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08/11/2014

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According to Cherokee County Sheriff Jeff Shaver, two men were arrested on multiple charges following a traffic stop and car chase Sunday afternoon, August 10th.  Deputy Jeremy Stepps stopped Thomas Watson Smith, 37, and Joseph Daniel Kennamer, 40, both of Rome, Georgia, around 5:00 p.m. yesterday in the Forney Community on a routine traffic stop.  Stepps suspected drugs were in the vehicle and requested assistance from the Sheriff’s Office K-9 Unit, Deputy Michael Green and his K-9 Partner, Keelo.  While deputies were speaking with Smith and Kennamer, they proceeded to flee and struck Green with the vehicle, knocking him to the ground.  Green fired several rounds from his duty weapon, striking the side of Smith’s vehicle.  Smith continued to flee traveling north on County Road 29 then turned north on U.S. Hwy 411.  Kennamer held a plastic container out the window and dumped the contents onto the roadway.  Smith slammed on the brakes several times causing Stepps to strike his vehicle in the rear before finally stopping approximately two miles from the Georgia state line.  Both Smith and Kennamer were taken into custody.  Green called for assistance from the Cherokee County Criminal Investigative and Counter-Drug Unit.  Responding officers were able to secure the area of U.S. Hwy 411 where Kennamer threw out the contents of the container.  They recovered approximately 1 pound of what appeared to be methamphetamine (ICE) from the roadway.  Investigators were able to positively identify the substance within seconds as being methamphetamine (ICE) using the TruNarc forensics testing device acquired with the assistance of Mark Hopwood with the Center for Applied Forensics at Jacksonville State University.  Officers also found approximately $30,000 in cash in Smith’s vehicle.  Smith is charged with second degree assault, trafficking illegal drugs, resisting arrest, and attempting to elude police officers.  Kennamer is charged with trafficking illegal drugs and tampering with physical evidence.  Both are currently being held at the Cherokee County Detention Center pending a bond hearing.  Sheriff Shaver wishes to thank all that were involved for a job well done including officers of the Cherokee County Sheriff’s Office, Centre Police Department, Leesburg Police Department, and the District Attorney’s Office.  Sheriff Shaver stated “I am very thankful no one was seriously injured during this dangerous situation and happy this large amount of dangerous drugs is off our streets.”

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