An officer trying to get to the bottom of a littering incident uncovered more than just a crime against the environment.
On Jan. 10, a Gwinnett County Police officer on patrol in the area of Clack Road and Mineral Springs Road near Dacula, Ga. noticed the driver of a black Mercedes pull into a driveway and throw a large white object out the window. The driver, later identified as Tyler Vreeland, 19, of Buford, began to drive away but was pulled over by the officer.
“I approached the driver’s door and asked [Vreeland] what the littering was all about and he said that he was just trying to get rid of some of the trash in his vehicle,” the officer wrote in the report.
The officer noticed a slight odor of marijuana and asked Vreeland if there were any drugs or weapons in the vehicle. Vreeland reportedly said it had been “a while” since anyone smoked marijuana in the vehicle and denied having anything else in the vehicle.
“I could see that there were a lot of new items in the vehicle and what appeared to be bubble wrap lined envelopes for sending items through the mail,” the officer wrote.
The officer called for another officer in order to search the vehicle. During the search, the officer found a “large amount” of green, leafy material scattered throughout the vehicle as well as a package of suspected synthetic marijuana labeled “Doom.” The officer also found a new pair of Nike shoes, two Barbie dolls still in their original packaging, a Razor scooter and two containers of medications in a box addressed to a Hoschton resident. In the trunk, the officer located a shipping label with the name and address of another Hoschton resident. Both the Hoschton residents lived near the scene of the traffic stop.
When reached by phone, the first Hoschton resident advised that he had been waiting for the Barbie dolls and his wife’s cancer medications to arrive. The man said he did not realize anyone had stopped by the house and taken his mail. The second Hoschton resident said he was expecting the Nike shoes to be delivered that day and provided the officer with a description of the shoes. Both residents indicated they were willing to press charges.
The officer was unable to make contact with the person to whom the Razor had been shipped.
Vreeland, along with his passengers John Goodwin, 24, and Garrett Goodwin, 20, both of Lawrenceville, were placed under arrest for four counts of theft by receiving and transported to the Gwinnett County Jail. Vreeland was also cited for littering.
The stolen property was returned to the owners. The suspected synthetic marijuana was sent to the Georgia Bureau of Investigations crime lab for testing.
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