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Hamilton County Sheriff's Office Chief Deputy Austin Garrett addresses the media at the Mountain Creek Road exit of Highway 27 following an officer-involved shooting on Highway 27 North Thursday, January 9, 2020 in Chattanooga, Tennessee. During an attempted traffic stop, a man engaged troopers in gunfire as the vehicles were moving and the troopers returned fire. Two Tennessee Highway Patrol officers were involved. One officer and the man were injured in the incident. / Staff photo by Erin O. Smith

Cody Seals, the man accused of shooting and injuring a Tennessee Highway Patrol officer in January, had just purchased a kilo-and-a-half of methamphetamine and was storing it in a Doritos bag, according to recently filed federal court documents.

Seals, 23, shot at state troopers — injuring one of them — while fleeing on Jan. 9 as they tried to conduct a traffic stop on U.S. Highway 27.

Seals himself is facing state, not federal, charges at this time. But he is named in a federal search warrant in a drug trafficking case.

According to the document, Seals was seen by law enforcement surveillance agents at a North Georgia hotel where a woman suspected of drug trafficking was staying.

He went inside and came back out carrying the Doritos bag, the document states, then got into his white Ford F-150 and started heading toward Tennessee.

That's when troopers spotted him following another vehicle too closely and tried to stop him.

He "leaned out the driver's side window and fired a handgun" at the troopers before speeding off, according to Hamilton County court records.

Federal court records state the troopers crashed into the truck and finally brought it to a stop.

When Seals got out of the vehicle, he again exchanged gunfire with the troopers, only this time with an assault rifle. The records state that he fired multiple rounds at trooper Rich Thomas before turning to fire at trooper Khalat Ghazi, who was struck in the leg.

Seals was also injured and needed medical treatment before being taken to the jail where he was booked on several charges, including two counts of attempted first-degree murder.

In addition to the methamphetamine, law enforcement officers reported that they later found 500 grams of heroin in his vehicle, 170 grams of marijuana, an "unknown white powdery substance" and "numerous firearms and a ballistic vest."

Seals' charges were sent to the grand jury on Jan. 21. It typically takes several weeks before a case is brought before a grand jury. And due to the COVID-19 pandemic, grand jury proceedings have been halted. Once a grand jury reconvenes and if they choose to indict him, a new court date will be set.

Seals remains in custody at Silverdale Detention Center. His bond has been set at $660,000.

Contact Rosana Hughes at rhughes@timesfreepress.com or 423-757-6327 with tips or story ideas. Follow her on Twitter @Hughes Rosana.

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