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Deputy arrests armed drug suspect

CONYERS -- A 42-year-old man who had served time on a methamphetamine conviction in Newton County was arrested on multiple drug and weapons charges in Rockdale County last week.

Rockdale County Sheriff's Office Deputy Curtis Thompson arrested Michael David Hall, of 1175 Pine Log Road, Conyers, in the early morning hours of Feb. 24 after Hall was seen driving erratically in the southern portion of the county.

According to Thompson's report, Hall was under the influence of methamphetamine and armed with a concealed handgun at the time of his arrest. The suspect was reportedly uncooperative with the deputy, failing to follow orders and at one point apparently trying to reach the weapon concealed in his waistband while the deputy was trying to restrain him.

Thompson reported that he first had contact with Hall after the suspect's vehicle was seen driving an erratic manner by a witness on Ga. Highway 20 South.

The deputy spoke with Hall at Randy's Quick Stop at the intersection of Ga. Highway 20 and Bell Road. At that time Hall appeared to be very tired and there was no odor of alcohol coming from him, according to the deputy. Hall reportedly told the deputy he had been working long hours and had gotten sleepy while driving. He said he stopped at the store to get a drink, walk around and wake up. Hall had a valid drivers license. The deputy told him to go straight home.

However, about two hours later, the deputy again spotted Hall's vehicle on Ga. Highway 20 near Christian Circle. This time, Hall was reportedly driving on the wrong side of the road. The deputy turned on his blue lights, and Hall pulled into the parking lot at Randy's Quick Stop.

When questioned by the deputy this time, Hall reportedly was "very jittery, his eyes were wide and his pupils were dilated," according to Thompson's report. "He was grinding his teeth together and spoke with a lisp because of it." Thompson wrote that he recognized this behavior as typical of someone under the influence of methamphetamine.

The deputy ordered Hall to face his car and put his hands on the vehicle. During a pat-down the deputy said he felt the butt of a pistol concealed in the suspect's waistband. When the suspect moved his hand toward his body, the deputy reportedly struck him in the back of the head and pulled his arms behind his back. There was a brief struggle in which Hall reportedly continued to try to reach his waistband before the deputy got him handcuffed.

Once Hall was cuffed, a loaded Interarms .38 caliber revolver fell out of his pants onto the ground, according to the report.

A search of Hall's pockets revealed a clear plastic bag containing crystal methamphetamine. At that point Hall reportedly told Thompson he was on parole and said he would work for Thompson for life if Thompson let him go.

Found inside Hall's car were more crystal meth, marijuana, powder cocaine, digital scales and other drug-related items. A sawed-off New England 20-gauge shotgun with the serial number filed off was found in a bag in the back seat area. In addition, numerous large knives were found around the driver's seat.

Hall was taken to Rockdale Medical Center where he consented to a blood test for drugs. He was then taken to the Rockdale County Jail.

Hall is on parole from a 2005 Newton County conviction for trafficking in methamphetamine, according to the incident report. He was sentenced to 30 years, the first 10 to be served in confinement. Hall told the deputy he was sentenced as a first offender and had spent 40 months in prison before being paroled.

In Rockdale County Hall faces charges of possession of methamphetamine with intent to distribute; purchase/possession/manufacture/distribution or sale of marijuana; possession of cocaine; possession and use of drug-related objects; receipt, possession or transfer of a firearm by a convicted felon or felony first offender; carrying a concealed weapon; possession of a sawed-off shotgun; possession of a firearm or knife during commission or attempt to commit a crime; and failure to drive on the right hand side of the road.