By DON FLETCHER
News Staff Writer
Atmore police investigators continued over the past week to reel in motorists who were found to be in possession of various controlled substances as they drove or rode along city streets and state highways.
A Florida woman who was a passenger in a vehicle pulled over by an Atmore Police Department investigator found herself charged with possession of three different controlled substances after she acted in a suspicious manner during the traffic stop.
According to police reports, the driver of the vehicle drew the attention of police when he failed to maintain his lane while traveling along Alabama 21 around 10 p.m. on March 29.
The unidentified driver, who was not charged with any crime, explained to the APD investigator that he couldn’t maintain his lane because his steering wheel was loose. When asked if there was anything illegal in the vehicle, the driver said there was not and reportedly gave the investigator consent to search the vehicle.
As the occupants were getting out, the city detective noticed the female passenger, 46-year-old Lynda Michelle Adkins of Century, holding her purse tightly against her body. She was asked if she had anything illegal in the purse and if she would give consent to search it.
She reportedly gave such consent, and a pill bottle containing a baggie with half a gram of what tested positive as methamphetamine was found inside. Also discovered inside the purse were two Lortab pills and two Xanax pills, as well as an orange sock that contained a glass pipe with methamphetamine residue in it.
Adkins was arrested and charged with three counts of possession of a controlled substance (meth, Lortab, Xanax) and one count of possession of drug paraphernalia.
She was transported to the Escambia County Detention Center, where she remained late Monday, April 4.
Middle of the road
A Baldwin County man faces felony drug charges after he tried to elude an APD investigator who spotted the man’s pickup parked in the middle of West Road.
The incident started around 8:45 p.m. on March 29, when the investigator — who was traveling north on U.S. 31 — saw the truck, turned around and engaged his blue lights.
As the lawman approached the pickup, on which the tag was expired, the driver took off. The investigator followed as the truck continued along West Road before making an abrupt turn onto South Road, then stopping a short distance from the intersection.
The APD investigator felt the driver — later identified as Oddie Randolph Bryars, 46, of Bay Minette — made the sudden turn to hide the fact he threw something out the pickup’s window.
As Bryars was being questioned, the investigator noticed a catalytic converter in the truck bed. Due to a rash of recent catalytic converter thefts in the region, the investigator asked Bryars for consent to search his vehicle.
The Bay Minette man reportedly “denied consent and became agitated,” so the investigator requested a K9 unit from the Escambia County Sheriff’s Office. The canine officer arrived and promptly “alerted on the driver side door.”
A search of the vehicle revealed a plastic baggie on the driver side floor next to a deep socket that contained approximately 3.5 grams of methamphetamine.
While the pickup was being searched, other officers combed the area where Bryars made the abrupt turn. They found a glass pipe like those commonly used to smoke methamphetamine on the side of the roadway at the point where the investigator felt something had been thrown from the truck.
Bryars was placed under arrest and taken to the police department for further questioning. Once there, the transporting officer searched the backseat of his marked SUV and discovered several clear rocks in his backseat that field-tested positive for methamphetamine.
Police also discovered a crushed glass pipe in the back pocket of the suspect’s pants, and he was charged with one count each of possession of a controlled substance and possession of drug paraphernalia.
Bryars posted bond and was released from the county jail the next day.
Rocks in his pocket
An Atmore man was arrested, also on March 29 by an APD investigator, as he drove along Alabama 21 around 11 p.m. in a vehicle with no taillights.
The vehicle was pulled over, and its driver — 60-year-old Donald Barnhill — “was extremely nervous while speaking with the investigator,” who noticed that Barnhill had the cap from a pill bottle in his hand and that there was an empty pill bottle lying in the passenger floorboard, with a torn corner from a plastic bag lying next to it.
When Barnhill got out of the vehicle and was searched, several rocks of crack cocaine were found in his shirt pocket.
Barnhill, who is no stranger to the county jail, was charged with possession of a controlled substance and booked into the facility for the 10th time since 2009. He was released on bond later that day.