Three men were charged Tuesday afternoon after authorities found more than $300 worth of marijuana in a vehicle on Crystal Drive, according to testimony Wednesday in Columbus Recorder’s Court.
Dashabion Person, Sa’veion Wiggins and Devante Westberry, all 20, pleaded not guilty to count each of possession of marijuana with the intent to distribute and possession of drug-related objects. They were each ordered held in the Muscogee County Jail under bonds totaling $1,250 or more.
Judge Julius Hunter bound the case over to Superior Court.
Columbus police were in a small neighborhood in the 600 block of Crystal Drive around 4 p.m. Tuesday patrolling an area where people are known to sell and buy drugs.
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Cpl. Virginia Duncan said they saw a 2004 Mercury Grand Marquis back into a parking space near a basketball court. They approached the car and spoke with the occupants inside.
Authorities said Person was the driver and owner of the vehicle. Wiggins was in the front passenger seat, while Westberry was seated behind Person.
“I asked Person what they were doing in the area,” Duncan told the court. “He just stated that they were waiting for his little brother to come down to play basketball.”
Duncan said she told them they were not in any trouble and that was completely fine.
Officer Travis Contreras then asked Wiggins to roll down his window, and two of the men said the window wouldn’t roll down.
“Officer Contreras then asked Wiggins if he wouldn’t mind opening the door so that he wasn’t rude,” she testified. “He didn’t want to speak through a closed window. At that point, Wiggins opened the door.”
Duncan said that is when police saw a small bag containing 4 grams of marijuana (street value of $40) in the pocket of the front passenger door. They then asked all three men to step out of the car while they continued to investigate.
They searched the rest of the vehicle, where they said they found a .32 caliber Smith & Wesson gun worth $300 in the pocket of the driver’s door. In the trunk was one bag containing 36.7 grams of marijuana (street value of $367) and two digital scales, authorities said.
Duncan said Wiggins claimed ownership of the small bag of marijuana, leading to an additional possession of marijuana charge.
Person faces an additional possession of a firearm during the commission of a crime.