Driving infractions led to a pair of arrests last week for felony drug charges, according to the Commerce Police Department.
When an officer pulled Nathan Todd, 41, of 1711 Oak Street, Greensboro, NC, over on the U.S. 441 bypass at 7:25 p.m. on Saturday, it was for doing 78 miles per hour in a 55-mph zone.
But for Todd, things went from bad to worse very quickly.
Upon making contact with Todd, the officer immediately noticed that he appeared overly nervous, that he could not stay still, as evidenced by flailing arms and rapid head movement.
The officer asked Todd if there were any illegal substances in the vehicle, to which Todd replied in the negative, after which the Todd gave the officer permission to search the vehicle.
Another officer searched Todd’s person, finding “a quantity” of Xanax. The first officer searched the interior of the vehicle and reported finding a glasses case in the center console, along with a pipe containing what appeared to be residue of methamphetamine. He found a second pipe that appeared to have residue of marijuana, and in the driver-side door found a prescription pill bottle containing marijuana and another pipe with suspected marijuana residue.
In a bag in the back seat, the officer reported finding multiple prescription bottles in Todd’s name, along with a handgun. According to the incident report, the prescription Xanax were two milligrams, twice the dose indicated by the label on the bottle. Further, the officer found under the felt lining in the glasses case a vial of methamphetamine.
According to the report, when the officer questioned Todd about the difference in the Xanax dosage, he replied that “a buddy” had provided him with 2-milligram Xanax until he could refill his prescription.
In addition to the speeding charge, the officer charged Todd with possession of methamphetamine, possession of a Schedule 4 narcotic, misdemeanor possession of marijuana, failure to keep prescription medication in its original container, possession of a firearm during the commission of a felony and possession of tools for the commission of a crime.
Police also charged a passenger, Daniel Craig Minor, 49, of 3413 Martin Avenue, Greensboro, NC, with violation of the open container law after finding two open beer containers on the passenger-side floorboard. Minor admitted that they were his, the report said.
The other drug arrest came after Valerie Elaine Vandeford, 43, of 44 Barber Street, Commerce, pulled into the path of an officer motoring on South Broad Street near Ila Road. The officer, who also noticed that she was not wearing a seat belt, immediately pulled her over.
As the officer arrived, a passenger attempted to exit the vehicle, but the officer ordered him to stay inside. Vandeford, according to the report, apologized for her driving, saying that the passenger “made her upset.” The officer asked her about why she was driving with an expired registration, to which the suspect said she thought she had until the end of the month.
The officer noted that Vandeford seemed especially nervous. As he gave her citations for the registration violation and for not wearing a seat belt, he observed on the floor by her feet a prescription bottle with a man’s name on it.
The prescription was for Soma, but the officer observed that it appeared to also contain Alprazolam (Xanax).
Vandeford told the officer that the medication belonged to her husband, but the officer noted that when he asked her the husband’s name, she stammered and hesitated before providing the name on the bottle. A little later, she told the officer he was actually her fiancé.
A search of the vehicle turned up nothing of significance, the report indicated, but in her purse police found a white rectangular pill matching the Alprazolam wrapped in paper. When the officer asked Vandeford when was the last time she took a Xanax, she told him the night before. She admitted to having no prescription for the medication.
Vandeford’s fiancé arrived and told the police that the medications were his, but said he did not know how the drugs got into a different bottle or how they got into the vehicle.
Police charged Vandeford with possession of a Schedule 4 narcotic as well as the traffic citations.