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Pot odor, FTA warrants lead to drug arrests

The odor of burnt marijuana and a failure to appear in court on prior charges led to the separate February 7 arrests by Escambia County Sheriff’s Office deputies of an Atmore man and a Nokomis man, each of whom was taken into custody in the Nokomis area.

According to a press release issued by Chief Deputy Mike Lambert, the first arrest occurred around 10:15 a.m., when Deputy Derick Lowry, on routine patrol along James Road, pulled over a black Cadillac sedan with an expired tag.

The vehicle was occupied by Damien Jenkins, 39, of a Wilson Avenue address in Atmore, who was driving, and an unidentified passenger. The deputy smelled what appeared to be the odor of marijuana coming from inside the vehicle, and both subjects were removed from the vehicle.

Jenkins reportedly granted consent to search the vehicle, and Lowry was unable to find any illegal narcotics inside, although he did find a small black scale. The patrol officer ran a computer check on Jenkins and discovered that he was the subject of a warrant for failure to appear in court.

Before Jenkins was taken to the county jail for processing, he reportedly told Lowry that he did use the scale to weigh marijuana but that he had eaten all the illegal weed he previously had in his possession.

Deputy Larry Gross, who was the transporting officer, noticed the suspect “moving around a lot” in the back seat of the patrol car while he was being transported to the Escambia County Detention Center in Brewton. When Gross and his prisoner got to the jail and Jenkins was removed from the vehicle, the deputy removed the back seat and found a plastic cigarette wrapper that contained four white pills that were identified as Lortab.

Jenkins was processed into the county jail on one count each of failure to appear in court, unlawful possession of a controlled substance (hydrocodone) and unlawful possession of drug paraphernalia. He was later released on a $5,000 bond.

Around 4:20 p.m. that same day, Lowry and Sgt. Claude Cosey went to a residence on Johnson Road, also in the Nokomis area, to serve a warrant on 29-year-old Robertson Christopher Hayles, who was also wanted for failure to appear in court.

Deputies placed Hayles under arrest on the bench warrant. While doing a pat-down, Cosey found what he believed to be a partially burned, hand-rolled marijuana cigarette in the left front pocket of the jacket Hayles was wearing.

The suspect was taken to the county jail, where he remained Tuesday on the FT warrant, for which no bond was allowed. He is also under total bonds of $5,000 on one count each of possession of marijuana, unauthorized use of a vehicle and third-degree domestic violence – harassment.