Traffic stop leads to trafficking in methamphetamine charges

On June 21, at approximately 9:30 pm, Deputy Landon Fries observed a vehicle with an expired tag traveling on Hwy 277, near Pioneer Road. As the deputy attempted to conduct a traffic stop, the vehicle continued to travel northbound at a low rate of speed for approximately one and a half miles at which time the deputy observed the passenger putting on a jacket.

Alex PayneAs the vehicle came to a stop in the southbound lane of HWY 277, the passenger, identified as Alex Payne, 27, of Vernon, FL, immediately exited the vehicle and begin to run to the front of the car. As Payne approached the front of the car, the deputy observed him throwing a bag into the wood line.

Payne was placed under arrest immediately and during a search of his person, it was revealed that Payne was in possession of two small bags of methamphetamine, a digital scale and a used hypodermic needle.

A short time later, during a search of the immediate wooded area, a Washington County Drug Task Force investigator located a bag that contained approximately 45 grams of methamphetamine and two individual bags of marijuana.

A search of the vehicle resulted in additional hypodermic needles being found.

Payne was transported to the Washington County Jail and booked on the charges of trafficking in methamphetamine, possession of marijuana with intent to sell, tampering with evidence, possession of drug paraphernalia, and resisting officer without violence.

Alex Payne was first appeared by Judge Colby Peel, where he received a $69,000 bond on his new charges.

If you have any knowledge of crimes being committed, or tips, please contact the Washington County Sheriff’s Office at 850-638-6111. You may also contact them anonymously by calling 850-638-TIPS (8477) or by email at