A Stone Mountain woman and a South Carolina man are facing drug charges as a result of an Aug. 10 traffic stop on I-85.
A Gwinnett County Police officer was northbound on I-85 near Gravel Springs Road when he noticed a white Chrysler Sebring drift across the fog line. The officer continued to observe the vehicle and initiated a traffic stop near Hamilton Mill Road after the vehicle crossed the fog line a second time.
According to the police report, the officer immediately noticed a strong odor of marijuana upon approaching the vehicle, which was an Enterprise rental car.
“I could also smell an overwhelming odor of air freshener,” the officer wrote in the arrest report. “I noticed there were two clip-on air fresheners stuck inside the air vents. This stood out to me because this was an Enterprise rental car and the average motoring public does not add air fresheners to a rental car.”
The driver, Tequila Harris, 28, of the 900 block of Second Street in Stone Mountain, said she and her passenger, who initially identified himself as Justin Latimer, were on their way to Latimer’s home in South Carolina. When asked about the odor of marijuana in the vehicle, Harris said she did not smoke, but some people who had used the car earlier in the day had.
Based on the strong odor of marijuana, the officer decided to call for backup and search the vehicle. During the search, the officer found a United State Postal Service (USPS) box in the trunk. Harris said the box was for her aunt who lives in South Carolina. Harris explained that her aunt had the box shipped to Harris in Stone Mountain and that the contents of the box belonged to her aunt. Harris was unable to explain why the aunt, as the intended recipient, did not have the box shipped directly to her home in South Carolina.
Upon opening the USPS box, the officer found a Playstation 3 box. The officer noted the box was far too light to actually contain a Playstation 3. Inside the Playstation 3 box, the officer discovered freezer bags filled with approximately three pounds of marijuana. The officer also found a business card for an indoor hydroponic company that sells supplies commonly used to grow marijuana.
Harris and Latimer were arrested and placed in the back of the officer’s patrol car. During this time, the rear facing dash camera and audio were recording. On the recording, Harris and Latimer reportedly discussed the quantity of drugs in the vehicle and Latimer reassured Harris there was not enough to warrant a trafficking charge.
Harris and Latimer were transported to the Gwinnett County Jail. Once at the jail, officers discovered that Latimer had provided his brother’s name instead of his own and that his real name was Theonecius Latimer, 25. The police report shows an Anderson, S.C. address for Latimer, but jail records list a Hartwell, Ga. address.
Harris was jailed on charges of failure to maintain lane and possession of marijuana with intent to distribute. She was released from jail later that day on a $12,500 bond.
Latimer was arrested on charges of possession of marijuana with intent to distribute and providing a false name to law enforcement officers. He was also released from jail later that day on a $12,500 bond.
This article first appeared on Dacula Patch.
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