An inability to maintain lane ultimately resulted in the arrest of three Alabama men on drug charges.
On Sept. 21, a Gwinnett County Police officer was patrolling I-85 north of the Hamilton Mill exit when he observed a vehicle driven by Kenneth Blackmon, 24, of Montgomery, Ala., drift out of its lane of travel. According to the police report, Blackmon was driving in the left lane and crossed the outside line several times. Once the officer’s emergency equipment was activated, Blackmon continued northbound for approximately one mile before finally pulling onto the shoulder.
The officer noticed an odor of burnt marijuana while interviewing Blackmon. Blackmon, whose Alabama license was revoked, admitted that he and his passengers, 25-year-old Stanley Hawkins and 24-year-old Christopher Davis, had smoked marijuana while driving through Atlanta. Blackmon said he did not know who had the marijuana and that someone had just “lit a blunt and passed it to him” while he was driving.
The officer advised Blackmon that his vehicle was going to be searched. Blackmon said he did not know of anything illegal inside the vehicle. Before beginning the search, officers removed both passengers from the car. When asked for consent to search his person, Hawkins agreed. During the search, the officer found a small bag of a white powdery substance that later tested positive for cocaine and several wadded up pieces of paper that contained names and Social Security numbers. Hawkins was immediately placed under arrest.
During the search of the vehicle, the officer found a small bag containing a green, leafy substance that later tested positive for marijuana. Blackmon and Harris were arrested at that point.
Once officers had secured all three suspects, the rest of the vehicle was searched. One of the officers located a brown cloth bag containing $2,722 in United States currency and another small bag of suspected marijuana. Several new pieces of merchandise were found in the trunk along with several hundred Green Dot pre-paid credit cards. The officer also found two laptop computers, an iPad and a stack of loose paper filled with names and Social Security numbers.
The officer transported all three suspects to be interviewed by an investigator. None of the suspects admitted knowing to whom the $2,722 belonged. The Green Dot cards, names and Social Security numbers were turned over to detectives for further investigation. The currency was confiscated for seizure under drug asset forfeiture laws.
The three suspects were then transported to the Gwinnett County Detention Center.
The case is listed as active.