Antsy driver leads to drug bust

Larry Stanford Editor

August 17, 2013

The urge to get out of town quick led to the undoing of a Woodland man found with packages of marijuana in his possession. Jamarius Vontrez Copeland, 20, is facing a felony charge of possession of marijuana with intent to distribute.

The arrest occurred on July 24, about 10:30 a.m., and happened because Copeland didn’t want to wait for several trucks pulling out onto Barnesville Highway ahead of him. Thomaston Police Investigator Phillip Tobin was sitting in a marked police car behind Copeland’s 1992 Honda Accord on Barnesville Highway near the Thomaston Police Station. A Georgia Department of Transportation (GDOT) flagman had stopped traffic to allow several GDOT trucks to pull onto the road.

The flagman was in front of Copeland, who apparently didn’t want to wait for the trucks to pull out, and attempted to go around the flagman, first to one side, and then to the other. Tobin witnessed this from his car, and hit his siren briefly. Copeland realized there was a police car behind him, and turned into a nearby convenience store, stopped at the gas pumps, then lowered his seat back so he was lying below the windows.

Tobin pulled into the store parking lot along with Officer Bobby Ellington. Ellington circled around the car while Tobin went up to Copeland’s window to talk to him and request that he exit the vehicle. When Copeland got out of the car, Tobin reported he could smell the odor of marijuana on him. Copeland agreed to a search and Tobin found $222 in cash, and a ¼ ounce of suspected marijuana in his pants pocket. A search of the interior of the car turned up nothing, but when Tobin went around the back of the car, he reportedly smelled the odor of marijuana in the trunk. A search there found a red backpack containing 29 plastic packs of suspected marijuana and a set of scales. Copeland was arrested and taken to the Upson County Jail for booking.