Snellville man's talkative behavior tips Rockdale deputy off to drugs

CONYERS — A deputy who seemingly couldn’t get a word in edgewise during a traffic stop got the final say when he arrested the driver on a series of drug charges.

Deputy Jason Heyman, who is part of the Rockdale County Sheriff’s Office Criminal Interdiction Unit, pulled over 24-year-old Joseph Paul Shannon, of Snellville, around 4:10 p.m. Monday for traveling too closely behind a box truck on Interstate 20.

“Before I could even introduce myself and explain the reason for the traffic stop, Shannon nervously began rambling on about his speed, stating, ‘I think I was going around 65 but I think the speed limit is 60 so I know I was going a little too fast, but I was just keeping pace with traffic,’” Heyman reported.

The deputy said that at one point Shannon paused so he was able to ask to see his drivers license.

“Shannon then reached into his pocket, handed me his debit card, and continued talking,” he said.

The driver reportedly tried to explain that he was trying to get to work at a smoke shop, which is why he was in such a hurry.

“During the duration that I allowed Shannon to ramble on, he never once made eye contact with me or even looked in the general direction of where I was standing.” Heyman stated.

The deputy handed the driver back his debit card, asked again for his drivers license and instructed him to “stop talking so that I can explain why I stopped him.”

Before Heyman could finish explaining why it was dangerous to follow another vehicle too closely, Shannon “began rambling on again.”

Due to his nervous behavior, the deputy asked if he could search Shannon’s gold Ford Taurus, but the man refused, according to the incident report.

Heyman then directed Shannon to sit on the guardrail while the K9 Deputy Teal conducted a free air sniff of the man’s car.

Teal alerted on the driver’s door, so Heyman searched the vehicle and found a glass jar wrapped in paper and tape and wrapped in a shirt inside the pocket of the back of the driver’s seat. Inside the jar were four clear bags containing raw marijuana that were packaged for distribution. Two of the bags had the buyers’ initials written on them, the deputy reported. Heyman also found a digital scale and two glass pipes that smelled like burnt marijuana, he stated.

Shannon, whose address is 4473 Ford Place in Snellville, was arrested and charged with purchase, possession, manufacture or distribution of controlled substances, possession and use of drug-related objects, possession of a Schedule IV controlled substance, possession of a Schedule III controlled substance and following too closely.