Local News

April 18, 2013

Officials: chase leads to stolen car, meth lab, two arrested (Updated 7:50 p.m.)

Two officers decontaminated

— Two men from Tennessee were arrested on Wednesday in Whitfield County following a high-speed chase that involved a stolen car that had a “shake and bake” meth lab inside, officials said.

Sheriff Scott Chitwood said in a press release that sheriff’s office deputies and Georgia State Patrol troopers were checking speeds on county roads and I-75 when a gray Honda going 85 mph was seen traveling south on I-75 at 9:45 a.m. A deputy attempted to stop the car but it accelerated.

“During the chase the driver of the Honda began throwing what appeared to be paper-type items from the vehicle,” the press release said.

The car reached more than 100 mph, and ran off the interstate south of West Nance Springs Road, striking a tree. Two people who were in the car were arrested after a “short foot chase.”

The car was determined to be stolen from East Ridge, Tenn. A search discovered the meth lab inside, the press release said:

“Dangerous chemicals had to be removed from the vehicle and turned over to a hazardous material team from Augusta. Two officers involved in the arrest and initial search of the vehicle had to be decontaminated due to the chemical presence on the suspects and in the vehicle.”

Arrested were:

• James Wayne Mears, 34, of Spring City, Tenn., who was charged with theft by bringing stolen property into the state; possession of ephedrine, pseudoephedrine or phenylpropanolam; attempt or conspiracy to commit violation of the Georgia Controlled Substances Act; DUI (drugs); willful obstruction of law officers; possession of tools for the commission of crime; speeding; failure to reduce speed when passing a stationary emergency, towing or maintenance vehicle; improper lane change or usage; littering the highway; failure to maintain lane; reckless driving; fleeing or attempting to elude a police officer; driving while license is suspended or revoked; and improper passing on the right or shoulder of roadway.

• Christopher Lee Coleman, 37, of Hixson, Tenn., who was charged with willful obstruction of law officers; possession of ephedrine, pseudoephedrine or phenylpropanolam; attempt or conspiracy to commit violation of the Georgia Controlled Substances Act; and possession of tools for the commission of crime.

Both were still in jail without bond Thursday evening.


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