Conservation Law Enforcement Corner April 2021

Chase begins on Coosawattee WMA, results in drug charges and more.

GON Staff | April 4, 2021

Murray County: On Sunday, March 15, 2020 at about 11:30 a.m., Game Warden Ryan Thomas was patrolling Coosawattee WMA on Sexton Road when he noticed a black Chevy Trailblazer traveling southbound on Sexton Road driving in a reckless manner.

“The vehicle was traveling at a high rate of speed through a curve causing the driver to lose control of the rear end of the vehicle resulting in the vehicle sliding sideways through the curve,” officer Thomas wrote in an incident report.

“As the vehicle approached me, I activated my emergency equipment to stop the vehicle. The vehicle drove past me and continued southbound on Sexton Road. I turned around and caught back up to the vehicle. Once I got behind the vehicle, it stopped and the driver immediately exited the vehicle. I told the driver (later identified as William Delp, of Dalton) to get back in his vehicle. As soon as Mr. Delp got back into his vehicle, he began to flee. I called over the radio to let dispatch know that I was chasing a fleeing vehicle. Mr. Delp continued to operate his vehicle in a reckless manner driving at speeds of 60 to 80 miles per hour. Mr. Delp would lose control of his vehicle on nearly every curve on Sexton Road.

“During the chase we passed a family walking on the side of the road who had to snatch their kids into the grass to keep from being struck by Mr. Delp. His reckless manner of driving eventually led to him running off in a ditch where he struck a mailbox and a tree. The impact with the tree caused the vehicle to rotate counterclockwise and come to an uncontrolled rest in the middle of Sexton Rd. After the vehicle quit spinning, Delp continued again to flee. I chased the vehicle all the way down Sexton Road. The vehicle then turned right onto Highway 136 in Gordon County.”

The pursuit continued to Little Road and then Henry Gallman Road until Mr. Delp pulled into a driveway and exited his vehicle.

“ I gave verbal commands for Delp to get on the ground. Delp complied but was highly agitated. I held Delp in this position until backup arrived. I continually had to give Delp commands to stay on the ground and quit moving. DNR Cpl. Casey Jones arrived on scene and took Mr. Delp into custody.

“Cpl. Jones gained verbal consent from Mr. Delp to search the vehicle. Inside the vehicle Cpl. Jones located four clear bags containing a total weight of 63 grams of suspected methamphetamine. One clear bag containing 1 gram of suspected marijuana. One black and silver pipe containing suspected marijuana residue. Three glass pipes commonly used to smoke methamphetamine, one of which did have suspected residue inside. He also located a digital scale and 11 clear bags commonly used to package drugs. Some of the bags contained residue suspected to be methamphetamine.

A DNR officer had to pursue a suspect in Murray County. Shown is evidence found in the suspect’s vehicle.

“During the search Cpl. Jones located a box containing 25 rounds of .380 ammunition, but no gun was recovered from the vehicle. The deputies that arrived on scene knew Mr. Delp to be a convicted felon, so the ammo was seized as evidence.

“On Monday March 16, I received a call from the Murray County District Attorney investigator to let me know that Mr. Delp has a history of throwing weapons out of the window of his vehicle when he encounters law enforcement. I returned to the scene of the initial traffic stop but had to go to another call and did not get to search the area that day. The next day I received a call from Deputy Townsend with the Murray County Sheriff’s Office to let me know that a detective and himself located a Ruger LCP .380 on the side of the road where the initial traffic stop occurred. He also informed me that they had interviewed Mr. Delp about the weapon, and he had admitted to throwing it from his vehicle. Deputy Townsend also matched the ammo from the gun to the ammo that was seized from the vehicle and it matched.

“Mr. Delp was charged with possession of a controlled substance, possession of a controlled substance with intent to distribute, trafficking methamphetamine, possession of less than an ounce of marijuana, possession of drug-related objects, possession of a firearm by a convicted felon, possession of a firearm during commission of a felony, reckless driving, and felony fleeing and attempt to elude.”

DNR officer Ryan Thomas with drugs found after a pursuit began on Coosawattee WMA.

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