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Expired tag leads to drug, weapon arrests in Porterdale

Two people were arrested and the Porterdale Police Department (PPD) took drugs and guns off the street after a routine check of an expired tag turned into a more than just a traffic stop.

According to his report, PPD Officer Matt Munger was on patrol on Highway 81 South near Highwy 162 when he observed a black Cadillac STS with an expired tag. After checking the tag, which came back as no longer assigned to the vehicle, Munger stopped the vehicle in the area of Highway 162 and Jackson Road and made contact with the driver, John Clofine and the passenger, Layla Taylor. Officer Munger advised the driver that he was stopped because of an expired tag.

Munger reported noticing the odor of marijuana as he approached the vehicle. The smell reportedly got stronger when the car’s passenger door was opened. When asked about the smell coming from the car, Taylor admitted that there was a “roach” in the ashtray. She also admitted that she had a marijuana cigarette on her in her clothing. Deputy Chris Richardson of the Newton County Sheriff’s Office (NCSO) arrived for backup and Taylor reportedly produced the cigarette.

Munger then reportedly advised the occupants that, due to the strong odor of marijuana, he was going to search the vehicle. During his search, he found a 9mm handgun between the driver’s seat and center console. According to his report, he also found – at various places inside the passenger compartment of the vehicle – a bag containing marijuana, a smoking pipe and a small glass container with a white, crystal substance consistent with methamphetamine residue inside.

After the interior of the vehicle was searched, there was reportedly still a strong odor of marijuana in the car so the trunk was searched.

Inside the trunk, police reportedly located an orange pill believed to be Adderall and a white pill believed to be Soma. Adderall is a schedule II controlled substance, Soma is a schedule IV controlled substance.

According to the report, police also found a small plastic bag which contained suspected methamphetamine. Police also found, inside a computer bag secured with a lock, three digital scales, and a brown powder substance which tested positive for heroin. Also in the computer bag was a container which contained more suspected methamphetamine, an amount of marijuana more than an ounce and a sports drink bottle which contained an unknown liquid, later identified as gamma-Hydroxybutyric acid or GHB. According to the report, there was also rifle case containing a 30-06 rifle in the trunk.

Clofine and Taylor were arrested and transported to the Newton County Law Enforcement Center on drug and weapons charges. The vehicle was towed from the scene.