Speeding driver found to be in possession of illegal substances

Published 9:07 am Wednesday, October 16, 2019

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Early Thursday morning, Decatur County Sheriff’s Office deputies were running radar on Highway 97 south when they clocked a driver going 81 mph. When trying to apprehend the driver, he began to speed away and was found with drugs and guns.

Deputy Dustin Strickland and Sgt. Charles King clocked Nicholas Culp and began to initiate a traffic stop, however Culp did not immediately stop.

He decreased his speed and indicated he was turning into a store, but later turned on his hazard lights and drove away. King increased his speed and initiated his sirens, demanding Culp pull over.

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Culp finally complied, where he admitted he did not have a valid driver’s license and the vehicle he was driving did not have valid insurance. He told officers he had considered eluding them before officers placed him in custody.

Once Culp was in custody, Strickland conducted a search of Culp to ensure he did not have any weapons or harmful items on his person and asked him if there was anything they should be aware of that was in the vehicle.

Culp informed officers there were several shotguns in the car and he was nervous, because he was a convicted felon. He said there was nothing else located inside the vehicle, though.

Following Culp’s admission, King and Strickland asked for permission to search the vehicle, but Culp said he could not give permission, as that was not his car. However, Investigator Terry Phillips informed officers they did not need permission, so Strickland and King began to take inventory of the vehicle.

King first located the shotguns Culp had admitted to. He found five weapons in the backseat of the car. Strickland then located a large, glass bong used to smoke marijuana and a crack pipe hidden in a shoe.

Officers then moved to the trunk, where they found a black fire safe, along with gun ammunition and weight scales.

Culp gave the officers the combination to the safe. Inside of the safe were two boxes containing numerous amounts of watches.

Phillips said Culp maintained his story that it was not his vehicle and he had no idea where the watches or other items came from.

During this time, Deputy Michael Musgrove also arrived on scene and inventoried the front seat of the vehicle. Musgrove located another set of scales, possible methamphetamines, a small bag containing needles, a small container of a clear substance and a small bottle containing a white powder substance.

Culp was arrested and charged with possession of meth, possession of firearm by convicted felon, fleeing or attempting to elude officer, speeding, improper tag display and driving while license suspended or revoked.