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Happy birthday. Here's your meth.
Whitfield County Sheriff's Office deputies stopped an Acura 3.5 RL in Dalton, Ga., on Tuesday night at the corner of Summer Road and Georgia State Route 201. Inside the car, police said, in the back seat, in a box draped in zebra-print wrapping paper with a pink bow on top, they found $50,000 worth of methamphetamine.
Capt. Rick Swiney said the department's narcotics unit received a tip before Tuesday night. A man and woman from Canton would be coming to town to make a delivery.
So three officers and a Georgia State Patrol trooper waited on the highway and watched for the Acura. When they saw it, the officers pulled over 31-year-old David Willie Baker and 18-year-old Kathleen Frances Williams.
The two appeared to be heading to a birthday party. Alongside the wrapped box, the couple had placed in the back seat a balloon with colorful stars and the message "HAPPY BIRTHDAY" on it.
But inside the package, according to an arrest report, officers found 400 grams of meth.
Swiney said this is not the first time officers have found drugs inside a birthday present.
"It's not real common, but it has happened before," he said. "Our officers know to be on the alert for situations like that if they are looking for narcotics. They are going to put it in a place where you aren't going to look. ... We've found it inside the tires before. We found it in secret compartments. We found it under the hood."
Lookout Mountain Judicial Circuit Drug Task Force Commander Patrick Doyle said Thursday that he could not recall any "hidden packages" like the one found in Dalton. But he does remember another odd form of confiscation.
In 2004, investigators received a tip that someone was making meth inside a Rock Springs, Ga., Porta Potty.
"All I could think about was getting it done and getting it out of there," Doyle said.
On Thursday, the officers in Dalton found the methamphetamine separated into about 20 balls and wrapped into packages. They also found a folded pair of jeans resting underneath the drugs, and an air freshener sitting on top.
"I guess they were trying to divert the scent," Swiney said.
Baker and Williams each was charged with possession to distribute and trafficking in methamphetamine. They remained in the Whitfield County Jail on Thursday without bonds.
Contact staff writer Tyler Jett at 423-757-6476 or at firstname.lastname@example.org.