Snow Day Traffic Stop leads to Drug Arrest in Surry

By: Terry Harris | Email: Click Here
Posted: Jan. 12, 2017 | 3:45 p.m.

SURRY – In a story that might have been lifted from a television crime drama, what Surry County Sheriff Carlos Turner expected to be a day spent rescuing motorists stranded by last week’s snow storm turned out to be something altogether different.

Quannel T. Palmer

“I was out checking the roads,” related Sheriff Turner, “on the 400 block of Colonial Trail East, I met a vehicle belonging to a citizen currently out of the area for whose property we had been making frequent drives by. Upon closer observation, I recognized the driver – who is known to the department. As I knew that he did not have an operator’s license or any immediately obvious reason to be driving the vehicle, I quickly turned my police vehicle around and got immediately behind him. He quickly pulled into the Lucky Store parking lot at Bank Street and jumped out of the vehicle, leaving the vehicle running.”

Turner said that the man insisted that he was not driving the vehicle – although he was in it alone and the Sheriff had clearly seen him – and continued to try to leave the scene when told to stop.

“I couldn’t call in the license plate because of snow covering it,” Turner continued, “so I called in two deputies in the area who were there within minutes. When we removed the snow from the license tag, it did not match the vehicle, and there was a clear smell of marijuana coming from inside the vehicle.”

According to Turner, an initial search revealed several partially burned marijuana blunts in the center console, as well as a bag of dark colored powder. A further search inside the ashtray produced another plastic baggie containing more baggies holding other controlled and/or illegal substances. They also found a digital scale and a police scanner locked on the Surry Sheriff’s Office radio frequency.

“Based on my training and experience in Law Enforcement,” Turner said, “the way it was packaged was indicative of the drug trade. For distribution. He had Oxycodone, marijuana, cocaine, and Xanax, and the dark colored substance tested positive for heroin.”

The drugs, as well as some cash, were seized, and according to a press release from the department,
“on Thursday just after midday the Surry County Sheriff’s Office arrested 23-year-old Surry resident Quannel T. Palmer, who has been charged with offenses including one count each possession with intent to distribute cocaine – a schedule I or II drug, possession with intent to distribute heroin – a schedule I or II drug, possession with intent to distribute oxycodone – a schedule I or II drug, possession with intent to distribute Alprazolam (Xanax) – a schedule IV drug, and possession marijuana.” Palmer was taken before the magistrate to be held without bond at Riverside Regional Jail until his first court appearance on Tuesday.

Sheriff Turner expressed satisfaction at the way he and his deputies were able to handle the situation, which easily could have turned sour, and said, “The sheriff’s office along with the Commonwealth Attorney are aggressively trying to combat any drug sales and distribution here in Surry county. Persons engaged in this activity will be caught and dealt with to the full extent of the law.”

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