A 35-year-old Milledgeville man who was stopped for a traffic violation Monday morning finds himself sitting in jail after his arrest on drug-related charges, local authorities say.
The case is being investigated jointly by the Baldwin County Sheriff’s Office and the Ocmulgee Drug Task Force, The Union-Recorder has learned.
The suspect was identified as Janorick Antwon Ford, of the 100 block of North Main Street, S.W., according to an incident report filed by Deputy Brandon Towe.
Ocmulgee Drug Task Force Agent Corey McMullen took felony warrants out against Ford for Violation of the Georgia Controlled Substances Act for possession of marijuana with intent to distribute, possession of a firearm by a convicted felon, and possession of a firearm during the commission of a crime.
After his arrest, Ford was taken to the Baldwin County Law Enforcement Center and jailed on the charges.
Towe said in this report that he spotted a 2003 Cadillac Deville traveling in front of his patrol car on Allen Memorial Drive displaying two different tags.
The deputy said he checked the tag on his in-car computer and learned that it had expired back in January.
Towe said he conducted a traffic stop at the Family Dollar Store, located at 355 Allen Memorial Drive.
The deputy said while talking with the driver, he smelled the odor of marijuana coming from inside the car. He added that he also saw an open container of what appeared to be an alcoholic beverage in the back passenger floorboard.
Towe described the driver as visibly shaking and uncooperative.
The driver was identified by his driver’s license.
The deputy said he walked back to his patrol car and requested another deputy come to his location to assist him.
Towe said he typed Ford a written warning for the expired tag.
Deputy Will Blackwell arrived a short time later to render assistance.
Towe said he asked Ford if he could pat him down to check for any weapons and none were found.
The suspect then reportedly argued with Towe, contending that his tag should not be expired. Towe said he walked with Ford to the rear of his car and showed him the decal that proved the tag was expired.
“I advised Ford that I was only to issue him a written warning for the expired tag,” Towe said in his report.
The deputy said he also informed Ford that he had already smelled the odor of marijuana coming from inside the car and could still smell it coming from his person.
Towe said he then asked Ford if there was anything illegal inside the car.
“Ford paused for a moment, looked at his car and then began questioning me about why he was stopped,” Towe said, noting he again explained the situation and once again ask about whether there was anything illegal inside his car.
Ford later denied that he had anything illegal in the car, after being questioned three times by the deputy.
Towe said he had probable cause to search the car and that was what he was going to do. Just before he began a search of the car, Blackwell told him Ford said aloud, “Well, I’m going to jail, now.”
During the search, Towe said he found a partially smoked blunt near the gear shifter. The blunt appeared to contain marijuana, Towe said. The deputy said he also found marijuana shake in plain sight and a large bag that contained a green leafy substance believed to be marijuana.
The deputy said he then placed Ford under arrest.
During a search of Ford, Towe said he found a small bag in the suspect’s left pocket. It contained a green leafy substance also believed to be marijuana.
Ford reportedly admitted to the deputy that the substance was “weed.”
Towe said after he put the suspect into his patrol car, he went back to Ford’s car and continued searching.
The deputy said in between the seat and the middle console he found a black digital scale, and in the rear seat, he found a red and black pull-string bag. Inside of the bag was a large mason jar that also contained suspected marijuana.
Towe said he also found six plastic bags that contained suspected marijuana, another digital scale, and a box of sandwich bags.
Blackwell, meanwhile, found a loaded Smith & Wesson 9mm pistol in the glove box of the car.
Towe said it later was learned from a 911 dispatcher that the gun had been reported stolen in 2017 from Baldwin County.
Towe said he later contacted ODTF Agent McMullen to come to the scene.
All of the evidence in the case was turned over to the drug agent, Towe said.