Suspected Ecstasy Dealer Arrested
LaGrange Police arrested a man on felony drug charges after a large amount of Ecstasy pills were found in his vehicle shortly after a traffic stop. Wednesday morning about 10:40 a.m., officers with the LaGrange Police Department were on patrol in the area of Fair Street near Greenville Street when they encountered a black Chevrolet Malibu.
A subsequent tag check on the Malibu revealed the vehicle had no valid insurance. As police continued to observe the Malibu, the vehicle turned into a Degroat Street alley as if it was attempting to elude officers.
Police then circled the block and spotted the male driver walking away from the suspect vehicle toward the nearest residence. Officers then stopped the male, later identified as Thaxter Lamont Swindle, and he admitted to driving the vehicle.
Swindle told police that the parked the vehicle in the alley knowing that it did not have valid insurance. Police say Swindle parked the vehicle in a vacant drive concealed by a large tree.
After issuing Swindle a citation for Insurance Requirements, officers spoke with the home owner and he stated that the Malibu could not be left on his property and he wished to have it towed.
Police then began to search the vehicle to conduct an automobile inventory, before having the vehicle towed from the scene. Officers then opened the front driver’s door and immediately located a clear baggie containing 79 multicolored pills of suspected Ecstasy and another baggie containing a crushed powder, believed to be Ecstasy. No further contraband was found in the vehicle.
Police say the amount of pills and the separate bagging led them to believe the drugs were not for personal use. As officers lifted up the drugs, Swindle immediately fled on foot towards Dixie Street. Police then radioed to set up a perimeter and officers were able to take Swindle into custody without incident several blocks away near the intersection of Greenville Street and Horace King Street.
Swindle later admitted that the Ecstasy pills were his, but he insisted they were for personal use, despite the large amount and packaging. Swindle was also found to be in possession of a large amount of cash consistent with street level narcotics distribution.
As a result of the investigation, Swindle, age 36, was arrested and transported to the Troup County Sheriff’s Office where he was booked into the jail charged with Possession of a Schedule I Controlled Substance with Intent to Distribute (Ecstasy) and Obstruction of Officers.
The drugs, Swindle’s cell phone, and the cash were seized and taken into evidence for further investigation.
This incident is still under investigation by the LaGrange Police Department Narcotics Investigation Section.
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