Expired license plate leads to arrest of Smyrna man for drug trafficking and firearms charges

Marietta police SUV

According to a public information release from Officer Chuck McPhilamy of the Marietta Police Department, a  33-year-old Smyrna man was arrested and charged with drug trafficking after being pulled over for an expired tag.

[The Cobb County Courier has a policy of withholding or redacting the name of suspects unless and until the person is convicted in a court of law or enters a plea of guilty. All suspects are innocent until proven guilty, and the internet has no effective way of removing reports of arrest if the person is exonerated. We do make exceptions in high-profile cases or charges against public officials where exoneration is likely to be as widely publicized as the initial arrest

The public information release release describes the incident as follows:

“While on patrol Tuesday night October 10, 2023, one of our patrol officers observed a vehicle with an expired license plate in the area near the intersection of Fairground Street and Lawrence Street.  Officer McDonald conducted a traffic stop that led to the discovery of multiple narcotics and two weapons.”  

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The owner of the vehicle was arrested and charged with nine felonies. He was booked into the Cobb County Adult Detention Center on the following charges:

  1. VGCSA Trafficking more than 28 grams Cocaine, OCGA 16-13-31
  2. VGCSA Intent To Distribute Cocaine, OCGA 16-13-30(b)
  3. VGCSA Trafficking Cocaine, OCGA 16-13-30(b)
  4. VGCSA Intent To Distribute Methamphetamine, OCGA 16-13-30(b)
  5. VGCSA Intent To Distribute Marijuana, OCGA 16-13-30-J(1)
  6. Possession of a Firearm During Commission of a Felony, OCGA 16-11-106(b)(4)
  7. Possession of a Firearm By Convicted Felon, OCGA 16-11-131 (9mm Canik pistol)
  8. Possession of a Firearm By Convicted Felon, OCGA 16-11-131 (25 caliber Lorcin pistol)
  9. Criminal Use of an Article With Altered ID, OCGA 16-9-70 (altered serial number on the 25 caliber pistol)

“I appreciate Officer McDonald’s proactive work that led to the discovery of a convicted felon transporting narcotics and two handguns diagonally between a daycare facility and The Zone, a safe place for those dealing with addiction, seeking help with long term recovery,” said Marietta Police Chief Marty Ferrell for the public information release. “This should serve as a good reminder that trouble can hide in plain sight.”

 “The more we all practice ‘situational awareness’ and remember to call 911 if we see suspicious activity, the safer our communities will be,”   said Ferrell.

About the City of Marietta

The City of Marietta is the county seat of Cobb County. The latest estimate from the U.S. Census Bureau puts the population of the city at 60,867 which makes it the second largest city in Cobb County by population, smaller only than the newly incorporated City of Mableton.

Here are a few quick facts from the Census Bureau

Marietta city, Georgia
Population, Census, April 1, 202060972
Population, Census, April 1, 201056579
Age and Sex
Persons under 5 years, percent6.7%
Persons under 18 years, percent21.8%
Persons 65 years and over, percent13.2%
Female persons, percent49.9%
Race and Hispanic Origin
White alone, percent53.4%
Black or African American alone, percent(a)32.3%
American Indian and Alaska Native alone, percent(a)0.6%
Asian alone, percent(a)1.9%
Native Hawaiian and Other Pacific Islander alone, percent(a)0.0%
Two or More Races, percent4.7%
Hispanic or Latino, percent(b)15.7%
White alone, not Hispanic or Latino, percent46.4%
Population Characteristics
Veterans, 2016-20202678
Foreign born persons, percent, 2016-202016.6%
Owner-occupied housing unit rate, 2016-202044.0%
Median value of owner-occupied housing units, 2016-2020$310,100
Median selected monthly owner costs -with a mortgage, 2016-2020$1,856
Median selected monthly owner costs -without a mortgage, 2016-2020$526
Median gross rent, 2016-2020$1,145
Families & Living Arrangements
Households, 2016-202024148
Persons per household, 2016-20202.39
Living in same house 1 year ago, percent of persons age 1 year+, 2016-202077.9%
Language other than English spoken at home, percent of persons age 5 years+, 2016-202023.7%
Computer and Internet Use
Households with a computer, percent, 2016-202095.1%
Households with a broadband Internet subscription, percent, 2016-202086.6%
High school graduate or higher, percent of persons age 25 years+, 2016-202088.6%
Bachelor’s degree or higher, percent of persons age 25 years+, 2016-202044.0%
With a disability, under age 65 years, percent, 2016-20206.3%
Persons without health insurance, under age 65 years, percent20.2%
In civilian labor force, total, percent of population age 16 years+, 2016-202067.2%
In civilian labor force, female, percent of population age 16 years+, 2016-202061.2%
Total accommodation and food services sales, 2012 ($1,000)(c)264544
Total health care and social assistance receipts/revenue, 2012 ($1,000)(c)1584232
Total manufacturers shipments, 2012 ($1,000)(c)1129407
Total retail sales, 2012 ($1,000)(c)1976915
Total retail sales per capita, 2012(c)$33,875
Mean travel time to work (minutes), workers age 16 years+, 2016-202028.5
Income & Poverty
Median household income (in 2020 dollars), 2016-2020$59,594
Per capita income in past 12 months (in 2020 dollars), 2016-2020$36,112
Persons in poverty, percent14.1%
All firms, 201210501
Men-owned firms, 20124934
Women-owned firms, 20124186
Minority-owned firms, 20124286
Nonminority-owned firms, 20125502
Veteran-owned firms, 20121015
Nonveteran-owned firms, 20128663
Population per square mile, 20102451.4
Land area in square miles, 201023.08