NWGA Scanner | December 29th, 2021
According to a Floyd County Police Department incident report, on December 11th, 2021, at 3:10 AM, Officer Ribot-Aviles and Officer Tetsworth, were in the area of GA-20 and Huffaker Road checking the open gas stations. Officer Ribot-Aviles reported, “As [I] am driving around the Evans Store lot, [I] saw a dark in color pickup vehicle entering the lot area. [I] saw the driver looking at me with a tensed facial expression. [I] saw a passenger looking away when they were stopping at a gas pump. Myself and Officer Tetsworth stay in the area. As we were in the area, [I] saw that the driver went inside the store. A few minutes later, the pickup was driven around the lot in a circular motion, and it stopped again at a gas pump. We never saw anyone pumping gas or using the gas pump as customers tend to do when they go to the store. The pickup then exited the gas station by Huffaker Road. At that point, [I] saw the vehicle right blinker on. There was no traffic at the time. Then it stopped at the intersection of Huffaker Rd and Alabama Hwy. No traffic was visible. The pickup did stop but stayed at the intersection with the blinker on for over 10 seconds. No traffic was seen at the time. At the time, we were stationary. The pickup turned right into Ga 20 (Alabama Hwy). The vehicle was driven slower than usual. [I] was able to see the driver with a tensed posture, and the front passenger was leaning all the way to the driver’s side area. The first time, when [I] saw the vehicle, the front passenger was sitting in a normal manner. Based on that, I was unable to see the seatbelt over the front passenger. [I] then follow the vehicle. The vehicle was driven between 40 to 50mph. The speed limit for the area is 55MPH. The vehicle was in the slow lane. [I] saw the vehicle swerving on the lane. [I] also saw that the brakes lights were coming on real fast a few times; this is normal for a person speeding when they see a police vehicle, but at the time the vehicle was driven under the speed limit. [I] suspected that the driver was trying to make me pass them. Around the curved area, the pickup was driven as if it was taking a wide turn, but for the speed that it was traveling (slow), it was not normal to be driven in that manner. The vehicle speed was constantly changing, but it never went over 50MPH. At that time, based on the driving behavior and the passenger behavior when it passed my location. [I] suspected that the driver could have been impaired due to alcohol or controlled substances. [I] also suspected that the front passenger was not wearing the seatbelt due to the concealment motion. Also, when people pass the location of a police officer they won’t try to hide. In my experience when dealing with this kind of behavior, it is suspected that the person is concealing their identity due to criminal activity or a possible arrest warrant for that person. [I] then activated the blue lights and siren on to initiate the traffic stop due to numbers of factors [I] saw and [I] had reasonable suspicion.” The vehicle slowed down, and it did not stop right away. At first, it stopped, then it continued to move forward. The officer then located in the passenger area location a black bag that had been tossed out. Inside the bag, the officer found several plastic baggies with syringes. Officer Ribot-Aviles reported, “At that point, [I] informed everyone that they would be arrested. [I] had reason to believe that they were abandoning controlled substances.” At this point, the occupants started advising they were sick with Covid. Officer Ribot-Aviles reported, “[I] asked Officer Tetsworth to get some mask for them. During these days, when a person has Covid, the rule is to isolate and stay home to prevent the spreading. The driver went inside the store with no mask, not worrying about spreading the virus. The driver was ID as Michelle Lynn McCullough, 41, Rainsville, Alabama, the front passenger was Amber Nicole Horton, 27, Rainsville, Alabama, and the rear Passenger as John David Griggs, 45, of Fort Payne. Sgt. Ward and Officer Puckett responded to assist with the traffic stop. After further searching the black baggie, the officer located small rocks inside of it along with loaded syringes, several empty baggies (packaging material), a digital scale, and a glass pipe. According to the report, Mrs. McCullough advised that they came from Alabama to Floyd County with a plan of obtaining an ounce of meth. She stated that everyone knew about the plan.” Officer Ribot-Aviles reported, “Based on the statements obtained during the interview, I believed the three of them came from Alabama to Floyd County to buy a quantity of meth that is considered a trafficking amount. [I] also found out that McCullough’s license was suspended in the state of Alabama.” All three were booked into the Floyd County Jail, charged with possession of methamphetamine, trafficking meth, possession of meth with intent to distribute and possession of drug related objects. McCullough was also charged with operating a motor vehicle with a suspended license.