Ware County sheriff’s deputies arrested several people — including one who punched an officer — Monday and Tuesday as a result of a couple of traffic stops and a search of a residence where drug activity had been reported, said Sheriff Randy Royal.
A traffic stop of a 1999 Dodge Durango with non-working brake lights led to an arrest of the driver, Timothy Joe Merritt, 28, of O.E. McDonald Road, for simple battery on a deputy and obstruction of an officer, Royal said.
Deputy Leevon Payne noticed the Durango’s brake lights were not working when it stopped on Wadley Road and turned onto Anita Avenue at 7:57 a.m. Tuesday, Royal said. Payne followed the vehicle and made a traffic stop at New Mexico Avenue at the intersection of Massachusetts Avenue.
The deputy approached the driver and asked for his license and insurance card and got only the insurance card. It was determined the driver’s license was suspended, so Payne asked Merritt to step out, Royal said.
Merritt, after being frisked, punched the deputy in the stomach, declaring, “I’m not going back to jail,” and ran toward a nearby wooded area, Royal said. Payne and Deputy James Aldridge, who had arrived, chased him through a yard and a short distance into the woods.
They tackled Merritt who continued to struggle, Royal said. They eventually restrained him, put him into a patrol car and transported him to the Ware County jail.
Merritt was also charged with driving on a suspended license and driving with no brake lights, Royal said.
Meanwhile Ware County Sgt. Michael Ray arrested Janice Marie Vickers, 52, of Pearson, on drug charges after stopping her 2010 Dodge Avenger for speeding, Royal said.
Ray observed the car traveling west on South Georgia Parkway in the Waresboro area at 4:27 p.m. Tuesday and clocked it at 80 mph in a 65 mph speed zone, Royal said.
The deputy gave pursuit and stopped the car, approached it and observed a small amount of what looked like marijuana next to the driver’s door, Royal said. She admitted to him that there might be some marijuana in the car, Royal said.
Ray called on his K-9 partner, Niko, who alerted on both sides of the car, Royal said and the deputy found a total of 14 small, yellow bags, each with a green leafy substance inside, tentatively identified as marijuana.
Vickers was charged with possession of marijuana, possession of marijuana with intent to distribute and speeding, Royal said.
In another case, Ware deputies went to a residence on New York Avenue Monday at 3:56 p.m. on a court-ordered search warrant because the resident was on a felony bond and the sheriff’s office had received new reports of drug-related activity there, Royal said.
Arrested were the resident, Levi Manuel Poore, 26, of New York Avenue, and a man present when the deputies arrived, Ronald Wesley Spradley, 21, of Suwannee Chapel Road, Royal said.
Poore was charged with two counts of possession of a Schedule III drug and Spradley was charged with possession of methamphetamine, possession of marijuana and possession of drug-related items.
In a bedroom drawer, the deputies found custom-rolled cigars containing a leafy, green substance that field tested as marijuana and in another drawer four glass bottles, three containing a liquid field tested as testosterone and the fourth containing nadrolone decanoate, both steroids, Royal said.
Also found in the home were numerous small jewelry bags commonly used to contain controlled substances. There were also a number of pills that could not be immediately identified so they were sent to the GBI crime lab, Royal said. More charges are pending once they are identified.
Outside the residence, deputies found a box containing 31 empty plastic bags, two smoking pipes, and a crystal-like substance field tested as methamphetamine, Royal said.
Both Poore and Spradley were arrested and transported to the Ware County jail, Royal said.