A Lithonia man on March 30 faced multiple drug charges resulting from an after-hours search of his vehicle parked outside a business at the Fayette Pavilion retail area.
Brenton S. Champion, 35, was charged with felony drug possession, possession of a Schedule I controlled substance, prescription drugs not in original container and drug-related objects, according to Fayetteville Police Department spokesperson Ann Marie Burdett.
Burdett said a Fayetteville officer conducting a patrol after hours at the Fayette Pavilion on March 30 observed a vehicle in the Marshalls department store parking lot.
The officer parked her patrol vehicle, and an unidentified black male exited his vehicle and began approaching the officer. The officer instructed the male to return to his vehicle, Burdett said, adding that the officer detected a strong odor of suspected marijuana coming from the vehicle. An unidentified female subject also occupied the vehicle.
Burdett said the officer placed the man and woman in handcuffs for investigative purposes while the vehicle was searched.
“During the vehicle search, the officer observed and located a suspected marijuana cigarette, several packets of cigar papers commonly used to roll marijuana, a loaded handgun under the right passenger seat, a black bag behind the passenger seat that had weighing scales with residue of white powder on it, a glass jar with suspected THC wax and loose Schedule I prescription pills,” said Burdett.
The man (Champion) and woman were read their Miranda Rights, waived their rights and agreed to proceed without having an attorney present, Burdett noted.
“The female subject stated she found the handgun but could not remember where. The officer conducted a criminal history check on the handgun through the Georgia Criminal Information Center (GCIC) system,” Burdett said. “The handgun returned with no criminal history. The female subject was asked about the pills, and the subject said she did not know anything about the pills.”
Champion was asked about the pills, and he told police that a friend had given him the pills, Burdett added.
“The officer contacted dispatch to conduct a criminal history check of the male and female subjects. The female subject had a criminal history, but had no felony charges. The male subject had a criminal history, including felonies,” Burdett noted.
Burdett said the officer released the female subject and vehicle. The handgun was placed in the vehicle’s trunk, and the female subject was released from the scene.
Champion was transported to the Fayette County Jail.