Blue light special
by The Press and Standard | September 21, 2018 5:00 am
Last Updated: September 18, 2018 at 3:52 pm
Colleton County Sheriff Office Deputy Lt. George Rioux was on the road late morning on Sept. 14 when something a little unusual caught his eye and he decided to investigate.
What he saw near the intersection of Bells Highway and Robertson Boulevard was a pickup truck pulling a trailer with blue and red lights flashing from one of the windshield visors.
The truck and trailer didn’t look like a police vehicle — the trailer looked like it was rigged for cooking. There were no advisories that someone was working undercover in the area.
He radioed the information into dispatch and pulled the man over.
Other deputies arrived to provide backup. That backup included Sheriff R.A. Andy Strickland.
The man reportedly told the officer that he was not a police officer, but was using the red and blue lights because he was responding to a storm-related call.
He said he had been called to handle the cooking duties for utility crews that were dealing with Hurricane Florence.
As the deputy interviewed the man, he reportedly smelled marijuana, reportedly saw an open can of beer and a black SWAT bag on the passenger seat.
A search of the truck reportedly found a small amount of marijuana. The truck cab also allegedly contained several prescription bottles and the officer reportedly found two Xanax pills mixed within the other pills in the bottles.
Inside the SWAT bag, the officer reportedly found a .40 caliber handgun and several loaded clips for the gun. A computer check determined the man was a convicted felon and was prohibited from having a firearm or ammunition.
The stop-and-search led to the arrest of the driver, Ashley T. Wannamaker, 39, of Lexington on charges of improper display of blue lights, unlawful carrying of a firearm, illegal possession of a handgun by a convicted felon, possession of Schedule IV narcotics, open container of alcohol and simple possession of marijuana.