Deputies make large pot bust

Published 6:55 pm Friday, May 28, 2010

The Sheriff’s Office seized about 35 pounds of marijuana—worth tens of thousands of dollars—on Tuesday night after catching a Bainbridge man apparently in the act of transporting it, according to investigators.

Rodney Lee Powell, 43, of 1039 E. Evans St., Bainbridge, and Marquita Shunta Washington, 26, 1125 Vada Road, Bainbridge, were both arrested Tuesday night and charged with trafficking marijuana.

The bust came after Sheriff’s Office investigators had received information that Powell was possibly involved in illegal drug activity, said Capt. Chip Nix of the Sheriff’s Office.

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Working with the Miller County Sheriff’s Office, Decatur County deputies caught one of Powell’s alleged associates, 34-year-old Barrett Anderson of 1119 E. Water St., Bainbridge, in possession of cocaine in an incident earlier on Tuesday, Nix said. More information from that incident led deputies to conduct surveillance on a location off Central Drive, located off Vada Road in northeast Bainbridge, where Powell was allegedly storing the marijuana, Nix said.

As Sheriff’s deputies, state troopers and Bainbridge Public Safety officers waited nearby, they observed a man later identified as Powell approach a parked car and remove two large bales of marijuana from its trunk, Nix said. Powell transferred the bales into another car driven by Washington and instructed her to follow him as he drove the other car, the investigator said.

Soon after the cars got going, law enforcement officers surrounded them and found the marijuana before arresting the two suspects. Officers also found $2,000 in cash on Powell’s person and another $6,000 in his home, Nix said.

Trafficking marijuana is a felony offense punishable upon conviction by mandatory minimum fines and jail sentences, according to Nix.

Bainbridge man killed in Florida accident

A Bainbridge man, 62-year-old William Takashi Walden, was killed in a single-car accident on U.S. 27 in Havana, Fla., on Monday morning, the Tallahassee Democrat reported.

Walden was traveling south in a 2004 Cadillac when he lost control and his car ,hit a tree near Hobbit American Grill, formerly known as Hobbit Hoagies, on the north side of Havana. Citing the Florida Highway Patrol, the Democrat reported Walden was not wearing a seat belt when the accident happened.

Note: The accident victim is not the same person as William Gary Walden, 48, of Bainbridge, who was formerly associated with the Bainbridge Youth Football League.

Store owner arrested in attempted robbery

The owner of a Bainbridge convenience store was arrested after he allegedly tried to mug another man outside a bank Wednesday afternoon, according to Bainbridge Public Safety.

Forty-five-year-old Daljit Singh, also known as Gurminder Singh, of 1000 Ashley Lane, Bainbridge, was arrested and charged with robbery after he tried to take a bank bag from another man and then fled from police when he was unsuccessful, according to an incident report.

The incident happened shortly before 3 p.m. Wednesday in the parking lot of Park Avenue Bank downtown. A bank employee stated Singh had entered the business, appearing disturbed and attempted to get a cash advance on a credit card in the name of his wife, Baljeet Singh.

Other witnesses stated Mr. Singh then went outside and fought with another man, who was carrying a paper bag with cash inside it. Singh grabbed the bag and started to run, but dropped it and fled to a nearby vehicle when witnesses yelled at him.

A few minutes later, BPS officers tracked Singh to his store, where he had been locked inside by his wife. With weapons drawn, Georgia State troopers, Sheriff’s deputies and BPS officers broke into the store and found Singh hiding in a back room, where he was arrested.

It was Singh’s third arrest in the past week: on May 22, he was charged by BPS with disorderly conduct and public drunkenness; on May 24, he was charged by BPS with disorderly conduct.

According to City of Bainbridge records, Mr. Singh is the owner of Singh Food Mart, located at 2200 S. West St. On May 19, he submitted an application for an alcoholic beverage license for the store. The application seeks to transfer the holder of the license from Mrs. Singh to Mr. Singh; however, it is unclear whether Mr. Singh’s recent arrests will affect the City Council’s consideration of the request when it meets on June 1.