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Porterdale traffic stop results in drug-trafficking arrest

PORTERDALE — A simple traffic stop resulted in a Social Circle woman’s arrest on numerous drug charges when police found drugs marked for sale, a written log of numerous transactions, several thousand dollars of cash and a safety deposit key located in her truck.

Porterdale Police Department Officer Kevin Courchaine pulled over a white Nissan truck driven by Regina Arleen Maughon around 6:45 p.m. on Sept. 30 when she allegedly ran the stop sign on Crowell Road at South Broad St., almost causing a wreck with an oncoming vehicle.

Courchaine reported that he noticed Maughon acting nervously when he asked for her drivers license, so he asked for permission to search her vehicle.

At first, Maughon said “she didn’t have time,” but when she learned that Courchaine had called for a K-9 officer to search the truck, she changed her mind, the officer reported.

K-9 Officer Nina gave a positive alert for drugs in the vehicle, prompting Courchaine to search more thoroughly.

“While searching the vehicle, I located a grey zip-up bag behind the driver’s seat that contained approximately 10 grams of suspected methamphetamine, a small amount of suspected marijuana, and an assortment of pills,” he reported.

The officer also found four small individual bags of methamphetamine that were packaged for sale and were marked with prices.

Inside Maughon’s purse, Courchaine found $7,768 in cash, along with a handwritten log detailing suspected drug transactions with multiple amounts of cash owed to Maughon.

“Inside the log was a small manilla envelope with ‘Wells Fargo’ stamped on the outside, and it contained a safety deposit key that was numbered ‘29,’” Courchaine reported.

Further investigation revealed that Maughon was the sole owner of safety deposit box No. 29 at the Wells Fargo Bank in Covington.

Maughon, 58, of 961 Ga. Highway 11 in Social Circle, was arrested and charged with possession of a Schedule II drug (methamphetamine); failure to keep drugs in their original container; possession of marijuana less than 1 ounce; possession of a Schedule III drug; possession of Schedule IV drugs; possession and use of drug-related objects; possession of drugs in a drug-free commercial zone, sale, distribution, possession, etc. of dangerous drugs; and failure to stop at a stop sign.

In a second arrest in the city’s drug-free commercial zone, Officer Courchaine arrested a Porterdale man in connection with various drug offenses.

Just after midnight on Friday, Courchaine pulled over a car that allegedly failed to stop at the stop sign at Crowell Road and South Broad St.

The officer reported that the driver of the vehicle was acting nervously and her passenger, Kevin Partain, was trying to answer questions for her.

“(The driver) continued to state that when Partain saw the blue lights from the police car, he threw something in her lap,” Courchaine reported. “(The driver) stated she tossed it on the center console. I asked if she knew what he had tossed in her lap and (she) stated she thought it was meth.”

When Courchaine asked Partain about that, Partain reportedly told the officer it probably belonged to another man, who “had a bad meth problem and could have left something in the car.”

The officer said he didn’t believe someone with an addiction to drugs would leave any behind, so he called for K-9 Nina, who alerted to the presence of narcotics in the vehicle.

A further search of the car turned up four small clear bags containing suspected methamphetamine packaged for sale.

Partain, 23, of 14 Elm St., was arrested and charged with possession of Schedule II drugs, possession with intent to distribute and possession of drugs in a drug-free commercial zone. The driver of the car was given a warning for the traffic offenses.