A chance encounter with a man on a bicycle led to the arrest of five people on drug charges Thursday night, Piedmont police say.
A pair of officers was patrolling near West Alabama Street at some time before 10 p.m., police Chief Freddie Norton said, when the officers spotted Teddy Formby, 55, of Piedmont riding a bicycle.
Formby was wanted for failure to appear in court on an earlier drug possession charge, Norton said. Officers recognized Formby, so they followed him to the 500 block of West Alabama where he entered a house, Norton said. Officers doublechecked to make sure the warrant on Formby was still outstanding, Norton said. Then they knocked on the door.
“Pretty much everybody in the house had warrants or drugs,” Norton said. There were several people in the house, Norton said, and police didn’t immediately see Formby among them. They did see drug paraphernalia in a front room, Norton said. That led to a search of adjacent rooms that yielded Formby, 72 grams of methamphetamine, three pistols and a woman hiding in a closet.
“No one resisted, but one of the females hid because she knew she had an outstanding warrant,” Norton said. The amount of methamphetamine in the house was enough to trigger a trafficking charge, Norton said, and the drugs were lying in the open in one of the rooms of the house.
Among the people arrested were:
-- Formby, on charges of possession of methamphetamine, illegal possession of prescription drugs and possession of drug paraphernalia.
-- Formby’s housemate James A McCrelles, 32, on charges of methamphetamine trafficking, marijuana possession and possession of drug paraphernalia
-- Krista D. Easterwood, 30, of Jacksonville on charges of methamphetamine trafficking and possession of suboxone, marijuana and drug paraphernalia
-- Malachi D. Chandler, 21, of Piedmont on charges of meth trafficking and possession of marijuana and drug paraphernalia
-- and Robyn R. Garcia,41, of Piedmont on charges of meth trafficking and possession of marijuana and drug paraphernalia
Norton said Saturday morning that he didn’t know what court dates had been set for the five.