William Cowart

Name:
Cowart, William Shyenne

Date of Booking:
10/23/2021

Reason(s) For Booking:
Theft by Receiving Stolen Property-Felony

Possession and Use of Drug Related Objects

Possession of a Schedule I Controlled Substance

Trafficking in Cocaine, Illegal Drugs,Marijuana, or Methamphetamine

Officer’s Narrative:
[Please note: The following is a direct transcription from the officer’s narrative report. We do not fix any spelling or grammatical errors. Any changes made by our staff are placed inside brackets. Some errors may exist.]

[NARRATIVE #1]

On 10/23/2021 at approximately 0817 hours, I was dispatched to 1937 Atlanta Hwy SE in reference to an unconscious male at Pat’s BP gas station located at 1937 Atlanta Hwy SE.

An investigation identified Mr. William Cowart as the suspect of a drug investigation. A probable cause search of Williams vehicle was conducted and 71 grams of a white crystal substance, 1.4 grams of a brown powder substance, a blue glass pipe, several clear sealable bags, and a digital scale were located inside the vehicle.

Probable cause supported charges for Trafficking Methamphetamine, Possession of Heroin, and Possession of Drug Related Objects.

Initial Contact and Observations

Dispatch advised MED 6 had spoken with William prior to this call and he had told them he was just sleeping. Upon arrival, I observed William standing by the rear of his vehicle talking to EMS. EMS approached me and told me William was found asleep in his parked his vehicle but was not in need of medical assistance. EMS also informed me that William was trying to leave the scene before we arrived. I approached the vehicle and noticed a strong odor of marijuana emanating from the vehicle as well as from William’s person.

William’s Statement

I approached William and asked him what was going on. William told me he was just hanging out in the parking lot and just wanted to leave. I then asked William if he had any firearms, drugs, or marijuana in his vehicle. William stated, “Not that I know of.” Deputy Goldberg S107 questioned William on why he said he did not think there were any weapons, drugs, or marijuana in the car. Deputy Goldberg asked William when was the last time he smoked marijuana. He told him four days ago. Deputy Goldberg asked William if he had any marijuana on his person. Williams told him he did not. Deputy Goldberg asked William id there was any marijuana inside the vehicle. William again stated, “Not that I know of.” William was unable to give a definite answer on whether or not there were any firearms, drugs, or marijuana in his car.

Further Investigation

I conducted a NCIC/GCIC inquiry of William. The NCIC/GCIC inquiry revealed active warrants for probation violation – burglary and possession of methamphetamine with intent to distribute out of Athens-Clarke County. I placed William in handcuffs behind his back, checked for correct fit, and double locked them. I informed William he was being detained due to the active warrants. I secured William in the rear of my patrol vehicle.

Athens-Clarke County confirmed the warrants as valid and advised they did want to place a hold.

A probable cause search of the vehicle was conducted based on the odor of marijuana emanating from the vehicle.

During the probable cause search, I located a black shoulder bag on the floor of the driver area. I removed the shoulder bag from the vehicle and placed it on the hood of the vehicle. While searching the bag, I located a blue glass pipe and a lighter in the front pouch of the bag. I noticed the blue glass pipe had burn marks on it and contained a white residue. The glass pipe resembled whats commonly referred to as a meth pipe, an instrument used to introduce methamphetamine to the human body by inhalation.

Inside the main pouch of the shoulder bag, I located a smaller brown and tan camouflage bag. I opened the smaller camouflage bag and noticed a green drawstring bag labeled with the logo “Crown Royal”. I removed the drawstring bag and opened it. Inside of the drawstring bag, I located a green mesh pouch containing several clear sealable plastic bags and a gray digital scale. Also inside the green drawstring bag, I located a large clear sealable bag with two separate clear plastic bags inside of it. Inside both clear plastic bags, there was a white crystal substance which was suspected to be methamphetamine. In the side pocket of the brown camouflage bag, Deputy Goldberg located a small clear plastic sandwich bag containing a brown powder substance which was suspected to be heroin. William was asked if he wanted to talk to us about what we found in his vehicle. William told us he did not.

Action Taken

I asked William if he knew anybody who could secure the vehicle. He told me he did not. I asked him who rented the vehicle. He told me he did not know. I asked him for his permission to secure the vehicle on the property of the Pats BP with staff permission. He provided permission to secure the vehicle on the property. I spoke with staff at the BP who provided permission to secure the vehicle on the property. The vehicle was parked on the side of the gas station in a marked parking spot and secured.

William was transported to Barrow County Detention Center where he was lodged on the active warrants as well as the listed offenses. The suspected methamphetamine, heroin, and drug related objects were taken to the Barrow County Sheriff’s Office and lodged into evidence. Before sealing the possible methamphetamine and heroin for evidence, I used the digital scale in the evidence room to get an accurate weight. The suspected methamphetamine had a total weight of 71 grams. One bag weighed 40.2 and the other weighed 30.8 grams. The suspected heroin weighed 1.4 grams.

Summary of Probable Cause

The odor of marijuana emanating from the vehicle.

All contraband was located inside of a black shoulder bag which was located in the driver floor area of the vehicle William was operating.

OCGA 16-13-31(e) Trafficking in methamphetamine as William did have the 71 grams of methamphetamine in his possession and is above the trafficking amount of 28 grams.

