Driver arrested on drug charges

Published 5:39 pm Friday, January 6, 2012

A Bainbridge man was arrested early Thursday morning after Bainbridge Public Safety officers who stopped his car found suspected illegal drugs inside.

Just before 5 a.m. Thursday, BPS Officer Hank Day stopped a Mitsubishi Outlander traveling west on MLK Jr. Drive, after noticing its right front headlight not working, according to a BPS report.

Day talked with the driver, identified as Eddie Smith III, 20, of 801 Gordon Ave., Bainbridge, and took his driver’s license. After confirming that Smith’s license and registration were valid, Day returned to the car to hand back Smith’s license, when he noticed a strong odor like marijuana coming from the vehicle.

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Day asked Smith if there was any marijuana in the vehicle. The driver reportedly replied that there was not, but that he had just “smoked a joint and that is what [the officer] smelled.”

Day asked Smith to step out of the vehicle and received permission to search him. While Day was patting down the driver, a small plastic bag fell down in front of Smith. The bag was found to contain 11 small plastic bags of white powder, suspected to be cocaine, as well as three small plastic bags of green leafy substance, believed to be marijuana.

Smith was charged with driving without headlights when required, possession of cocaine with intent to distribute and possession of marijuana with intent to distribute.


Copper thefts reported

Bainbridge Public Safety officers have recently responded to four different incidents of thieves damaging air conditioning units by stripping their copper tubing and electrical parts.

In the most serious case, the manager of Jamestown Apartments at 909 Palm Street reported that sometime in the early daytime of Jan. 2, someone had stripped 22 air conditions units, damaged six other units and had also damaged two commercial dryers.

In his report, Officer Tom Forster stated Jamestown Apartments is normally used for seasonal workers and was unoccupied at the time of the thefts.

Other copper thefts and damage to air conditioning units were reported last week at: The Friendship House, 220 N. Russ Street; a residence at 900 MLK Jr. Drive; and a residence at 1607 E. Broughton St.

Anyone with more information about the copper thefts is asked to call BPS Investigator Ryan Deen at (229) 248-2044.


BPS responds to peat bog fire

A fire that had been set to burn yard debris spread to a peat bog off Lake Douglas Road on Wednesday night, sending up smoke until it extinguished.

BPS Deputy Fire Chief Doyle Welch said officers responded to the 1900 block of Lake Douglas Road around 7 p.m. Wednesday night. Embers from a yard debris fire had spread to a thick peat bog. To put out the fire, officers had to place a fire hose nozzle underwater. Attached to a fire hydrant, the hose pumped out more than 10,000 gallons of water overnight Wednesday and Thursday morning, Welch said.

Peat is decayed vegetation matter which commonly forms in wetlands. Once ignited, it smolders and can burn undetected for long periods of time, eventually causing wildfires and toxic smoke.