Patrol officer nabs two for drugs

Published 12:00 am Monday, July 14, 2003

WINTON – In two separate traffic stops for speeding, Hertford County Sheriff’s Deputy Neil Ambrose also netted two drug suspects over the weekend.

Ambrose stopped one vehicle Friday afternoon for going 71 miles per hour in a 55 zone at the intersection of US 13 and US 158.

Captain Tim Lassiter with the Hertford County Sheriff’s Office said that after Ambrose wrote the ticket, the alleged speeder voluntarily consented to a search.

Ambrose found a pipe allegedly used to smoke marijuana in the suspect’s shorts, which prompted a further search of the vehicle.

Lassiter reported that Ambrose found 114 grams (four ounces) of marijuana inside the car.

Timothy Carr Harrell, 18, of 49 Taylor Mill Road in Eure was taken into custody, charged with possession with intent to sell and deliver marijuana, and jailed under a $20,000 bond.

The next day at 5:45, at almost the exact same time in the afternoon as the aforementioned traffic stop, Ambrose spotted a vehicle traveling 63 mph in the 35 zone in St. John.

Lassiter reported that when Deputy Ambrose pulled over the car, he noticed that the driver was &uot;very nervous acting.&uot;

This driver was driving on a revoked license, Ambrose discovered, so he arrested him on that charge.

During the routine search of the suspect, Lassiter reported that Ambrose found five grams of crack cocaine hidden in the suspect’s shorts.

Correll, Lagrant Simmons, 31, of 601 Railroad Street in Ahoskie, was charged with possession of crack cocaine with intent to sell and deliver and jailed under a $41,000 secure bond.

&uot;Deputy Ambrose did an outstanding job,&uot; Lassiter said. &uot;This is a good indication that you can make drug arrests while in a marked patrol car and in uniform.&uot;

Sheriff Juan Vaughan remarked, &uot;This is another reason to me that our traffic unit will slow down the sale and transport of drugs her in our county.&uot;

Ambrose is part of Sheriff Vaughan’s traffic unit, which was initiated last fall because of the high number of fatal accidents in Hertford County.

Vaughan applied for and received grant funding from the Governor’s Highway Safety Program for two fully equipped deputies in patrol cars to get dangerous drivers off the road.

Lassiter pointed out on Monday that citizens should be aware that sheriff’s deputies have radar in their patrol cars and are actively enforcing the state’s traffic laws.

The Hertford County Sheriff’s Office received $129,304 last October to start the traffic unit and received a supplemental grant of $18,440 just last month to purchase needed equipment.

&uot;Citizens need to be aware,&uot; Vaughan said when the new funds came in, &uot;these deputies will be running radar throughout the county, as well as setting up frequent checkpoints to catch drunk drivers.&uot;

He said it has helped reduce traffic violations in the county because the deputies are more visibly patrolling, but it is also helping stem the tide of drug sales in the county.