THOMASVILLE — Three Boston teens are charged with offenses ranging from cocaine distribution and stolen firearm possession to street gang activity following their arrests Tuesday morning.
A red bandana found in a suspect's pocket identifies him as a member of the Bloods gang, said Louis Schofill, Thomasville-Thomas County Narcotics/Vice Division commander.
According to a report, a Thomasville Police Department officer patrolling at Smith Avenue and Pinetree Boulevard at 9:30 Tuesday morning saw Jermaryoun Pressley, 19, 600 E. Neel St., Boston, driving without a seatbelt. Neither was passenger Tyrell Haggins, 19, 626 Leak St., Boston, wearing a seatbelt.
Because of dark windows, the officer could not see back seat passenger Armond Lovett, 17, 346 Stone St., Boston, until a window was rolled down.
The odor of marijuana came from the Dodge Journey, and the driver and passengers seemed nervous, a TPD incident report shows.
The officer found a marijuana grinder and red bandana in one of Lovett's pockets. A handgun was found in another pocket.
Pressley was in possession of a plastic bag containing ammunition and several bags of a white, powdery substance.
Officers found more cocaine in the glove compartment and two more handguns in a compartment on the vehicle's rear floor.
All three firearms found in the vehicle had been reported stolen. Schofill said one of the firearms was stolen by Lovett from his mother's residence, adding that all three suspects are documented gang members.
In addition to gang charges, the Boston teens are charged with cocaine possession with intent to distribute and possession of a firearm during the commission of a felony.
"When making a traffic stop, for whatever violation committed, an officer is unaware of any dangers that may be present at that time," Lt. Toby Knifer, TPD Criminal Investigations Division commander. "He/she is entering into an unknown situation and has to be very observant of actions that the person stopped is doing, because the officer doesn't know the real intentions of the person(s) in the car."
The arrests were the sixth major felony drug case made by TPD officers in recent months, said Police Chief Troy Rich.
“This is just another great example of what our police officers are doing in combating the drug violations in our community," the chief said. "Officer Elisa Carter's experience and skills during this investigation yielded the recovery of three stolen firearms. This was outstanding police work. Hopefully, with the recovery of these stolen firearms, we will have thwarted another potential gun violence occurrence."
Senior reporter Patti Dozier can be reached at (229) 226-2400, ext. 1820