A North Carolina man devised a rather questionable way to raise a little extra cash for the holidays.
According to police, Mark Hall, 22, of Reidsville, N.C., had crack cocaine in his possession when the vehicle in which he was a passenger was pulled over on Nov. 24.
A Gwinnett County Police officer spotted the vehicle, a Dodge Caravan, make a lane change without signaling and then noticed the van was following within one to two car lengths of another vehicle on I-85 southbound just north of Hamilton Mill Road. The officer activated his lights, but the driver, later identified as Carlos Clark, 23, of Eden. N.C., did not pull over. Instead, according to the police report, Clark slowed down and exited at Hamilton Mill Road. The officer followed, continuing to use lights and sirens in an effort to get Clark to stop. Clark passed the Shell station and turned right at the access road next to Taco Bell before cutting over to Sardis Church Road. Clark eventually brought his vehicle to a stop near the Goodwill.
While following the vehicle, the officer noticed Hall and Clark’s other passenger “moving around in their seats a good deal” prior to the stop.
Upon approaching the vehicle, the officer noticed a faint odor of marijuana. Clark apologized to the officer for not stopping sooner. The officer told Clark to turn the van off and step out of the vehicle.
The officer asked Clark for his name, date of birth and travel plans. Clark said his first name was “Cornullius” and that he was going to see a girl named “Shorty” at an unknown location. The officer did not get a computer return on Clark’s name and once again asked for his name and date of birth. Clark subsequently provided two different spellings of the name Cornelius. After the third time, the officer placed him under arrest for providing a false name and driving without a license.
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The front seat passenger advised the officer that Clark’s first name was actually Carlos. When confronted with that information, Clark said he lied because he had no license and was scared.
Neither the front seat passenger nor Hall had a valid license either. When Hall was asked to step out of the vehicle so it could be searched, he reportedly informed the officer that he did not wish his person to be searched. The officer asked for permission to pat Hall down for weapons and Hall agreed. During the pat down, the officer felt a large, glass jar in the pocket of Hall’s coat. Hall removed the jar from his pocket and tossed it into the back seat of the vehicle.
“Inside the glass jar, plainly visible, was a bag of green, leafy material that I recognized to be marijuana,” the officer wrote in the arrest report.
At that point, the officer searched Hall’s pockets and found a small baggie with several white colored rocks recognizable as crack cocaine. The substance also field-tested positive for cocaine.
After being placed under arrest, Hall asked to speak with the officer. After being read his Miranda rights, Hall asked if the officer would throw away the crack cocaine so that he would not have a felony charge levied against him. Hall admitted smoking marijuana, but said he was going to sell the crack cocaine for $200 “to make some extra money because his finances were tight.” When the officer refused to throw the drugs away, Hall insisted he should because he was “trying to turn his life around” and wanted to be able to buy Christmas presents for his child.
Hall, who had been in possession of an open can of beer when the vehicle was stopped, was charged with open container, possession of less than an ounce of marijuana and possession of a controlled substance with intent to distribute. As of Nov. 30, he remained in the Gwinnett County Jail.
Clark was charged with improper signaling, following too closely, driving without a license and providing false information to a law enforcement officer. He was released from jail on Nov. 25 on a $5,200 bond.
Other recent incidents investigated by the Gwinnett County Police Department include:
- Simple assault in the 3300 block of Brooksong Way.
- Identity fraud in the 700 block of Grand Ivey Place.
- Battery in the 500 block of South Street.
- Theft by taking in the 700 block of Harbins Road.
- Possession of less than an ounce of marijuana in the 2400 block of Fort Daniels Drive.
- Disorderly conduct in the 1200 block of Auburn Road.
- Battery in the 1000 block of Bluebell Drive.
- Entering auto in the 2100 block of Hamilton Creek Parkway.
- Entering auto in the 2700 block of Ballyshannon Court.
- Motor vehicle theft in the 2900 block of Evergreen Crossing.
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