Drug arrest: NCSO nabs alleged dealer

COVINGTON - An alert deputy spotted an unoccupied truck on the side of Interstate 20 recently and wound up arresting a suspected drug dealer, according to the Newton County Sheriff's Office.

Deputy Darrell Odom said he was patrolling I-20 eastbound around mile marker 97 between Ga. Highway 11 and Ga. Highway 142 about 3 p.m. on Nov. 9. He saw an unoccupied black Ford Ranger pickup parked down an embankment in the grass along the side of the fence.

Lt. Mark Mitchell said the deputy stopped to investigate and spotted two men fishing at a nearby lake.

"He did warrant checks on both of them and David Wright, 51, of Gainesville came back wanted out of Laurens County," Mitchell said, adding that the warrant was for failure to appear.

The deputy arrested Wright and subsequent to his arrest searched the pickup. The search revealed 27.1 grams of suspected marijuana and 7.5 grams of methamphetamine, packaged in plastic bags. Additionally, three glass pipes, a butane lighter and a black pouch containing scales, plastic bags, spoons and "push rods," were located.

Wright was arrested and charged with possession of marijuana with the intent to distribute, possession of methamphetamine with the intent to distribute, possession of drug paraphernalia, possession of drug equipment and concealing identification.

His passenger was not charged, Mitchell said.

In other crime news, a man went to Newton Medical Center about 2 p.m. Nov. 11 and told emergency room personnel that he was beat up the day before, according to an NCSO report.

When a deputy arrived at the hospital to get information of the assault from the victim, he was told by the man that the incident occurred at the Pure service station located at the intersection of Morningside Drive and the Ga. Highway 162 Connector.

The victim said that as he got off his bike, two black men who were unknown to him said, "Hey, cracker, move that ... bike!"

The victim said the suspects used profanity when talking to him and he swore back at them. At that time, they "charged at him and began punching on him," the report states.

He said he attempted to defend himself by hitting back and the two got into their car and fled the scene. He told the deputy he had never seen the two men before.

He told the deputy he waited until the next day to report the incident because he had ascertained that he suffered a broken jaw as a result of the assault.

The investigation into the incident is continuing.

Barbara Knowles can be reached at barbara.knowles@newtoncitizen.com.