Tunnel Hill pair found in possession of meth during DUI traffic stop in Catoosa County

According to a Catoosa County Sheriff’s Office incident report, On March 5th, 2023, at 12:55 AM, CPL Thomas was on patrol south on Alabama Highway when he observed a 1999 Jeep Cherokee speeding between 55-57 MPH. CPL Thomas initiated a traffic stop and approached the vehicle where saw the driver (Robert Patrick Stephens, 36) light a cigarette and partially crack the window only a couple inches. According to the report, “Robert was holding the cigarette in his mouth and blowing the smoke towards the window as if he were trying to mask an odor coming from the car. CPL Thomas asked Robert to roll the window down a little further and he rolled it down about 1 inch. After a few seconds CPL Thomas could smell the odor of marijuana coming from inside the vehicle. CPL Thomas could also see that the Robert’s eyes were red, that his speech and reactions appeared slow and he appeared “sleepy”. CPL Thomas asked the Robert for his driver’s license and he said he’d left it on his printer. CPL Thomas asked the Robert if he had proof of insurance and he said he did not. While speaking to Robert dispatch informed CPL Thomas that the vehicle’s tag was returning as suspended with no valid insurance. CPL Thomas asked Robert about the suspended tag and if he had any insurance and he said he did not because he just got a new job and couldn’t afford it. CPL Thomas asked Robert if he had any marijuana in the car and he said,”ummm” looked to the center console and then said no.” The passenger (Alicia Michelle Abston, 40, of Tunnel Hill) stated that she was smoking a joint but quickly threw it out of the window when they got pulled over. When they were advised about a probable cause search of the vehicle Robert stated there was a little pot in the vehicle. Robert retrieved a freezer bag that contained a large quantity of a marijuana. During field sobriety testing, Robert showed several signs of impairment. Deputies also located a baggie of meth on Robert. In the back seat in a white zipper bag that contained an assortment of women’s beauty products deputies located a black zipper container that contained a sandwich bag containing a large amount of meth. Both Robert and Alicia denied the meth belonged to them. Both Robert and Alicia were placed under arrest and transported to the Catoosa County Jail.

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