Deputy finds stolen checks from Newton County businesses during traffic stop

CONYERS — A Rockdale County deputy who pulled over a suspicious vehicle found approximately 30 checks apparently stolen from businesses and individuals in Newton County totaling nearly $2,800.

Rockdale County Sheriff’s Office Deputy R. Shirley was patrolling the area near Deere Drive around 2:20 a.m. July 23 where a business had reported several thefts when he saw a black passenger vehicle pull into the cul-de-sac and quickly leave upon noticing the patrol vehicle.

The deputy reported that he noticed the occupants in the car were moving around and a passenger in the back seat continually turned around and looked at the deputy.

Shirley pulled the car over and spoke with the occupants, who told him they were from Atlanta and had just finished eating at Waffle House. The deputy stated in the incident report that he remained suspicious since the nearest Waffle House was on the other side of the interstate.

The front seat passenger told the deputy his name was Marquez Brown and that he did not have a drivers license. The deputy later used a fingerprint scanner to determine that his name was actually Dnarius Darell Barnes, 26, of 32 Montgomery St. in Atlanta, and that he had an active warrant out of DeKalb County. Barnes claimed that Dnarius was his brother, but Shirley was doubtful.

“I then asked him if he happened to have his brother’s fingerprints on his hands and advised him that even if he was a twin, that they wouldn’t have the same fingerprints,” he stated.

Shirley asked all three occupants of the car to stand in front of his patrol car while he searched the vehicle.

“As I began checking the front seat passenger seat of the vehicle, I observed a short, clear (transparent) in color tube (straw) that contained a white powdery substance (suspected cocaine) on either end of the straw,” Shirley stated in the report.

He also found two checks addressed to Covington-based Wagner Service Solutions Inc. inside the glove compartment and four checks in the center console from Innovative Air Technologies, also in Covington, made out to Sun America, according to the incident report.

He then found a large number of envelopes stuffed under the front passenger seat addressed to different people at the Covington Lodge located at 9161 City Pond Road in Covington.

“Altogether there were 32 pieces of mail and five empty envelopes,” Shirley reported. “It appears the subjects were in possession of mail that didn’t belong to them that was possibly stolen from the area of Covington and Newton County.”

Three other checks were located in Barnes’ front pants pockets from individuals in Oxford that were made out to various businesses in the area.

The driver of the car, Jamerica Trinnette James, who said her address was 661 Brookline St., Atlanta, said she lets other people drive her car so she was unaware of the mail.

An investigator contacted Wagner Service Solutions to advise them of the stolen checks. A representative from the company told the investigator that they had been looking for those checks and had almost closed the account with the business that the checks were from for non-payment, the incident report states.

Barnes was arrested and charged with possession of drug-related objects, giving false name and address to law enforcement officers and possession of cocaine.

James, 20, was charged with felony theft by receiving stolen property.