High-speed chase leads to drug arrests

CONYERS — A Loganville man led Newton County Sheriff’s Office deputies on a high-speed chase down Salem Road that resulted in the man crashing his car and fleeing the scene. A few hours later, the man was arrested in Rockdale County and found with a large amount of methamphetamine.

The incident occurred on Thursday, July 10, when a Newton County deputy patrolling the area of Fairview Road and Gross Lake Parkway noticed a white Ford Escape failing to maintain its lane of travel.

The deputy attempted to conduct a traffic stop and the driver slowed down as if he planned pull over; however, he instead accelerated onto Salem Road, swerving in and out of traffic, leading the deputy on a high-speed chase into Rockdale County, said NCSO Sgt. Cortney Morrison.

The driver, later identified as 32-year-old Ronnie Justin Bowen, turned into a residential area, driving at times on the grass and eventually driving over a curb and through back yards.

“The deputy did not follow Bowen through the yards, but soon found his car up on a curb with smoke and flames coming out from under the vehicle,” Morrison said.

Other deputies arrived at the scene and witnesses reported seeing the man running down the road into a wooded area.

Rockdale County Sheriff’s Office deputies also assisted, bringing out a K-9 unit and setting up a perimeter to try to locate Bowen.

During the course of the investigation, deputies learned that a female known to Bowen drives a white Chevrolet Trailblazer and that he might be with her. Consequently, deputies began looking for that vehicle as well, Morrison said.

Sometime around 6 p.m., members of the RCSO Narcotics/Vice Unit, along with the NCSO, saw the Trailblazer driving along Gees Mill Road. They pulled over the vehicle, which was driven by Tammy Denise Howard, 43, of 2453 Red Oak Bend in Oxford, and in which Bowen was a passenger. Upon searching the SUV, deputies seized more than 60 grams of methamphetamine.

Howard and Bowen, of 5748 Kent Rock Road in Loganville, were both arrested and charged with trafficking in illegal drugs.