A South Carolina man ended up in the Gwinnett County Jail after pills, which he claimed to have thought were vitamins, turned out to be illegal narcotics.
A Gwinnett County Police officer patrolling I-85 northbound on Feb. 14 observed a Honda CRV cross out of its lane of travel and straddle the middle dividing line before crossing back into its lane. The officer initiated a traffic stop based on the violation and made contact with the driver and the passenger, later identified as John Wesley Washburn, 27, of Easley, S.C.
According to the police report, Washburn appeared to be nervous during the traffic stop.
“I noticed during my interaction with [the driver that] Washburn’s stomach was beating up and down and he would not make eye contact with me when I spoke directly to him,” the officer wrote.
Upon checking the identification of the driver and passenger, the officer learned Washburn was wanted out of South Carolina for shoplifting and obstruction, but the agency that issued the warrant indicated they would not extradite.
The officer advised Washburn that he needed to contact the Easley Police Department regarding the outstanding warrants and noticed that, despite knowing he would not be arrested on the outstanding warrants, Washburn remained nervous.
At that point, the officer requested and received permission to search the vehicle. During the search, the officer located two orange pills in a Marlboro cigarette wrapper. When asked what the pills were, Washburn reportedly replied, “My cousin said they were vitamins.”
The “vitamins,” according to a drug identification book, were in fact amphetamines.
Washburn was placed under arrest and asked that he be allowed to bring his cell phone with him to the jail. The officer asked if he could search the cell phone and Washburn agreed. According to the report, there were texts on the phone indicating Washburn was attempting to obtain pills. The text messages were photographed as evidence.
Washburn was booked into the jail on two counts of possession of a controlled substance. He was released on Feb. 15 on a $2,600 bond.
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