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Heflin police charge Georgia man with trafficking codeine

HEFLIN — A Georgia man was arrested and charged with trafficking codeine — a controlled substance — Sunday night by Heflin police officers.

Roman Michael Grassaree, 31, was taken to the Cleburne County Jail and charged with multiple crimes stemming from a traffic stop on Interstate 20 performed by officers Tanner Howell and Chris Cohran.

Grassaree was also charged with possession of drug paraphernalia, possession of marijuana, and being a convicted felon in possession of a firearm, according to Scott Bonner, Heflin police captain. 

Bonner said that Howell and Cohran smelled marijuana around Grassaree’s white SUV during a traffic stop at 11 p.m., which gave the officers consent to search the vehicle.

Among the items found in the search: 32 one-pint bottles of liquid codeine, 25 empty bottles, a bottle-sealing apparatus with seals, and a semi-automatic handgun. 

Bonner said the total bond amount set for Grassaree was $11,600 for the various charges. 

Bonner said that he used to work in Talladega County with the drug task force and had in the past only encountered instances in which someone would forge prescriptions for codeine.

“We’ve never run into like this ... you don’t see that much quantity very often, at least we don’t, and to have the tools and stuff to reseal it, new bottles to put it in, it was a pretty well-run organization,” said Bonner. 

Bonner said drug traffickers are getting smart by using rental vehicles like Grassaree was driving on Sunday. 

“If they do get caught they don’t lose their car,” said Bonner.

​Staff writer Bill Wilson: 256-235-3562. On Twitter @bwilson_star.