By DON FLETCHER
News Staff Writer
Atmore police continued to rack up felony drug arrests over the past week, as methamphetamine possession charges were filed against two Atmore men, a Perdido man and a Robertsdale man.
APD Chief Chuck Brooks reported this week that the four arrests were the result of three separate traffic stops. One incident also included a charge for resisting arrest, while two of the suspects, riding in the same vehicle, were each found to be in illegal possession of a handgun.
The series of felony drug busts began around 10:30 p.m. on December 6, when an officer on patrol along Jack Springs Road observed a pickup truck “swerve into the opposite lane.”
There were several people in the truck, and reports show that the group acted suspiciously while being questioned. The driver gave consent to search the vehicle, but the occupants refused to get out of the truck when ordered to by police.
One, 24-year-old Aaron Henry Lambeth, reportedly “became combative” and began to fight with the officer after an electronic scale was seen in the truck. He was eventually subdued, and a “crystal-like residue” that tested positive for methamphetamine was found on the scales. The officer also discovered an ink pen into which a “crystal-like substance” that also tested positive for meth had been burned.
Lambeth, who is charged with one count each of possession of a controlled substance, possession of drug paraphernalia and resisting arrest, was processed into the Escambia County Detention Center. He was released on bond two days later.
The “double arrest” occurred on December 9, when an officer spotted a “suspicious vehicle” pull up to a residence in the Tumbling Lane area. When the officer tried to make contact with the two subjects inside, the driver briefly “fled south on Canoe Road” before pulling the vehicle over.
An undisclosed quantity of meth was discovered inside the vehicle, and the driver, Jimmy Levon Wiggins, 23, of Perdido, and passenger, 26-year-old Brandon Pipkin of Robertsdale, were taken into custody.
Each was found to be in possession of an unpermitted handgun, and they were charged with one count each of possession of a controlled substance, possession of unspecified drug paraphernalia and carrying a concealed weapon without a permit.
Wiggins, who was also charged with attempting to elude police, remained in the county jail early Tuesday, December 14. Pipkin was released on bond a day after the arrest.
The fourth arrest came on December 11, when an officer pulled over a vehicle for an unspecified equipment violation.
Reports show that the driver, 55-year-old Stephen Eugene Freeman of Atmore, was “sweating profusely, refused to make eye contact and was behaving erratically.” There was also a “strong odor of marijuana” coming from the vehicle.
A search yielded a butane lighter, a plastic bag with a “small amount of a clear, crystal-like substance” that field tested positive for methamphetamine, part of a marijuana cigarette and “several other plastic baggies” with residue that tested positive for meth.
Freeman was charged with one count each of possession of a controlled substance, possession of drug paraphernalia and second-degree possession of marijuana. He was booked into the county jail, from which he was released on bond two days later.