JPD: Suspect tossed 14 pounds of pot into wrong yard | Crime
The mom of Lepanto’s police chief was inadvertently involved in a big drug bust last week in Jonesboro.
According to the initial police report, officers with the Jonesboro Police Department’s PROWL Unit were conducting surveillance on 30-year-old Nathaniel Rhodes. Agents with the 2nd Judicial Drug Task Force reported receiving information that Rhodes was involved in the sales of large amounts of marijuana.
On Wednesday, April 10, officers said they followed Rhodes’ gray SUV to an apartment complex in the 3000-block of Riggs Street where he met with 34-year-old Termayne Wortham of Trumann.
Officer Brett Nolan said when he pulled up behind the SUV, Wortham immediately got out and walked to the front of the vehicle.
When Nolan ordered Wortham to stop, the officer reported the suspect took off running.
Rhodes sped off as Officer Nolan chased Wortham, according to the report.
Nolan and two other officers caught up with Wortham at a local business in the 3100-block of Nettleton when he tripped and fell on a concrete drainage dip in the parking lot, according to the report.
When Wortham fell, Officer Nolan said he observed a plastic bag fall out of Wortham’s hand onto the ground. Inside the bag was one pound of marijuana, the report stated.
Meanwhile, several other officers began chasing Rhodes who was reported driving west on East Highland at a “high rate of speed.”
Officers chased Rhodes down Nettleton where he made a right turn onto Tony Street and then a quick right onto Noble Street where Agent Shon Morris reported Rhodes threw out a trash bag.
Rhodes then turned onto Stallings Road, approaching Stadium.
As the chase neared Stadium Boulevard, Lt. Mark Mosier told officers to terminate the chase.
When officers turned off their sirens, Morris said Rhodes slowed down but then sped up as he turned south onto Stadium and nearly collided with another vehicle.
His SUV was later discovered abandoned on Sally Drive. According to the report, a one-pound brick of marijuana was found in the a duffle bag on the passenger seat.
While investigating, Officer Adam Hampton received a phone call from Chief Chad Henderson of the Lepanto Police Department.
According to Hampton’s initial report, Henderson said someone had thrown out “some dope in his mom’s yard” on Noble Street.
When Hampton arrived at the scene, Henderson showed him a white garbage bag in the driveway. Inside were 14 one-pound packages of marijuana, according to the report.
A neighbor and a man who was working on the house next door told Hampton they had seen a man throw the bag from a dark-colored SUV that was being chased by police.
A warrant was issued for Rhodes who was later arrested and charged with possession of a Schedule VI controlled substance with the purpose to deliver, fleeing in a vehicle, tampering with physical evidence and reckless driving. He was scheduled to appear before a judge Tuesday, April 16.
Wortham was charged with fleeing on foot and possession of a Schedule VI controlled substance with the purpose to deliver.
In total, officers seized 16 pounds of marijuana valued at $12,800.