Man charged with trafficking cocaine takes police on high-speed chase

tstevens@ledger-enquirer.comNovember 6, 2013 

Lamaris Malone

A fence. A traffic sign. A marred tree. A totaled car.

This is just some of the property police say Lamaris Malone damaged when he led officers on a high speed chase through downtown Columbus Tuesday, racking up almost a dozen traffic violations along the way.

The 29-year-old also faces trafficking charges for three separate drugs after a substantial amount of contraband was found near the scene of the crash.

During a Wednesday Recorder's Court hearing, Malone faced charges of trafficking a controlled substance, trafficking cocaine, trafficking marijuana, possession of drug related objects, fleeing officers, obstruction, theft by taking, possession of a firearm during the commission of a crime and possession of a firearm by a convicted felon.

His traffic violations include failure to report an accident, entering roadway from a non-roadway entrance, failure to dim headlights, failure to maintain lane, failure to obey traffic control devices, improper lane change, reckless driving, striking a fixed object and too fast for conditions.

Tuesday at about 3 p.m., Off. Jason Swails said he joined another officer in high speed pursuit of Malone, who was seen driving through a fence at Rose Hill Apartments. According to the other officer, Malone jumped the curb without pausing and entered the roadway again, this time almost clipping the officer's vehicle.

The two officers chased Malone through side streets, where he took out a traffic sign, all the while weaving dangerously. When he reached the intersection of 29th Street and 12th Avenue, Malone allegedly sped through the light, lost control and slammed into a tree. His car flipped and landed upside down during the process.

Officers called EMS and readied themselves to intercept Malone if he emerged, which he did a few minutes later. He was bleeding heavily from an unspecified injury. Swails said he had to give him several blankets to keep him from going into shock.

While they waited for EMS, the officers searched the scene and found a small bag lying on the ground a few feet away from the wreckage. Inside, they found 45.1 grams of crack cocaine, 27.8 grams of marijuana and 53.1 grams of suspected bath salts. The latter has been sent to a GBI lab for testing.

Also on the ground near the scene of the crash was a Smith & Wesson silver pistol.

According to Swails, the total estimated value for the combined drugs was $10,098. An additional $700 in cash was found on Malone's person.

Swails did not indicate whether police suspected Malone had been using drugs prior to the chase.

Judge Michael Cielinski set no bond for Malone's charge of trafficking cocaine. He set a bond of $30,050 for the remaining 17 charges.

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