Switched tag leads to meth, heroin arrests

Aug. 15, 2014 @ 09:59 AM

A car that sped away from a traffic stop Wednesday evening led police from Granite Falls deep into Hickory, and when the chase ended officers found a large amount of methamphetamine and heroin in the car, police said.

Granite Falls Police Officer Clint Ferguson became suspicious about a blue 2001 Chevrolet Impala that was at the Murphy’s Express Gas Station near the Walmart off U.S. 321 in Granite Falls shortly after 6 p.m. because the two people in the car were “watching his every move,” so Ferguson ran a check on its license plate and found it was registered to a different car, Lt. Chris Jenkins said.

Ferguson stopped the car as it was leaving the gas station and asked the driver and passenger their names. After he could not find the names in the police department’s computer system, Ferguson began to walk back toward the Impala, which then sped away, going south on U.S. 321 at speeds of up to 80 mph, Jenkins said. In Hickory, with Granite Falls police still chasing, the car turned onto Old Lenoir Road and went through town, past the area of the Lowe’s Home Improvement Store on N.C. 127 until police finally stopped it around the Springs Road area, Jenkins said.

Officers searching the car found a large amount of methamphetamine and heroin, he said, but he deferred to the Hickory Police Department on the details.

The Hickory Police Department would not release any information Thursday about the chase or what was found.

Joel Scott Wimbish, 55, of Hickory and Brandy Nicole Conrad, 30, of Taylorsville were arrested and charged in Hickory with trafficking in methamphetamine, possession of a controlled substance, possession of heroin, possession of drug paraphernalia. Wimbish also was charged with maintaining a vehicle or dwelling for controlled substance. Both also had outstanding warrants for failure to appear in court, and Wimbish had an outstanding warrant on a charge of speeding to elude arrest.

In Granite Falls, Wimbish was charged with felony fleeing to elude police, driving while license revoked, resisting officers, having a fictitious tag and careless driving.