Five ounces of meth taken off street
An alert Gilmer County Sheriff’s Office deputy made the traffic stop of a Ford Focus, then assisted East Ellijay Police since it was in their territory. The upshot — five ounces of methamphetamine ready to sell, marijuana for market, ecstasy and a stolen pistol taken off the streets.
Arrested was Thomas Max Hubbard, 51, of 1233 Ford Creek Road in Elberton, on multiple drug and weapon charges (see box).
Lt. Kenny Wiggins of the sheriff’s office stopped Hubbard on First Avenue on April 11 just before 5 p.m. When it was learned Hubbard did not have a valid driver’s license, Officer Michael Stanford with East Ellijay Police agreed to take over the stop.
While Stanford was talking to Hubbard, he noticed him reaching around in the vehicle and asked him to stop, and he complied. A female passenger was talking on her cellphone, and she was asked to stop and also complied.
“(Hubbard) told me nervously that he did not have a license due to a DUI ... (he) was still moving his hands and could not keep still, so I asked him to step out of the vehicle and he agreed,” Stanford wrote in an incident report.
Dispatch confirmed Hubbard was unlicensed and might have warrants out on him from Elbert County, and while he was being handcuffed, Stanford asked if he could search the vehicle and Hubbard “hesitantly said yes.”
“While I was escorting (Hubbard) to the front of my patrol car, he told me without me asking him, that (the female) doesn’t know anything and that there was dope in the vehicle ... he explained there was five ounces of methamphetamine in a bag that he threw somewhere in the back seat,” Stanford said in the report.
A search of the vehicle revealed a black bag with seven loaded syringes of an unknown substance, 11 new syringes and two glass pipes, and another bag with a gold-colored Rossi .38 Special revolver loaded with five rounds that was found to be stolen out of South Carolina. Also seized were six medium-sized clear bags of suspected meth, three and a half tablets of suspected ecstasy, measuring scales, a journal with names and dollar amounts, as well as two fixed-blade knives with five-inch blades and a box containing 70 new syringes.
The woman denied having any knowledge of the contraband, but did confess to using meth the day before. She was not charged. Hubbard was taken to the county jail, and when Stanford explained the bonding process, Hubbard said he was “familiar with the process.”
When field tested, the suspected meth and ecstasy proved positive. The syringes were disposed of in a hazardous waste container at the jail.
‘Absolutely no way’
Police Chief Larry Callahan lauded the officers working together in this case and others.
“There’s absolutely no way we can succeed in any facet of law enforcement if we don’t cooperate,” he said last week. “The demands are too heavy and the supply of officers is too small. Just in the last week, I can think of at least four agencies that we’ve worked with closely, whether it be on wrecks, an arrest or whatever.
“It’s not just needed, it’s vital if we’re going to succeed at this. We’re fortunate in that we get along really good with the sheriff’s office and Ellijay (Police), and all the state agencies. And I feel like it shows in the results.”
Hubbard remained in the county jail Tuesday. A spokeswoman said his bond was set at $57,000, but he has a hold on him from another county.