A “failure to maintain lane” traffic stop led to the arrest of three Donalsonville men last weekend.
On Saturday, September 30, BPS Officer Ronald McMillan observed a Nissan Altima traveling west on Dothan Road “leave the left inside lane of travel and enter the right outside lane of travel”. As the vehicle turned onto Spring Creek Road, PSO McMillan initiated a traffic stop.
McMillan asked the driver, identified as Owen Parks, for his license and registration. Parks told the officer that he didn’t have his license on him, so McMillan ran Parks’ name and date of birth through Decatur/Grady 911. While waiting on the information to come back, PSO McMillan advised Parks of his reason for stopping him (failure to maintain his lane). Parks stated that he didn’t drink or smoke and would be willing to blow into the intoxilizer. McMillan asked Parks to exit the vehicle and move to the front of the patrol car, and after initially refusing, Parks complied. When the driver got out of the car, PSO McMillan smelled a “stong odor of marijuana coming from the vehicle and Parks clothing” (BPS REPORT).
At one point during the traffic stop, one of the passengers into the back seat. McMillan told the passenger, Patrick Adams, to keep his hands in the clear. Because there were three men in the stopped car, PSO McMillan radioed for backup.
BPS Officers Jayson Myers and Jason Hayes arrived on scene and McMillan advised Parks that they were going to search the car, explaining that the odor of marijuana gave him probable cause and therefore, he didn’t need the driver’s permission. Officer Myers searched the car and discovered a glass jar containing 11 small bags and one large bag of marijuana. All three men in the car denied knowledge of the drug. Based on the location of the drugs in the car, and the fact that the jar could be reached by all three occupants, each person was arrested and charged with possession of marijuana with intent to distribute. The driver, Owen Parks, was also charged with failure to maintain lane and license not on person.
Those arrested were:
- Owen Maurice Parks, 25, of Donalsonville, GA
- Jakarius Sharod Mitchell, 26, of Donalsonville, GA
- Patrick D Adams, 20, of Donalsonville, GA