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Three arrested on slew of drug charges
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Three people were arrested Sunday evening, following a traffic stop that yielded knives, drugs and a gun.

Deputies were patrolling the area of Brown Bridge Road when they noticed a vehicle, being driven by 32-year-old Crystal Michelle Wheeless, change lanes without signaling. Deputies attempted to stop the vehicle, but Wheeless drove for a moment before finally stopping in the parking lot of Flash Foods, where deputies noticed the rear passenger, identified as 45-year-old Grady Allen Wilcox, moving around and acting nervous, according to Lt. Tyrone Oliver.

Wheeless had an active warrant, and was detained by deputies. The front passenger, 34-year-old Kevin Gray Stafford, also had active warrants for his arrest.

However, according to Oliver, Stafford was not nearly as accommodating as Wheeless when asked to step out of the vehicle. Instead, he reportedly climbed over the driver’s seat and escaped through the driver’s side door, dropping or dislodging a firearm as he did so. After a short foot chase, Stafford was caught by deputies and arrested.

When deputies searched the vehicle they found marijuana, methamphetamine, a sawed-off shotgun, several knives, a scale, Oxycodone, Soma and Valium. Neither Wheeless, Stafford, nor the back passenger, identified as 45-year-old Grady Allen Wilcox, were willing to admit the contraband belonged to them, so all three were arrested.

All three were charged with criminal use of an article with an altered identification, possession of marijuana, possession of methamphetamine, drug related objects, drugs to be kept in original container, possession of a sawed-off shotgun, possession of a knife while trying to commit crimes and possession of Oxycodone, Soma and Valium.

Wheeless was also charged with possession of arms by a convicted felon, defective equipment, failure to signal while turning, theft by conversion and second degree criminal damage to property. Stafford was also charged with obstruction, and Wilcox was additionally charged with possession of arms by a convicted felon.

According to Oliver, the trio had so many knives in their possession that the Newton County Jail could not keep it as personal property and had to store it in evidence.