Police find 18 guns in trunk of convicted felon’s car

The Catoosa County News - - EDITORIALS & OPINION - By Adam Cook [email protected]

A Trion, Ge­or­gia, man is be­hind bars in Ca­toosa County af­ter 18 guns were found in the trunk of his car dur­ing a rou­tine traf­fic stop, police say.

Ac­cord­ing to the Ring­gold Police Depart­ment:

Wil­liam Hugh Bar­bee, 29, of 623 Melba Drive, was ar­rested Nov. 21 on charges of mar­i­juana posses­sion, loi­ter­ing and prowl­ing, and 18 counts of posses­sion of a firearm by a convicted felon. His bond was set at $48,500.

The dis­cov­ery of the arse­nal oc­curred a little af­ter 2 a.m. Wed­nes­day, Nov. 21, af­ter Sgt. Scott Martin ob­served a ve­hi­cle in the park­ing lot of Price Ring­gold Drugs on Nashville Street with faulty tail­lights, reports show.

Martin said he could smell mar­i­juana com­ing from the ve­hi­cle when be be­gan ques­tion­ing Bar­bee, and that Bar­bee was high-strung at the time.

“When I ap­proached his ve­hi­cle, I im­me­di­ately de­tected the odor of raw mar­i­juana emit­ting from the ve­hi­cle,” Sgt. Martin said. “I in­quired as to what he was do­ing be­hind the drug store at that hour. He ad­vised, very fran­ti­cally, that some peo­ple had been fol­low­ing him ear­lier.”

Bar­bee also claimed some­one had been prowl­ing around his res­i­dence ear­lier in the night, and that he felt “guys were af­ter him in or­der to kill him,” reports show.

With prob­a­bly cause, Martin says he be­gan search­ing Bar­bee’s ve­hi­cle for the sus­pected drugs af­ter Ca­toosa County Sher­iff’s deputies ar­rived at the scene to as­sist.

Af­ter open­ing up the trunk, Martin found more than a dozen long guns and mul­ti­ple hand­guns.

“With­out be­ing able to see his trunk or what I was ob­serv­ing, Mr. Bar­bee made the spon­ta­neous ut­ter­ance, ‘those guns ain’t mine’,” Sgt. Martin said.

Bar­bee told of­fi­cers the weapons be­longed to his fa­ther and that he wasn’t sure who had put them in the trunk.

The break­down of the guns in­cluded 14 long guns (ri­fles and shot­guns), and four pis­tols or hand­guns, reports show.

Bar­bee also fi­nally ad­mit­ted that he had mar­i­juana inside his pants.

“Even­tu­ally, a small plas­tic ‘cor­ner bag­gie’ con­tain­ing sus­pected mar­i­juana fell out of his right pants leg and to the ground,” Sgt. Martin said.

Dis­patch re­ported back that Bar­bee’s crim­i­nal his­tory re­vealed him to be a convicted felon.

Of­fi­cers were able to make con­tact with Bar­bee’s fa­ther, who turned out to be the owner of the guns and the ve­hi­cle. Bar­bee’s fa­ther stated he was out of town and had no idea his son had taken the guns from his res­i­dence.

The ve­hi­cle was towed by a lo­cal wrecker com­pany with in­struc­tions to re­lease the ve­hi­cle only to Bar­bee’s fa­ther, while Bar­bee was taken to jail with­out in­ci­dent.

Gospel Way Bap­tist Church bur­glar­ized, van­dal­ized

A Ca­toosa County church was heav­ily van­dal­ized dur­ing a bur­glary in­ci­dent, police say.

Ac­cord­ing to the Sher­iff’s Of­fice, the in­ci­dent oc­curred some­time be­tween 9 p.m. on Nov. 18 and 1:40 p.m. on Nov. 20. at Gospel Way Bap­tist Church on Bowl­ing Road.

The of­fender(s) broke into the fa­cil­ity and caused ex­ten­sive dam­age both inside and out­side of the church, reports show.

Church mem­bers told deputies that a door was bro­ken down, as well banged up walls and shat­tered win­dows.

It ap­pears as though noth­ing was ac­tu­ally stolen dur­ing the in­ci­dent; how­ever, ap­prox­i­mately $3,000 worth of dam­age was done to the prop­erty.

Church of­fi­cials say they plan on look­ing into in­stalling se­cu­rity cam­eras on the prop­erty.

Any­one with in­for­ma­tion about the in­ci­dent is en­cour­aged to con­tact Detective Daniel Thacker at the Ca­toosa County Sher­iff’s Of­fice at 706-935-2424.

Thou­sands in cash stolen from flea mar­ket cus­tomer

Thou­sands of dol­lars in cash and sev­eral pills were stolen from a cus­tomer’s ve­hi­cle while it was park out­side of a flea mar­ket, police say.

Ac­cord­ing to the Ca­toosa County Sher­iff’s Of­fice, the in­ci­dent oc­curred Nov. 11 at the I-75 Flea Mar­ket on Di­rect Con­nec­tion Drive in Rossville.

The vic­tim told police that he vis­ited the flea mar­ket around 1 p.m., and that when he re­turned home later in the day, he re­al­ized items miss­ing from his wife’s purse.

The man said the purse was be­hind a seat when the in­ci­dent oc­curred, and that it con­tained $6,500 in $100 bills.

Twenty-five oxy­codone pills were also taken from the purse, reports show.

The vic­tim ad­mit­ted to police that he left the ve­hi­cle un­locked while he was inside the flea mar­ket.

Any­one with in­for­ma­tion about the theft is en­cour­aged to con­tact the Ca­toosa County Sher­iff’s Of­fice at 706-935-2424.

Wil­liam Hugh Bar­bee

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