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Sheriff deputies busy with drug busts
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Deputies with the Liberty County Sheriff's Department closed out March with a spurt of drug busts.

March 19
Felony possession of marijuana/misdemeanor possession of marijuana
Georgia Highway 405 at mile marker 70 South

Deputy Shawn Fields stopped a van that was allegedly speeding. As Fields approached he noticed three men and a small child in the van. Fields explained to the driver, Derron Foster of New Jersey, he was stopped for speeding and asked him where they were going. Foster explained they were headed to Orlando for vacation and said he didn't realize he was speeding.
According to the report, Fields was about to write him a warning when he noticed Foster was nervous. The deputy reportedly talked briefly with Foster who consented to a vehicle search. The deputy had the occupants of the vehicle step out while he searched.
The deputy reported he found what appeared to be marijuana in the center console of the van and in the passenger side door panel where passenger, Micklos Foster, also of New Jersey, was seated. The deputy reportedly found a vacuum-sealed bag of what appeared to be marijuana in Derron's suitcase.
Derron was charged with felony possession of marijuana and Micklos was charged with misdemeanor possession of marijuana. The boy was released along with the van to the third occupant, who was the child's uncle.

March 20
Possession of marijuana (misdemeanor)
Talmadge Road, Walthourville

Deputies Larry Bell and Wade Long were on patrol on Talmadge Road in Walthourville when they spotted a man driving a car across the railroad tracks. According to the incident report, Long was familiar with the driver and knew he was driving with a suspended license. The deputies stopped the vehicle and confirmed the driver, Michael Page of Walthourville, was driving with a suspended license.
Page was arrested and placed in the patrol car while Bell spoke with a passenger. Bell reportedly found a small amount of what appeared to be marijuana by the passenger's foot. Weydale Howton of Hinesville, allegedly said he had been arrested several times for marijuana and the deputy reportedly found some in Howton's right pocket. Both men were taken to Liberty County jail.

March 21
Possession of marijuana/speeding
Highway 196 West, Hinesville

Deputy Larry Bell clocked a car going 71 mph in a 55 mph zone and stopped the car. He approached and spoke with Christopher Roberson who was driving. Bell reported he noticed a strong odor of marijuana coming from the car and asked Roberson to step out. Roberson allegedly confessed he was carrying marijuana. Bell found a small green bag with what appeared to be marijuana and some pills wrapped in foil in Roberson's right pocket.
Roberson, of Hawaii, reported the pills were Advil for his headache but Bell reported one of the pills appeared to be Oxycodone. Roberson was arrested and the vehicle released to a passenger.

March 22
Possession of marijuana/speeding
Georgia 38, Walthourville

Deputy Larry Bell stopped a car for speeding and found several children inside. Two of them were not wearing seat belts. Bell also reported he detected a strong odor of marijuana and spoke with the driver, later identified as Ricky Merritt.
Merritt allegedly admitted he smoked marijuana earlier that day. With the assistance of two other deputies they reportedly found what appeared to be marijuana in the front of the car. The deputies also found a liquor bottle with the seal broken.
Merritt, of Jesup, tested negative for alcohol but was arrested for possession of marijuana. He was given verbal warnings for seat belt violations and open container. The children and vehicle were released to another adult passenger.

March 23
Manufacturing of marijuana/possession of marijuana/speeding
I-95, Riceboro

Deputy Larry Bell clocked a car traveling at 92 in a posted 60 mph zone and made stopped it. Bell reported he smelled marijuana coming from the car. He spoke with the driver, Keith Connell, who allegedly admitted he had six marijuana joints in the car. Bell reportedly found what looked like a marijuana plant in the back. Krystine Jackman, the passenger, was also arrested.

March 25
Possession of marijuana/speeding
Georgia 405 at mile marker 79 north

Deputy Shawn Field pulled over a Cadillac after he clocked the car traveling at a high rate of speed. Fields reported he walked over to the car on the passenger side and asked the driver to step out. Fields explained to the driver why he was pulled over. The driver reportedly told the deputy they were in a hurry to go to Atlanta because the passenger's girlfriend was stranded up there. The deputy asked the driver for his license and registration and the driver told him the registration was in the glove compartment. As Fields looked into the passenger window to ask the passenger to get the registration, he noticed what appeared to be a small piece of a marijuana cigarette on the passenger's lap. The deputy reported he smelled marijuana. The deputy reportedly called for backup when a background check showed the driver, Alfred Berrian, had an outstanding bench warrant in Glynn County. When backup arrived, the deputy asked if he could search the car and whether there were any weapons or large quantities of cash in the vehicle. The passenger, Johnnie Hobbs, said he had $4,300 in cash stashed with his spare tire. When both subjects were questioned separately about the cash and how Hobbs got it, the stories did not match. Deputies reportedly found a small bag of what appeared to be marijuana in Hobbs shoe.
Hobbs was arrested and placed in the patrol car. Berrian was released despite the warrant when Glynn County reported they would not extradite.

March 26
Defective equipment/obstruction of an officer (misdemeanor)/possession of marijuana (misdemeanor)
Ashmore Road and MLK JR Drive, Hinesville

Deputy Adam Denton stopped a car that had a taillight out. According to the incident report he ran the tag and found it had been cancelled. He asked the driver for his license and registration and the driver reportedly gave him a name and date of birth of Michael Curry. Denton said the man was stuttering and nervous. A background check of the name given produced no records so Denton questioned the driver again. The man finally told Denton his real name was Antione Gadson.
Gadson was reportedly detained for providing false information. Denton searched the vehicle and found a small amount of what appeared to be marijuana. Gadson reported he just bought the car two weeks ago and did not know about the marijuana. He was taken to jail.

March 27
Loud music/possession of marijuana
Highway 196 West, Hinesville

Deputy Larry Bell pulled over a Chevy pickup because it was playing loud music. As Bell approached the driver the deputy reported he smelled marijuana. The driver, Tyrone Kevin Green Jr., allegedly admitted he had marijuana and a handgun in the truck. Green reportedly pulled a small bag of marijuana out from under his driver's seat and showed the handgun that was in the front seat to the deputy. He was arrested without incident and taken to jail. The gun and marijuana were given to MACE for further investigation.

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