Patrol deputies make felony arrest

Published 12:35 am Friday, December 26, 2008

Two sets of felony arrests made recently were the product of work by a deputy on patrol.

Traffic violations can lead to drug violations, if the occupants of the offending vehicle have illegal substances on them.

Even though deputies don’t have radar they can conduct a traffic stop for speeding and if drugs are involved, charges can be pressed for those violations as well. Such an incident occurred Dec. 17, when deputy James Bolton observed a vehicle doing 50 in a 35 on Caesar Road, Chief Investigator Donnie Saucier said. After following the car for half a mile to pace the vehicle, Bolton pulled the car over.

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Billy Ray Gray, 28, of 11 Jaguar Lane Lot 5, was found behind the wheel.

Bolton determined that Gray had no driver’s license and also detected a strong odor of marijuana coming from the vehicle. Saucier said Bolton asked Gray and his two passengers, Steven Minchew, 23, of 3551 Jackson Landing Rd. and Erica Minchew, 27, of 1701 U.S. 11 N. Apt. 5, to get out of the vehicle.

Loose marijuana allegedly was found in Erica Minchew’s purse and two and a half ounces of what was believed to be marijuana was found in a duffle bag in the trunk of the vehicle, Saucier said. The bag was determined to belong to Steven Minchew.

Gray was charged with no driver’s license, speeding and expired tag. Erica Minchew was charged with possession of marijuana and Steven Minchew was charged with felony possession of marijuana, Saucier said.

A separate incident on Dec. 19, also was the product of a traffic stop by a patrol deputy. The stop took place on Jackson Landing Road for no tail lights. Sgt. Mike Johnson conducted the stop and as he approached the vehicle, he noticed the people in the car moving around suspiciously, Saucier said.

Inside the vehicle Johnson saw what he thought was marijuana in a white plastic bag. A search of the vehicle was conducted and four and a half ounces of marijuana bagged up for individual resale was recovered, Saucier said.

The driver of the vehicle, Tramel Aultmon, 29, of 4 Sam Sanders Circle, was arrested for felony possession of marijuana and no tail light.