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