Traffic stop turns into drug case, then to counterfeiting case
by The Press and Standard | January 24, 2019 5:00 pm
Last Updated: January 23, 2019 at 12:48 pm
One of the occupants of a motor vehicle pulled over on a traffic offense by the Colleton County Sheriff’s Office the afternoon of Jan. 15 now faces additional charges from the Walterboro Police Department.
A Colleton County Sheriff’s Office deputy, who reportedly witnessed the driver’s failure to signal a turn as she turned from Otis Road onto Waycross Road, pulled the vehicle over.
The driver allegedly gave the officer permission to search the van, and she and her three passengers were asked to exit the vehicle.
As the search began, the officer said he found a white crystal-like substance on the rear floorboard. The incident report said the deputy believed that someone attempted to grind the substance into the carpet.
The search of the vehicle also reportedly found a bag of a white crystal-like substance which field-tested positive for methamphetamine.
When the driver’s purse was searched, an officer found a prescription bottle, labeled as containing Prozac, reportedly containing 17 pills thought to be hydrocodone.
The incident resulted in the arrest of the driver, Andrea L. Olerud, 31, of Walterboro on charges of possession of methamphetamine with intent to distribute and possession of a Schedule I narcotic.
Two passengers, Lee S. Guess, 36, of Round O and Jeffery L. Collins, 33, of Walterboro were arrested on charges of possession of methamphetamine with intent to distribute.
The third passenger, Steven J. Ammons, 33, of Round O, was arrested on a charge of possession of methamphetamine.
When Collins was searched, the deputies reportedly found him in possession of two counterfeit $100 bills.
Meanwhile in the city…
As the traffic stop was being conducted by the sheriff’s office, Walterboro investigators were continuing their work to put names with the faces of people who had been reported passing counterfeit $100 bills at local businesses.
The phony money customers targeted the Waffle House restaurants at 1646 Bells Highway and at 1326 Sniders Highway.
The manager of the Bells Highway restaurant contacted the city police on Jan. 14 to report that there had been two different cases of the business being hit with counterfeit bills on Jan. 11. The problem was not discovered until the money was deposited in a financial institution.
The manager, after learning of the passing of the counterfeit money, checked the security camera video. She found that the first phony bill had been passed at 5:14 p.m. and a different customer passed the second bill at 8:42 p.m.
At 5:14 p.m. the video showed two white females paid for the food with the phony money. One of the females had blonde hair and was wearing a gray stocking cap, pink jacket, and black and white leggings.
The second female had dark brown or black hair. She was wearing a teal or light green fleece “North Face” jacket.
In the second incident, a white male paid with the counterfeit bill. The video showed him wearing a camo jacket, black jeans and a black baseball-style hat. City police reportedly identified Collins as the male seen in the video and have filed charges of petty theft and counterfeiting against him, in addition to the county charges.
On Jan. 14, a manager of the Waffle House on Sniders Highway called police at 10:13 a.m. to report that a customer attempted without success to pay his bill with a counterfeit $100 bill. The business refused to accept the $100 bill as payment and returned it to the subject. He then drove off in a Kia Soul.
That attempt to pass a $100 bill was also recorded by the business’ video surveillance system.
City police are continuing their investigation into the counterfeiting incidents.