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Covington man arrested after leaving scene of accident

OXFORD, Ga. – A Newton County Sheriff’s deputy arrested a Covington man on traffic and drug charges Jan. 19 after he allegedly left the scene of a traffic accident.

According to a NCSO incident report, 57-year-old Ronald Lewis Belcher was taken into custody in Oxford Friday afternoon when deputies using information from a vehicle tracking system located the 2003 Chevrolet Tahoe he was driving.

Belcher was reportedly driving in the area of Mills Road and Cowan Road when he struck a Nissan Sentra traveling on Cowan Road without stopping. The driver of the Sentra followed the Tahoe, got the tag number and made contact with Belcher who told her he would return to the scene with all of the needed information. When Belcher failed to return, the Sentra driver called 911.

After deputies learned the location of the Tahoe, Deputy Christopher Allen responded to 265 Oxford Road to follow up on the original accident. According to the report, while he was on his way to the Oxford Road address, Allen was advised that the driver, Belcher, had active warrants.

“On arrival, the Tahoe was parked in the front yard with the suspect Ronald L. Belcher exiting the driver seat,” Allen reported. “I parked in front of the Tahoe, exited my unit and advised Mr. Belcher to approach me.”

Instead of walking toward Allen, Belcher reportedly walked toward the back of the Tahoe before appearing on the passenger side. Allen observed that Belcher had his hand in his right front packet and was replacing items into it.

According to the report, based on knowledge of the warrants, Allen placed Belcher in custody. While patting Belcher down, Allen reportedly smelled a strong odor of raw marijuana coming from him.

“I asked if he had marijuana on his person. Mr. Belcher stated he had already smoked it prior to my arrival,” Allen reported. “I did locate a clear-cut plastic straw commonly used for inhaling illegal narcotics in his front left pocket.”

Officer Ward with the Oxford Police Department arrived at the scene and secured Belcher while Allen checked the area where Belcher had walked. According to the report, while checking the rear of the Tahoe, Allen observed a clear baggy of suspected cocaine on the ground. He also reportedly observed suspected raw marijuana on top of the center console of the Tahoe.

Belcher was transported to the Newton County Jail. He is charged with driving while license suspended/revoked, hit and run, stop signs or yield signs, possession of cocaine, possession of less than an ounce of marijuana and probation violation.