Newton County Sheriff Glenn Wheeler said just after 3:15 a.m.. on Thursday, May 30th, Deputy Chase Smith attempted to stop a 2004 RV in Jasper for expired tags. The driver refused to stop and led deputies on a pursuit out Highway 74 East and turned onto a dirt road. The driver then pulled into a grassy area to attempt to turn around, but became stuck. The driver then jumped from the RV and fled on foot. Deputy Smith and Deputy Levi Lowery, along with K9 Cora apprehended Joe Justin Morris, aged 58, who has been living in the Deer area.
Follow up investigation led to Deputies seizing approximately 74 grams of Methamphetamine, along with other drugs and paraphernalia, with a street value of approximately $70,000.00. Morris was later charged with Possession of Methamphetamine with Intent to Deliver, Probation/Parole Violation, six counts of Possession of Drug Paraphernalia, five counts of Misdemeanor Possession of Drug Paraphernalia, seven counts of Misdemeanor Possession of a Schedule IV Controlled Substance (less than 4 ounces), Fleeing in a Vehicle, Fleeing on Foot, Careless or Prohibited Driving, No Vehicle License, Fictitious Tags, and Driving on Suspended Driver's License.
Morris was booked into the Newton County Jail and later appeared before a judge and was given a bond of $25,000.00.
Sheriff Wheeler said "Methamphetamine and the people who sell it are poisoning our communities and our citizens, leading to most everything my office deals with. My Deputies did a good job on this case, taking a key Newton County dealer out of the loop for a little while. Others will take his place, but we'll be just as happy to lock them up as we were to lock Mr. Morris up."