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One of two fugitives nabbed

Thursday, October 9, 2003

Staff Writer

The driver of a vehicle involved in a high-speed chase remains at large, but a second suspect, the passenger, was arrested Sept. 25.

Guy A. Claude, 29, of Williford was arrested by a trooper during a traffic stop and transported to the Fulton County jail on charges stemming from an incident Aug. 30.

The incident occurred after Hardy Police officer James Hutchinson attempted to conduct a traffic stop on a Pontiac Firebird that was traveling north of the intersection of Highway 62/412 and Highway 63, according to 16th Judicial District Drug Task Force agent Afton Fletcher.

After Hutchinson activated his emergency lights the vehicle sped up and led officers on a high speed chase into Fulton County and continuing for approximately eight miles, Fletcher said.

The suspects passed several vehicles in no passing zones causing oncoming traffic to leave the roadway to avoid collisions, Fletcher said.

Authorities observed the suspects' vehicle passing on blind curves and on hill crests, creating a dangerous situation, Fletcher continued. The pursuit continued as the suspects fled down gravel roads off Highway 63.

The suspects attempted to hide the car behind some vehicles but Hutchinson located it and the two fled once again. The suspects drove to the end of the field, struck a tree, then fled on foot with one carrying a large duffel bag, Fletcher reported.

Hutchinson identified both the occupants as Joseph Robinson and Claude.

On Sept. 21 Fletcher traveled back to the field on Golden Oak Trail along with Fulton County deputies Carroll Traw, James Humphrey and Hutchinson to search the contents of a bag the property owner located on the premises.

Officers searched a black shoulder bag that contained a cigarette carton with four packs of Marlboro cigarettes inside, a small black case containing digital gram scales and a plastic sandwich bag which contained off-white power, methamphetamine and two plastic bags that contained marijuana, Fletcher said. The marijuana weighed just less than two ounces and the methamphetamine weighed about 26 grams.

The owner showed officers the location of the bag which was the same spot the driver had attempted to hide the vehicle previously, Hutchinson reported.

Claude faces charges of felony fleeing, possession of methamphetamine with the intent to deliver, possession of marijuana with the intent to deliver, and possession of drug paraphernalia with the intent to use.

He was released Sept. 26 after posting a $25,000 bond.

On Sept. 25 and 26 the Izard County Sheriff's Office arrested George Miller, 38, of Melbourne on two counts of delivery of a controlled substance, methamphetamine, said 16th Judicial District Drug Task Force Chief Investigator Scott Russell. His bond has been set at $35,000.

Nancy Delaney, 32, of Calico Rock was also arrested and charged with three counts of delivery of a controlled substance, marijuana, and one count of delivery of a controlled substance, Xanax (prescription medication), Russell said.

Both suspects were arrested following an undercover investigation by the drug task force. The suspects allegedly delivered the controlled substances to an informant and an undercover agent. Delaney's bond was set at $5,000, Russell said.

Christy Whittaker, 34, of Calico Rock was arrested by authorities for possession of drug paraphernalia with the intent to manufacture methamphetamine, Russell said.

The charges stem from a search by the 16th Judicial District Drug Task Force agents and Izard County Sheriff's Office Sept. 16. Authorities found items used to manufacture methamphetamine in Whittaker's apartment while she was being arrested on other drug charges, Russell said.



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