2019-02-13 / For The Record

Traffic stops reveal more serious violations

ROY F. CHALKER JR.

Routine traffic stops by the Burke County Sheriff’s Office continue to result in arrests for more serious crimes.

Last week deputies made two arrests involving larger quantities of drugs and stolen or illegally possessed firearms.

On Wednesday afternoon, Feb. 6, Deputy Eric McCants stopped a 2016 Chevrolet Malibu for suspected window tint violations on Highway 25 South near Brinson Pond Road.. According to the deputy, the driver, Dezmond Marquez Moran of Millen, appeared extremely nervous and became combative about the reason for the stop, as well as continuously moving around the vehicle. “For my safety, I asked Mr. Moran several times to stay in a certain area but he would not comply and kept moving around.” He told Moran to lean against the trunk of the car and then called for K9 assistance.

When Cpl. Michael Swint arrived with the K9, the dog alerted near the driver’s side of the vehicle.

McCants said the driver became even more irate when told the vehicle would be searched. As the deputy opened the driver’s door, Moran ran, jumped in and attempted to drive off. He complied with the officers’ commands only after being told he would be tased.

A search of the car resulted in the discovery of a Glock 26 automatic pistol and a total of 454.51 grams (about 160 ounces) of marijuana, found in four different locations inside the car.

Moran was taken to the Burke County Detention Center and charged with possession of a firearm during the commission of a crime, felony possession of marijuana, felony obstruction of a law enforcement officer and the window tint violation.

The next day, Thursday, Feb. 7, Deputy Dakota Clark clocked a 2011 Ford Taurus going 85 mph in a 65 zone on Highway 25 North near George Perkins Road.

In addition to the driver, Clark found a female passenger in the front and three small children in the rear of the vehicle. The driver identified himself as Hector Matos and admitted he had no driver’s license.

After receiving permission to search the car, the deputy discovered an ID card identifying the driver as Hector Raul Sepulveda-Ruiz, a convicted felon from Greenville, S.C. Also found was a Tupperware container of marijuana and two Glock automatic pistols, one of which was discovered to have been stolen in Anderson, S.C. last month. The passenger, Sarahi Correa of Pendleton, S.C., was found to be in possession of a small amount of Hydrocodone and Aprazolam.

Sepulveda was arrested and charged with possession of marijuana with the intent to distribute, theft by receiving stolen property, possession of a firearm by a convicted felon, possession of a firearm during the commission of a crime, giving false name and date of birth, speeding, unrestrained child (2 counts) and driving while license suspended.

The passenger, Correa, was charged with possession of Aprazolam, possession of Hydrocodone, possession of marijuana with the intent to distribute, theft by receiving, and possession of a firearm or knife during the commission of a crime. The children were turned over to the Georgia Department of Family and Children’s Services.

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