a vehicle pulled in the driveway, then fled at a high rate of speed. Agents and deputies pursued the vehicle on a chase that entered Jackson County. The driver escaped on foot. The suspect’s identity has been confirmed, and charges are pending.

A large amount of steroids were found in the suspect’s vehicle.


DeKalb County Sheriff Nick Welden said of the arrests: “I’m very proud of our Drug Task Force Agents and Deputies for pursuing these cases. Their work involves a lot of late nights and dangerous situations. They consistently put in the hard work to clean up this county.”

“I also can’t stress enough how much we appreciate tips from the public. Some of our best information comes from concerned citizens who want to see our neighborhoods and communities cleaned up,” he continued.

“It’s also great that we enjoy a good working relationship with our Police Departments. Their help is essential in pursuing these cases. God Bless!” Concluded Sheriff Welden.