False claims of cocaine trafficking prompt charges

BUFORD -- A Buford man was jailed this week for repeatedly crying wolf about cocaine trafficking in his neighborhood, Gwinnett police said.

Police charged Edward Dial, 34, with multiple counts of false report of a crime and unlawful conduct during 911 calls after he reported late Monday night that he'd witnessed several vans "hauling cocaine," a police report states.

Dial told a responding officer he'd followed the drug-carrying vans in his truck from a nearby QuikTrip. Asked how he was sure the vans contained cocaine, he replied, "Ghostbusters told me," the report states.

A responding officer noted that Dial's claims were similar to three calls police had fielded in the previous three days regarding a white van full of cocaine. Dial reportedly admitted to making the calls; he was convinced drug cartels were transporting cocaine to the vans via Lake Lanier, the report states.

Dial was arrested without incident. En route to jail, he told an officer he'd been AWOL from the military since 1996 and had been taking medication for mental illnesses, the report states.

Gwinnett County Sheriff's Department spokesman Lt. Sean Smith said Dial had been released from jail, but his whereabouts were unknown Wednesday. He'd posted $10,400 security bond on the eight misdemeanor charges, records show.

A message left at a number listed as Dial's cellphone was not returned Wednesday.

In a separate arrest last month, Dial was charged with running over entrance signs and a fence at a Lake Lanier marina in his truck, causing more than $1,000 in damages.

When an arresting officer asked Dial why he'd caused the damages, "he continually tried to explain his reason ... had to do with an uncle and something involving the drug cartel," another police report states.

Dial was charged with two felony counts of second-degree criminal damage to property in the March 7 arrest. He was released from jail on those charges March 29, records show.