Wisconsin woman and Illinois man arrested on felony charges after committing fraud at Walmart
According to a Dalton Police Department incident report, on Thursday, January 9th, 2020, at 2:07 PM, several Dalton Police officers responded to 815 Shugart Road in reference to fraud. While pulling into the Walmart parking lot Officer Parson spotted the vehicle that had the suspects in it. Officer Parson got behind the vehicle a Dodge van Hertz rental. Officer Parson conducted a traffic stop on the car on the Cliff Apartment complex. Officer Parson exited his patrol vehicle and made contact with the driver, identified as Darius Westbrooks of Chicago, who had his window partially rolled down. According to the report, Officer Parson could smell the odor of marijuana coming from inside the vehicle. Officer Parson had the driver exit the vehicle, where he proceeded with the normal traffic stop procedures. All three passengers were then asked to exit the vehicle and stand at the rear of their vehicle as well. The occupants of the vehicle were identified as Michaela Alexis Christine Mae Smith, 20, of Oshkosh, Wisconsin, who was sitting in the front passenger seat. Jonathan Hart of Chicago, Illinois, who was sitting behind Smith. Ashley Ridgley of Chicago, Illinois, who was sitting in the passenger seat behind the driver seat and Joshua E. Kelly, 34, Chicago Illinois, was sitting in the very back. Officer Parker, who was assisting with the call, responded to Walmart to speak with loss prevention, and get further information about what took place. The loss prevention associate advised that a black female wearing a black sweatsuit with white stripes first went to electronics, where she attempted to get a gift card. He stated that during this time, there were two black men who also came inside the store, but he could not provide a description. He advised that the female then went to the front of the store, where she tried to purchase more gift cards. He stated that she was trying to pay for the gift cards by showing the clerk photos of credit cards on her phone. The associate stated that when one card would not work, the female would swipe to another card. He stated that when that card did not work, she would swipe to another one. He stated that during this time, they suspected the cards were possibly stolen or fraudulent. A search of the rental van by officers uncovered a bag of pills underneath Michaela Smith's seat, the marijuana the officer smelled was where Ridgley was sitting along with some suspected fraudulently purchased gift cards. In the bag of pills that was found underneath Smth's seat were 19 Alprazolam (Xanax) and one Oxycodone. $1,000 dollars in cash was also found on one of the occupants, but the reported stated that officers would allow her to have her cash back. A Dalton Police detective arrived on the scene and took over the case. The 19 pills suspected to be Alprazolam weighed 2.4 GG. The one white pill suspected to be Oxycodone weighed .4 GG. The suspected marijuana weighed 4.5 GG. While officer Parker was transporting Smith to the Dalton Police Department for a follow-up interview, she advised her that she had pills hidden inside her genital area. Officer Parker took her straight to the Whitfield County Jail so that the items could be retrieved for her safety. The pills that were found inside Smith's person were ten white pills suspected to be Oxycodone (3.7 GG in weight and three white tablets suspected to be Oxycodone. Michaela Alexis Christine Mae Smith and Joshua E. Kelly were both arrested and transported to the Whitfield County Jail. Smith was charged with false statement/writing/ conceal facts with govt. (felony), ID theft fraud (felony), possess a Schedule 4 (felony), possess a Schedule 2 (felony), and conspiracy to commit a felony. Kelly was charged with false statement/writing/conceal facts with govt. (felony), ID theft fraud (felony), and conspiracy to commit a felony. The vehicle was towed to Dalton PD's impound lot, so a search warrant could be sought. The case was then turned over to Dalton Police Detectives.