OCGA 16-13-30 Possession of a Schedule I controlled substance as William did have in his possession the 1.4 grams of heroin.

OCGA 16-13-32.2 Possession and use of drug related objects as William did have in his possession the blue glass pipe, multiple clear sealable plastic bags, and a digital scale.

[NARRATIVE #2]

On this date, October 23, 2021, at approximately 0817 hours I responded Code 1 to Pat’s BP located at 1937 Atlanta Hwy SE in reference to an unconscious male parked at the gas pumps. I was advised prior to my arrival that medics from Station 6 spoke with him earlier this morning and he advised them he was just sleeping.

When I arrived on scene, I spoke with the medics from Station 1. They advised when they arrived, they had to knock on the window multiple times to wake him up. When questioned, he could not answer basic things such as his location or the name of the current president. They said he attempted to put the vehicle in drive multiple times and had to be told to stop and exit the vehicle. It was also mentioned when he retrieved something out of his wallet, he appeared to have a large amount of cash in his possession.

He was standing at the rear of his vehicle, a 2021 Nissan Sentra bearing Georgia registration [REDACTED], speaking with medics when Deputy Catapano made contact with him. He was identified as William Cowart.

While Deputy Catapano was speaking with him, I walked around the vehicle and looked in the windows. I saw multiple discarded cotton swabs on the floor behind the driver’s seat, an orange cap in the back passenger’s seat most commonly associated with hypodermic needles, a partially unrolled roll of paper towels, lottery tickets, and a prescription pill bottle in the center console.

When I attempted to make small talk with Cowart while Deputy Catapano was conducting his investigation, I noticed he had pinpoint pupils, he had a pale complexion, he was slow to respond, and was using the trunk of the vehicle for balance. The physical manifestations coupled with the items in plain view in the vehicle, it was suspected he was under the influence of an intoxicant, more specifically, heroin.

Due to my knowledge, training, and experience, individuals who abuse the substance will have pinpoint pupils, be lethargic, will use cotton swabs to “filter” the drug before ingestion, and intravenous users will use hypodermic needles to inject the drug into their bloodstream.

When asked, Cowart stated he lived in Athens. I asked why he was in Statham. He said he was at a friend’s place in Winder. He failed to elaborate beyond that. Cowart was asked if he was driving a company car because I noticed the registration decal said “fleet”. He stated it was a rental car.

Deputy Catapano detained Cowart at that time for an outstanding warrant out of another jurisdiction. He was seated in the back of his patrol unit.

Deputy Catapano developed probable cause to search the vehicle. Deputy Catapano discovered multiple baggies of substances suspected to be illegal narcotics along with drug paraphernalia. At no time did I enter the vehicle or handle any evidence seized. I ran the registration of the vehicle on my in-car computer. The GCIC return showed the vehicle was registered to Enterprise Rent-A-Car.

I called the Athens location to ensure the vehicle was still within the terms of the rental agreement. The employee advised the vehicle was rented from the Monroe location to a female, Amber Vargas. She was set to return the vehicle on Monday. He provided the phone number they had on file for her. I attempted to call it, but I was unable to make contact with anyone.

The vehicle was left in the parking lot of the convenience store with consent of the manager. Deputy Catapano arrested Cowart for an outstanding warrant along with new charges from this investigation. He took possession of all evidence seized.

[NARRATIVE #3]

On 10/23/2021 at approximately 1822 hours, I responded code 1 to 1937 Atlanta Hwy SE in reference to a follow up for a stolen vehicle.

On 10/23/2021 William Cowart was taken into custody at 0844 hours for several drug related offenses. The vehicle William was in possession of, a 2021 Nissan Sentra bearing Georgia registration [REDACTED], was reported stolen in Oconee County at approximately 1400 hours and was listed as a stolen vehicle on NCIC/GCIC at approximately 1700 hours.

The owner of the vehicle was Enterprise Rent-A-Car. Enterprise told us the vehicle was rented to Amber Vargas and she was due to return the vehicle on Monday 10/25/2021. During my interaction with William, I asked him if he knew who rented the vehicle. He told me he did not know.

Oconee County advised they had a Deputy enroute to 1937 Atlanta Hwy SE to recover the stolen vehicle. I met with Deputy Patrick Holl #3630 of the Oconee County Sheriff’s Office. Deputy Holl told me Amber reported it stolen from her driveway at approximately 1400 hours. Amber told Deputy Holl she had left the vehicle unsecured in her driveway in Oconee County with the keys inside the vehicle. She noticed the vehicle was missing when she woke up at approximately 1330 hours 10/23/2021.

Action Taken

The vehicle was confirmed stolen by Oconee County. Deputy Holl took control of the vehicle and had it removed by an Oconee County wrecker service.

William was lodged in Barrow County Detention Center earlier this morning with the keys to the vehicle. At the time the vehicle was reported stolen, the keys to the vehicle had already been sealed in his property at the detention center. A search warrant was secured for William’s sealed property in order to retrieve the keys. The keys were retrieved from William’s property and William was provided with a property receipt for the keys.

Summary of Probable Cause

OCGA 16-8-7 Theft by receiving stolen property – motor vehicle as William was in possession of the stolen vehicle. William committed the offense of theft by receiving stolen property when he received or retained stolen property which he knew or should have known was stolen without the intent to restore it to the owner. William told me he did not rent the vehicle and could not advise who rented the vehicle.