Checkpoint leads to drug-related arrests

Published 8:13 pm Tuesday, February 17, 2009

On Sunday night, state troopers from the Georgia State Patrol’s Colquitt post and Sheriff’s deputies were jointly conducting a road safety checkpoint at the intersection of Georgia 262 North and Georgia 97 North near the Vada community.

Not long after the checkpoint was set up, two vehicles, a passenger car and a SUV, began to approach officers before turning around, said GSP Cpl. Kyle Duke.

Suspicious, Duke and Trooper 1st Class Walt Landrum stopped the vehicles. Searching the SUV, Landrum found several small plastic bags containing suspected marijuana, according to Duke. The SUV’s driver, Violet Argo, 40, of Douglasville, Ga., was arrested for possession of marijuana with intent to distribute and driving under the influence of drugs. Her passenger, Ricky Lee Maxwell, 45, of Atlanta, Ga., was charged with misdemeanor possession of marijuana.

The passenger car’s driver, Belinda Suzette Stewart, 47, of 297 Old Pelham Road, Bainbridge, was charged with misdemeanor possession of marijuana, driving under the influence of drugs and having an expired vehicle tag.

In connection with the same incident, Capt. Chip Nix of the Sheriff’s Office went to a house on Swindell Road and did a probable-cause search, according to Duke. At the house, Nix found additional marijuana and as a result, arrested Clarence Laroy Brinson, 51, of Colquitt, for misdemeanor possession of marijuana.

A slightly higher than usual number of drug-related arrests have resulted made by local law enforcement during the past two weeks, according to Decatur County Jail records and the Georgia State Patrol.

A brief chase

Decatur County Sheriff’s Sgt. Jason Williams arrested an Iron City, Ga., man after he attempted to run from his vehicle during a traffic stop.

At around 9 p.m. Monday, Sgt. Williams attempted to perform a traffic stop on a vehicle traveling without a tag light east on the U.S. 27/84 Bypass at the Spring Creek Road exit, according to incident reports.

The driver, Larry Dewayne Samuel, 39, stopped the car and ran into the roadside ditch after jumping over the roadway’s guard rail. Sgt. Williams gave chase, yelling for the Samuel to stop. The officer noted Samuel had a beer in his hand as he ran. Williams quickly caught up to the man, who then fell to the ground saying he gave up.

Upon searching the vehicle a small amount of suspected marijuana was found and Samuel admitted to having smoked the marijuana earlier that day.

Samuel was arrested and charged with no tag light, obstruction, driving while license suspended or revoked and DUI drugs.