Jul 27, 2014

Drugs, Gun Found During I-85 Traffic Stop Near Hamilton Mill

Two West Virginia men were arrested.

Drugs, Gun Found During I-85 Traffic Stop Near Hamilton Mill
An improperly worn seatbelt led to the arrest of two West Virginia men on drug charges last week.

A Gwinnett County Police officer was northbound on I-85 near the Hamilton Mill exit on Jan. 21 when he pulled alongside a silver Chevrolet Malibu. The driver, later identified as Jamaine Todd, 21, of Bluefield, W.V., did not appear to be wearing a seatbelt according to the incident report.

"While I was looking over at him, he drifted over in the lane and drove on the white fog line on the right side of the road," the officer wrote in the report.

At that point, the officer dropped back, fell in behind the Malibu and pulled the vehicle over near mile marker 124. 

The officer walked up to the passenger side of the vehicle. When the passenger -- Anthony Isabelle, 28, also of Bluefield, W.V. -- rolled down the window, the officer immediately noticed the odor of marijuana. The officer then realized Todd had his seatbelt buckled, but had the chest strap was tucked under his left arm. Todd explained the seatbelt bothered his shoulder when worn correctly.

The officer had Todd exit the vehicle and, while awaiting backup, asked about the marijuana odor.

"He admitted to me that he had a small amount of marijuana in a compartment behind the vehicle's radio," the officer noted in the report. When asked if there were any other drugs in the vehicle, Todd admitted having Xanax pills and said the drugs belonged to him, not Isabelle. During the conversation, the officer learned that Todd did not have a valid license.

Once backup arrived, the officer had Isabelle exit the vehicle as well.

"It was cold and I asked him if he wanted a jacket. He said that his jacket was on the backseat," the report stated. "I told him that I would get it for him. He then informed me that there was a gun wrapped up in his jacket."

The gun was a fully loaded Smith and Wesson .357 Magnum revolver.

During the subsequent search of the vehicle, the officer found two cellophane baggies of marijuana, a white metal tube containing orange and blue pills later identified as Xanax, $1,900 in U.S. currency, and a gray bag in the trunk containing more ammunition. The money, gun and drugs were placed into evidence. The car was impounded.

Todd was booked into the Gwinnett County Jail on charges of possession of a controlled substance, possession of less than an ounce of marijuana, possession of a weapon during the commission of a crime and improper lane change. Isabelle was booked into the jail on charges of possession of a controlled substance and possession of less than an ounce of marijuana. Todd bonded out of jail on Jan. 22, Isabelle made bail two days later.

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