On Sunday, June 19, Bainbridge Public Safety Officers made a traffic stop that led to a drug bust.
According to the incident report, BPS Officers Toby Miller and Chris Jackson were parked on West Street observing traffic when Officer Jackson observed a blue Oldsmobile Cutlass with an unrestrained driver (no seat belt). Officer Miller pursued the vehicle and made a traffic stop at the intersection of West and Evans Streets.
The driver, later identified as Titus Dewitt Madge, Jr., was visibly irate with being pulled over and handed Officer Miller proof of insurance, but no driver’s license. At this time, Officer Miller could smell the odor of “green marijuana” coming from the car. “Boys, put your hands on the dash, now where’s your dope at?” asked Officer Miller. The passenger, Jessie James Barthel, “became very nervous. Officer Miller observed Barthel’s carortid artery begin to beat faster, so much that it was visible from the driver’s side of the vehicle. Barthel’s eyes bulged and he began to stutter.” (BPS Report)
The driver, Madge, was still visibly upset and “began to yell and become more irritated to the point of yelling in Officer Miller’s face that he was lying and had been wearing his seatbelt” (BPS Report). Because of the nature of the stop, Officer Miller asked Madge to exit the vehicle and asked if he had any weapons or drugs on him. Before Officer Miller could conduct a search, Madge began snatching his pockets out and revealed that he didn’t have any contraband.
Officer Miller then walked to the passenger side of the car and commanded Barthel to exit the car. The odor of marijuana grew stronger, but Officer Miller was unable to find any contraband on Barthel’s person. However, because of the intense odor, Officer Miller asked Officer Jackson to “complete an intrusive area” (BPS Report). During these search, the green marijuana was located in Barthel’s shoes.
Back at the car, Officer Miller searched and found a digital scale inside a black plastic bag with green smeared residue under the lid. Madge and Barthel were placed under arrest and transported to Bainbridge Public Safety headquarters.
In the jail cell, Barthel called for Officer Miller and stated, “Officer, that scale and marijuana is all mine!” (BPS Report).
Madge was booked for Obstruction of an officer (misd), no license on person and no seatbelt. Barthel was charged with possession of marijuana and possession of drug related objects. Both were released on bond.
Information for this story was taken from the Bainbridge Public Safety Incident Report.