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Distracted driving leads to drug charge
Gregory Hawkins

COVINGTON, Ga. – A Covington man was arrested on a drug charge following a traffic stop late Saturday night after he failed to maintain his lane.

According to a Covington Police Department (CPD) incident report, Officer Pokey Daniels was on patrol on Highway 142 and Industrial Boulevard shortly before 11:30 p.m. July 22 when he saw a blue Ford Explorer fail to maintain its lane several times with the officer behind it.

Daniels also reportedly saw the driver, identified as Gregory Hawkins, 29, looking down while driving without picking his head up. According to the report, after making the traffic stop using his blue lights and siren and making contact with Hawkins, Daniels could see that he was sweating, his pupils were dilated and his pulse rate was beating fast from his carotid artery. He also reportedly would not stop talking when other officers arrived at the scene.

According to the report, Daniels obtained Hawkins’ driver’s license and ran his information through NCIC/GCIC to check for wants and warrants. Hawkins’ license reportedly came back as suspended for failure to appear. He was asked to step out of the vehicle and was arrested and placed in handcuffs.

After Hawkins was searched and placed in the backseat of the patrol car, Daniels was notified by another officer of a clear, plastic bag with a shard of Methamphetamine in plain view inside the vehicle.  

According to the report, Daniels and Officer Keldrick Hunter searched the vehicle for additional narcotics or contraband. Daniels reportedly found a glass pipe with white residue believed to be methamphetamine inside wrapped in an American flag handkerchief in a pair of swim shorts. He also found a small black case attached to Hawkins keyring that contained another pipe with white residue believed to be methamphetamine, a razor blade and two clear wrappers with white residue. Hunter found a black tin case in the center console and a glass mirror with razor scratch marks on the passenger side between the seat and center console. Both also had white powder residue believed to be methamphetamine.

Hawkins was transported to the Newton County Jail charged with failure to maintain lane, distracted driving, driving with a suspended license, possession of drug-related objects and possession of a schedule II drug.