Augusta Free Press

Parking problem leads to pot arrests in Waynesboro

The Waynesboro Police Department arrested two city teenagers for drug distribution after an alert officer discovered a plethora of pot in the process of responding to a parking problem Wednesday morning.  David Angel Vivar and Zachariah Gunner Knott, both 18 years old, face a felony charge of possession of marijuana with intent to distribute and a misdemeanor charge of contributing to the delinquency of a minor.

On September 9 at approximately 7:15 a.m., an officer was dispatched to the 300 block of Isle Avenue due to an improperly parked vehicle obstructing traffic.  The officer went to the vehicle owner’s residence at 333-B Isle Ave in an attempt to have the vehicle moved.  However, when the officer made contact with the owner, Knott, at his front door, he smelled the odor of marijuana emanating from inside.  Also, other occupants in the apartment appeared to be under the influence of marijuana.

Other officers detained Knott and his roommates, Vivar and a 17 year old male juvenile, while the investigating officer obtained a search warrant for the apartment.  The search yielded several individual baggies of marijuana, scales and smoking devices.  Officers arrested Knott and Vivar at their residence later in the day.

In recent weeks, the Department’s Special Operations Division had received numerous tips about possible drug dealing activity in this area and had just begun an investigation.   This bust illustrates the latest example of a paradigm shift in the Department’s enforcement of illicit narcotic operations in which the street level officer uses information to craft a successful drug investigation.   The Department cannot make drug enforcement the responsibility of one set of investigators but rather it is a department wide effort.  It must be at the forefront of every officer’s mind as he or she is on patrol in the city. Making drug arrests has the incidental effect on the frequency of the other criminal acts that drug use generate, such as larcenies, robberies, gang activity, aggravated assaults, sexual assaults to name a few.

Vivar was released on a personal recognizance bond and Knott is being held at Middle River Regional Jail.  Charges against the juvenile are pending.

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