Gas drive-off leads to drug bust

Published 12:00 am Saturday, June 11, 2005

AHOSKIE – A Windsor man found himself in more trouble than for a simple gas drive-off here earlier this week.

On Monday, Ahoskie Police Sgt. Brian Knowles arrested Arlo Dant’e Speller, 28, of 508 Mountain Street, Windsor for marijuana possession after Speller had allegedly driven off without paying for gas at a Memorial Drive convenience store.

Ahoskie Police Chief Troy Fitzhugh reported that his department received a call Monday morning that the driver of a white Cadillac, with a burgundy top, had left the Duck Thru Mart without paying for his gas. A short time later, a vehicle matching that description was spotted traveling on Main Street by the dispatcher on duty at the Ahoskie Police station.

After receiving information from the dispatcher on the direction of travel of the suspect’s vehicle, Sgt. Knowles stopped the car in the Newmarket Shopping Center’s parking lot, directly across the street from where Speller had allegedly driven off without paying for the gas.

According to Fitzhugh, after asking for the license of the driver, Knowles began to explain to Speller of the reason for the traffic stop. It was at this time that Knowles noticed some sort of green matter in Speller’s lap. That green matter turned out to be marijuana.

Asking Speller to step out of the vehicle, Knowles searched the suspect, finding an additional amount of marijuana in his pants pocket. Knowles then made the arrest, charging Speller with possession with intent to sale and deliver marijuana, maintaining a vehicle to keep a controlled substance and possession of drug paraphernalia.

Additionally, Speller’s car was searched, revealing more marijuana as well as $22,000 in cash.

Speller was taken to the Hertford County Jail under a $37,000 secured bond. Fitzhugh said Speller was bonded out the next day.

&uot;I would like to commend Sgt. Knowles for his observation skills and his professionalism in this case,&uot; Fitzhugh said.