The following information was taken from reports from the Bryan County Sheriff’s Office and the Richmond Hill Police Department:
Possession of marijuana, less than 1 ounce — An RHPD officer observed a black Toyota Tundra stop at a red light at the intersection of Highways 17 and 144. The car’s center-high brake light was not working properly, so the officer performed a traffic stop, getting the Tundra driver to pull over on the access road near the Family Dollar on Mulberry Drive.
While speaking to the driver, the officer caught a whiff of green marijuana coming from inside the car. After receiving permission to search the car, the officer found a glass smoking pipe and a small plastic container that had a green, leafy substance inside. Both items were in the vehicle’s center console. The driver was arrested and taken to RHPD headquarters, where he posted bond with his father’s help. Weight of the suspected marijuana was 1.2 grams.
Possession of marijuana, less than 1 ounce — A vehicle traveling north on Highway 17 near Harrison’s was observed by an RHPD officer as having inoperative tag lights. The officer pulled the vehicle over in the Clyde’s parking lot and approached the driver. After detecting a marijuana odor coming from the car, the officer asked the driver if there was anything in the vehicle he needed to be aware of; the driver said no and denied a request for a search of the vehicle. The officer deployed the narcotics K-9, which gave a positive alert on the seam of the passenger-side rear door. A marijuana cigarette was found next to the ash tray. Also, two plastic bags of suspected marijuana were found in the center console.
The driver was arrested and taken to RHPD, released because of special circumstances — he had a wife with a bad back and children at home — and advised of his court date.
Possession of dangerous drugs/DUI/distributing — While patrolling the Mainstreet subdivision, an RHPD officer clocked a vehicle going 37 mph in a 25-mph zone on Bristol Way. The officer pulled the vehicle over into the Raceway parking lot off Highway 17.
The driver then exited his vehicle and quickly closed the door. The officer told him to get back in the vehicle, but the driver ignored that and wanted to know why he was pulled over, all the while reaching into his pockets. The officer told him to show his hands, with the driver stating he had no weapons, only a knife. The officer wrote that the driver seemed nervous, with a flushed face, glazed eyes and dilated pupils.
Two other people, a female and a male, were in the vehicle. When the driver got back into the vehicle, the odor of marijuana came from inside.
The driver was patted down for weapons, and the officer found a fairly large pocketknife along with other items. The driver said they were bottles for his medications. Pills inside the bottle were later identified as alprazolam and others that were the correct pills belonging to the bottle.
After receiving consent to search the vehicle, the officer found an empty bottle of beer under the passenger seat and another prescription bottle in the center console. The bottle held what appeared to be marijuana. Four smoked joints were also found in the center console. The driver claimed the drugs as his.
Further searching uncovered two plastic digital scales, a marijuana grinder and a glass smoking pipe in the glove box.
The male passenger, who said he was 19 years old, had a reading of 0.76 percent blood-alcohol content.
The driver said he had consumed two alprazolam pills about two hours prior to be pulled over. He said he hadn’t consumed any alcohol that evening and refused a sobriety test.
The prescription bottle for alprazolam was issued on Dec. 28 for 120 pills, but an inventory of the bottle’s contents showed 61 pills. Another set of alprazolam pills — nine in total — were in the same bottle.
The driver initially said he used the alprazolam to control his marijuana use. He denied distributing the pills. When informed that his phone was being seized as evidence in lieu of a search warrant for its contents, he said officers would uncover text messages that arranged for selling the pills and maybe other drugs.
The male passenger was cited for underage possession of alcohol. The driver was arrested for driving under the influence; possession of schedule IV drugs with intent to distribute; open container in a motor vehicle; speeding; possession of drug-related objects; and possession of marijuana, less than 1 ounce. Both males were taken to RHPD for booking and released with citations to appear in court March 22.
Shoplifting — An RHPD officer was called to Dollar General on a possible shoplifting incident. The complainant showed the officer a video from Dec. 31 of a male without a hat entering the store, but later appearing to be shopping with a hat on and leaving the store without paying for the hat. The male returned to the store Jan. 4, and the complainant called 911 to report him.
The officer spoke with the suspect, who said he didn’t mean to take the hat but forgot it was on his head. He said he had tried to pay for the hat, but the complainant would not take the money and wanted him banned from the store. The officer escorted the male from the premises and filed a criminal-trespass warning. The complainant was advised on how to take out a warrant through the magistrate.
Criminal trespass — BCSO deputies went to a Highway 144 address in Richmond Hill to investigate a vehicle found in a pond on the property.
The vehicle was discovered when the complainant was making her daily check of the property. She believed the vehicle belonged to a friend of an individual who worked there.
The complainant showed the deputies where this vehicle had passed a locked gate to reach the pond area, as well as where a tree had to be moved from the road, allowing the vehicle further access along the road. The vehicle’s path was littered with trash on the property; a fire had evidently been started in one area.
While deputies were with the complainant, the friend called the complainant to apologize for being on her property. He said he wandered off the wildlife-management area the previous night while hunting raccoons. He said got stuck in the pond area around 11 p.m. and was on the property until approximately 3 a.m. trying to remove the vehicle. He said he called a wrecker service, but it was unable to remove the vehicle.
The ground around the vehicle had deep tire tracks and ruts. The complainant said the ground and wall of the pond were damaged.
A deputy called a wrecker service and had the vehicle towed from the property at the request of the complainant.