Home Crime Trip to Grocery Store Leads to Felony Drug Bust

Trip to Grocery Store Leads to Felony Drug Bust

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By Will Johnson

Messenger Reporter

CROCKETT – A mid-afternoon trip to the grocery store led to a felony drug bust on Wednesday, March 24.

According to an arrest affidavit, John Daylon McElyea, 39, and Kellie Renae Cheatham, 38, were taken into custody after a traffic stop led to the discovery of illegal narcotics in the vehicle in which they were traveling.

In the affidavit, DPS Trooper Kody Woolley reported he was traveling west on Loop 304 in Crockett when he observed a 2003 Dodge Ram pulling out of the HEB parking lot.

“I had previous knowledge that the owner of the truck, John McElyea, had an active parole warrant. I observed the driver of the Dodge truck was John McElyea. The truck turned left on to Loop 304 in Crockett. I turned around and conducted a traffic stop on McElyea and the truck,” Trooper Woolley stated in the legal document.

After the vehicle pulled over, the DPS Trooper made contact with McElyea and informed him of the reason (parole warrant) for the stop. He asked McElyea to exit the vehicle and placed him in handcuffs.

A passenger in the vehicle was identified as Kellie Cheatham. She was also asked to exit the truck, according to the affidavit.

A search of Cheatham’s purse yielded “… a bag of Xanax pills and a clear plastic bag containing a crystal substance. I believed the crystal substance was methamphetamine and the pills were a substance listed in Penalty Group 3, based on my training and experience as a peace officer.”

Following Cheatham’s arrest for the meth and the Xanax, the trooper resumed his search of the vehicle.

“I continued searching McElyea’s truck and discovered a plastic bag containing a brown, crystal substance (meth), along with a syringe in the driver door pocket,” Woolley stated in the affidavit.

Both Cheatham and McElyea were transported to the Houston County Jail where they were booked into custody. Cheatham was charged with possession of a controlled substance (meth) Penalty Group One in an amount greater than one gram but less than four grams. She was also charged with possession of a controlled substance (Xanax) Penalty Group Three in an amount less than 28 grams. The meth charge is a third-degree felony while the Xanax charge is a Class A misdemeanor.

McElyea was charged with possession of a controlled substance (meth) Penalty Group One in an amount greater than four grams but less than 200 grams, a second-degree felony.  He was also charged with possession of narcotics paraphernalia, a Class C misdemeanor.

 According to Section 12.33 of the Texas Penal Code, “An individual adjudged guilty of a felony of the second degree shall be punished by imprisonment in the institutional division for any term of not more than 20 years or less than two years. In addition to imprisonment, an individual adjudged guilty of a felony of the second degree may be punished by a fine not to exceed $10,000.”

The Texas Penal Code further states a third-degree felony is punishable by between two and 10 years in prison, as well as a fine of up to $10,000. 

McElyea has been “no-bonded” because of the parole warrant while Cheatham is being held on a total bond of $14,000.

Will Johnson may be contacted via e-mail at wjohnson@messenger-news.com.   

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