Whitley County Sheriff’s deputies conducting a traffic stop on a pickup truck with no license plate Thursday night in Woodbine, discovered the vehicle to be stolen and the driver to be in possession of heroin and methamphetamine.
According to a press release on the sheriff’s department’s Facebook page, deputies were in the area on Ky. 6 as part of a targeted effort to step up patrols in areas that have seen increased criminal activity.
Deputy Chad Estep saw the black Chevrolet pickup truck traveling on Ky. 6 with no registration plates and conducted a traffic stop near Archer Street.
Upon a check of the driver, later identified as Mark Lawson, 36, of Williamsburg, had no driver’s license.
“With not registration paperwork in the vehicle, the VIN (vehicle identification number) was verified through Whitley County dispatch and returned as stolen,” officials with the sheriff’s department stated adding that deputies determined Lawson to be under the influence.
Lawson was charged with theft by unlawful taking of an automobile of the value of $500 or more but less than $10,000, operating a motor vehicle while under the influence, no operator’s license, failure to produce insurance card, failure to maintain insurance, failure to wear seat belts, no registration plates, no registration receipt, first-degree possession of a controlled substance – heroin, and first-degree possession of a controlled substance – methamphetamine – third or greater offense.
The passenger in the vehicle, identified as John W. Chatham, 68, of Rockhold, was charged with theft by unlawful taking of an automobile of the value of $500 or more but less than $10,000, first-degree possession of a controlled substance – methamphetamine, and first-degree possession of a controlled substance – heroin.
Lawson and Chatham were lodged in the Whitley County Detention Center.
Estep was assisted at the scene by Deputy Chad Foley and Sgt. Jonas Saunders.
“Our traffic enforcement in areas of concern have yielded significant arrest with various types of illegal substances removed from our community,” said Deputy Todd Shelley noting that deputies have made two similar arrests this week on Ky. 204 and Tidal Wave Road. “We will continue to target areas that are of concern to our department.”