By Patrick Yost
Two North Carolina men face serious drug trafficking charges after they fled the scene of a single car wreck on Intestate 20 and led officers on a brief but intense man hunt in the Rutledge area.
Patrick Carlton Harrington 38, Jackson Springs, N.C. was arrested in a field behind a Davis Academy Road horse farm after a canine unit with the Walton County Sheriff’s Office found Harrington attempting to hide in tall grass. Near Harrington, reports state, was a large bag of 76.6 grams of suspected methamphetamine. Harrington and co–suspect Gerald Alan Smith were both arrested on Saturday, June 3 at approximately 11:30 a.m.
According to Morgan County Sheriff Robert Markley, authorities received a call from an Interstate 20 safety worker that two men had fled a 2000 Cadillac that had struck a guardrail at approximately 9 a.m.
Sheriff Markley said he was at home at the time of the call and left his residence to begin searching for the subjects. Members of the Georgia State Patrol and other agencies also began searching. Markley said at approximately 11:30 a.m. he noticed two men speaking to a woman in a van in the driveway of the horse farm. Markley said he backed his vehicle up and approached the men. He also said that the woman gave Markley furtive glances at the men. Markley drew his service revolver and ordered both men on the ground.
Harrington fled and Smith was handcuffed by Markley and detained. Georgia State Patrol Trooper Corp. Corey Seymour arrived with Morgan County Sheriff’s Office deputy Sgt. Kevin Brisko arrived and the men began searching the fields behind the farm.
A backpack belonging to Smith was confiscated. Markley said the backpack contained two pistols, a bottle of suspected Oxycodone, two cell phones and various sized clear plastic baggies.
According to reports, Smith told investigators that he was driving the Cadillac eastbound on Interstate 20 after he fell asleep and struck a guardrail.
Harrington is charged with trafficking in methamphetamine, possession of a firearm by a convicted felon and possession of a firearm by a convicted felon. The Cadillac, reports state, belonged to Harrington but a tag on the vehicle had been reported stolen in North Carolina.
Smith was charged with trafficking in methamphetamine, driving with a suspended license, possession of a firearm during commission of a crime and criminal use of an article with altered ID mark.
Both men remain in detention at the Morgan County Detention Center.