Vernon man arrested after drugs thrown from car

James Lee Coatney

James Lee Coatney

A Vernon man was arrested on multiple felony charges Friday night after throwing a bag containing methamphetamine from his vehicle during a traffic stop.

Just after 8 p.m. a Washington County Sheriff’s deputy attempted to stop a vehicle traveling on Miller’s Ferry Road for a traffic infraction. The driver, later identified as 50-year-old James Lee Coatney, initially refused to stop the vehicle, continuing to travel approximately 3 miles. As the driver crossed over a bridge, the deputy noticed he threw a bag from the vehicle’s window.

Upon locating the bag, deputies discovered it contained one plastic bag of methamphetamine, two plastic bags of marijuana, and a glass pipe.

Once the vehicle came to a stop Coatney was taken into custody without further incident and transported to the Washington County Jail where he was booked on charges of flee and attempt to elude, possession of methamphetamine, possession of marijuana less than 20 grams, possession of drug paraphernalia, and tampering with evidence.

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