Washington County Sheriff’s deputies arrested four individuals after a traffic stop led to an investigation by Washington County Drug Task Force.
Just before 8 a.m., Tuesday morning, deputies with the Washington County Sheriff’s Office stopped a vehicle near the Circle H convenient store in Vernon. During the stop K9 Jet was deployed and alerted to the odor of narcotics in the vehicle.
Once all occupants were removed, a search of the vehicle produced multiple paraphernalia items to include a tin can and hypodermic needle that both tested positive for methamphetamine.
The driver of the vehicle, 41-year-old Christopher Dwight Ford, of Vernon, FL, was arrested and booked into the Washington County Jail for possession of paraphernalia.
Further charges are pending at this time.
Following the arrest made in the traffic stop, Washington County Drug Task Force received information that began an investigation into the distribution of drugs in the area.
During this investigation, three additional arrests were made after, 33-year-old Clifton Antonio Patrick, of Defuniak Springs, FL, attempted to elude law enforcement as they conducted a traffic stop on S.R. 20 in Ebro. Patrick, the driver of the vehicle, threw a black cloth lunch box from the window while traveling down Cowford Road, just before disabling his vehicle on a railroad tie.
Deputies located the lunch box to find the contents of the bag contained a large amount of marijuana, more than 24 grams of methamphetamine, approximately 7 grams of cocaine, and multiple prescription pills, which included a controlled substance known as Lortab. Over $8,000 in cash was found in Patrick’s pants pockets.
Patrick, and a passenger of the vehicle identified as 55-year-old Mark John Maczik, of Freeland, MI, were both taken into custody and booked into the Washington County Jail on the charges of possession of cocaine, possession of marijuana with intent to distribute, and possession of methamphetamine with intent to distribute. Patrick was also booked on the charges of tampering with evidence and flee and elude with disregard to the safety of persons and property.
Also arrested during the investigation was 32-year-old Bridgett Ortega, of Defuniak Springs, FL, for the possession of methamphetamine after investigators located a small bag of methamphetamine in her sock during a search.