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June 20, 2014

Fake drugs net real charges

THOMASVILLE — Selling fake substances as drugs is a crime — an offense with which a Thomasville man has been charged twice, along with charges for the real thing.

Thomas County/Thomasville Narcotics/Vice agents learned mid-day Thursday Chester Herbert would be in the West Jackson Street area, near Pine Tree Boulevard, driving a silver Toyota, with cocaine and molly, a form of ecstasy, for sale.

Narcotics agents traveling in an undercover vehicle saw Herbert, who was wanted on a bench warrant, meet with a person at a service station and head out of town on U.S. 319 South.

The Toyota traveled to Metcalfe Road, turned around and headed back into the city. Agents, assisted by a Thomas County Sheriff’s Office deputy, attempted to stop Herbert, who fled onto Martin Luther King Drive and Harris Street.

“In the 500 block of Harris, he throws out a bag that contains a white, powdery substance in chunk form,” said Kevin Lee, narcotics/vice commander.

While the chase continued, officers saw another bag thrown from the vehicle on Sixth Avenue near Normal Lane.

The white, powdery substance did not test positive for cocaine. “But we believe he was selling it as cocaine,” Lee said.

The second bag contained ecstasy.

“He led us to Stevens Street and the Clay Street area in pursuit,” the commander said. Again, agents attempted to stop the car.

“He hit the agents’ vehicle, rendering it inoperable,” Lee explained.

Herbert continued to flee, reached Carroll Hill and turned onto Holland Street, where the Toyota was forced to the curb. The suspect surrendered.

Herbert, 34, 129 W. Merrill St., is charged with trafficking in ecstasy, transaction in non-controlled substances represented as a controlled substance, two counts aggravated assault on a police officer, felony eluding police, obstruction, reckless driving, bench warrant and numerous traffic offenses.

The Thursday incident is the second time narcotics agents have encountered Herbert with fake contraband for sale.

“He has been charged with selling fake drugs in the past,” Lee said.

The commander added that those selling fake substances as authentic drugs risk the chance of retaliation by customers.

Senior reporter Patti Dozier can be reached at (229) 226-2400, ext. 1820.

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