BEAR CREEK - Police Officer Austin Lewis was in the right place at the right time, when he noticed a suspicious vehicle leading to the confiscation of methamphetamine, marijuana and the arrest of both the driver and passenger on Feb. 9.
David Michael Smith, 28, of Hodges, driver of a white four-door car, was charged with manufacturing of a controlled substance first degree and possession of marijuana second degree, Lewis said.
Passenger Rebecca Lily Hutcheson, 19, of Haleyville, was charged with manufacturing first degree, possession of marijuana first degree, possession of a controlled substance and possession of drug paraphernalia, he added.
Smith and Hutcheson were transported without incident to the Marion County Jail, in Hamilton.
The incident leading to their arrests occurred around 3:30 p.m. Feb. 9, during an attempted traffic stop, Lewis said.
“I was sitting at a local business and I noticed a car go by...I just pulled up behind it,” Lewis noted.
The car turned to go onto Gin Street then accelerated into a high rate of speed, so Lewis got behind them on Gin Street.
The white car came up to Highway 13 near the water department. “When I got behind them, I noticed two of them, the driver and passenger, turn around and were looking,” he said. “When they noticed I was behind them, they turned left on Highway 13.”
Lewis continued pursuit of the vehicle when then turned off 13 onto County Highway 172. “I noticed a 20 ounce bottle get thrown out of the car,” he said.
At this point, Lewis activated the blue lights, with the car accelerating again on 172 then turning onto Smith Street where the driver decided to stop the vehicle, Lewis indicated.
Lewis got out, went up the driver’s door and asked them what they had thrown out, to which the driver responded nothing. After being asked again by Lewis, the driver admitted to having tossed out a bottle, which turned out to be an active meth lab, police said.
The driver was asked by Lewis to step out of the vehicle and put his hands behind his back, Lewis said.
A pat down of the subject found in his front left pocket a small instant coffee container with meth inside, said Lewis, adding the container and meth amounted to a total of 48.7 grams, according to Lewis.
The male subject was asked to sit on the grass next to the car, while Lewis questioned the female passenger, who pulled out from the front of her pants a clear plastic bag containing about 15.8 grams of marijuana, said Lewis.
When asked if she had anything else on her, the female reported no, at which point Lewis informed her that she would be searched once she got to jail, said Lewis.
The female then removed two glass pipes from her pants along with 6.45 grams of crystal meth in a plastic bag, police noted.
“I actually pulled drain cleaner from her purse. That’s a precursor to meth,” Lewis said
Also found in the female’s purse was lighter fluid, he added.
From the inside of the car, police found camp stove fuel and lighter fluid, Lewis said.
Both Smith and Hutcheson were out on probation from a previous crime, he noted.
“The Bear Creek Police Department is going to stay vigilant and continue to make every attempt to keep drugs off the streets of Bear Creek,” noted Police Chief Joey Franks.
“You may get away with it a time or two, but eventually we will catch you,” he added.
The confiscated drugs will be sent for further evaluation at the Alabama Department of Forensic Science, Lewis said.
*When a defendant is charged with a crime, the charge is merely an accusation until or unless proven guilty in a court of law.
See complete story in the Northwest Alabamian.