COVINGTON -- Covington Police officers answered a call Monday afternoon concerning a pair of alleged shoplifters, but wound up finding methamphetamine, as well.
Officers went to CVS pharmacy on U.S. Highway 278 about 1:30 p.m. after an employee called them and advised two women had been seen concealing make-up in their pocketbooks and leaving the store without paying for it. The employee gave a description of the two and said they were headed to a yellow truck in the parking lot, according to a Covington Police Department incident report.
"When I arrived, I observed the two females beginning to enter the truck. As I approached the truck, I made contact with the female in the brown shirt, later identified as Michelle Payne, and placed her in investigative custody," the officer who completed the report stated. "As I was detaining Payne, I observed the female in the orange shirt step out of the vehicle and walk to the rear of the vehicle, crouch down at the left wheel well, and then emerge on the back side of the truck. I made contact with the female and placed her in investigative custody, and she was identified as Stephanie Miranda."
When the officer checked the wheel well where the woman was seen crouching down, he found a blue make-up case, the report states.
"Checking the contents of the case, I located a set of green digital scales with white crystaline substance on it and a small silver make-up case with 11 small plastic baggies with orange ice cream cones on the outside of the wrapper and white crystaline substance (suspected methamphetamine). Additionally, there was a small silver spoon in the blue make-up case," the report states.
The report goes on to state that miscellaneous make-up items were located in the bed of the pickup and inside the women's pocketbooks. The items were identified as belonging to CVS. The total value of the stolen make-up was $102.50.
Payne also told the officer that she had concealed two pipes in her pants, and the female CVS employee accompanied her to the restroom and removed the suspected crack pipes.
Payne, 39, of 6024 Clane Drive, and Miranda, 26, of 26 Wendy Hill Road, Monticello, were both arrested and charged with shoplifting and possession of methamphetamine.
Also, CPD officers made drug arrests Sunday about 8 a.m. after reports came in of "shots fired and people running and screaming," according to a CPD incident report.
Upon arriving in the area of Ivy Street and Lunsford Circle, officers stopped a vehicle with four people inside that had the passenger's side window broken out. The driver of the vehicle said "she was down in the hole at the end of Lunsford Circle and heard someone cock a gun and shoot. She said when she got in her car to leave, she noticed her window was broken," according to a CPD incident report.
While talking to the driver of this vehicle, the report states the officer saw a second vehicle with three people inside drive by and he stopped that car as well and spoke with the driver, James Herron.
"Upon making contact with Herron, I observed a set of brass knuckles with a knife ... sitting in his lap. I then retrieved the knife and secured it," the report states.
After back-up units arrived, the officer said he went back to the driver of the first vehicle and asked for permission to search the car. In the process, he ran her three passengers' names through the computer system.
One of the men gave the name of Shan Jackson, who came back with a warrant out of Rockdale County. It was later determined that the passenger's name was actually David Moton.
The search yielded a Cobra .380 handgun under the front passenger's seat, "right next to Moton's foot," according to the report. The gun was found to be stolen out of Newton County.
The officer then turned his attention to the second vehicle, which the driver denied him permission to search it. A canine was called and alerted on the driver's side of the vehicle, so the two passengers were asked to exit the vehicle while a search, based on the canine's alert, took place.
"I opened (a) purse ... and observed a cloth pouch containing several clear baggies of off-white nuggets that appeared to be cocaine. I then pulled the pouch out of the purse and saw a second cloth pouch inside the first. Upon opening the second pouch, I found more of the same off-white substance individually packaged into small clear baggies. I then emptied the first pouch and found two baggies containing a green leafy substance believed to be marijuana," the officer states in the report, adding that he also found seven Hydrocodone pills and four Oxycontin pills.
All three of the occupants in the car denied ownership of the drugs.
"Seeing that the purse was sitting in the center and accessible by all parties, officers then placed all three persons in custody," the report states.
Arrests and charges stemming from the searches of the two vehicles include:
* James Gregory Herron, 21, 3138 Baywood Court, Conyers, possession, manufacturing, distributing, etc. of controlled substance, possession of marijuana less than 1 ounce, drugs to be kept in original container.
*Jevah Amandle Holmes, 20, 4811 Hull Road, Conyers, possession, manufacturing, distributing, etc. of controlled substance, possession of marijuana less than 1 ounce, drugs to be kept in original container.
* Yalisa Shy Quon Birch, 19, 2602 Embarcadero Blvd. No. 260, Lithonia, possession, manufacturing, distributing, etc. Schedule I and II of controlled substance, possession of marijuana less than 1 ounce, drugs to be kept in original container.
* David Ernest Moton, 27, 9226 Carr Circle, theft by receiving stolen property, giving false name or address to a law enforcement officer, probation violation.