The Tennessee Highway Patrol says that a routine traffic stop for a minor infraction led to a major pursuit in Anderson County on July 30 and a numerous of charges for a 24-year-old woman and a 20-year-old man. The two are facing charges including drug and firearms possession, aggravated assault, reckless endangerment, theft, tampering with evidence and leaving the scene of an accident. The woman was also cited for several traffic violations including speeding and driving an unregistered vehicle.
Police say that they attempted to pull over the woman's Honda Accord sedan after observing it failing to yield the right of way on State Route 61 in Clinton. Officers say that they pursued when the woman tried to flee, and they say that they noticed a can and a box being thrown out of one of the fleeing vehicle's windows. A baby formula can containing about 64 grams of methamphetamine and a black metal box containing a small quantity of heroin and some items of drug paraphernalia were subsequently recovered by police. The Honda was eventually stopped on U.S. Highway 116 in Rocky Top.
A subsequent vehicle search and background check are said to have yielded a loaded Smith and Wesson automatic handgun and information about outstanding warrants on both the woman and her male passenger. Reports indicate that the pair have remained incarcerated since being taken into custody following the chase.
The penalties for drug offenses can be severe. Attempting to flee from police can lead to additional charges and make securing a plea agreement more difficult, and fleeing suspects also provide police with the probable cause they need to search vehicles without first obtaining search warrants.