Driver exceeds speed limit, arrested for meth

Special to The Sun

On Aug. 10 around 7 p.m. deputies were called to a domestic dispute in the area of Murphy’s Gas Station on U.S. Highway 98. As Deputy Allen Pullings was approaching the intersection of West Hewitt Road he pulled into the turn lane for Murphy’s Gas Station and observed a vehicle matching the description of those involved in the domestic violence incident.

The vehicle was facing North attempting to turn East onto U.S. Highway 98. Deputy Pullings recognized the driver as Samantha Stuart, 37, from previous criminal incidents and encounters.

Pullings attempted to tell Stuart to pull over, but instead she pulled out onto Highway 98 heading eastbound driving estimated speeds of 90 miles an hour. Stuart began weaving in and out of traffic when Deputy Pullings engaged his lights and sirens.

As Stuart approached C.R 30A West, the vehicle made a rapid turn into the Exxon Gas Station located at the intersection of C.R. 30A and U.S. Highway 98 west.  Deputy Pullings observed the driver, Samantha Stuart, exit the vehicle and walk into the Exxon store even after being told to stop.

Deputy Kristin Pond and K9 “Kayne” were deployed to the scene. Kayne conducted a free air sniff and made a positive alert on the vehicle giving probable cause for a search. A blue canvas bag containing four syringes was discovered along with a gold Michael Kors make-up bag containing a red Frio bag.  Inside the Frio bag was a clear plastic straw, which had methamphetamine inside it and two metal spoons.  

The passenger in the car, Charles Manza, 21, was handcuffed while deputies performed a “pat down” of his outer garments. During the search a marijuana pipe was discovered in Manza’s left front pocket. Further investigation revealed three additional pipe/smoking devices with burnt marijuana located in a black duffel bag inside the vehicle. Post Miranda Manza admitted ownership of all four pipes.

Charles Michael Manza was charged with four counts of Possession of Drug Paraphernalia. Samantha Stuart was charged on one count of reckless driving, driving with a suspended license, possession of methamphetamine, and four counts of drug paraphernalia.