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Wanted man captured in pursuit

By Eddie West

Staff Writer

A sheriff’s department K-9 officer captured a wanted suspect following a pursuit which began in Smith County and concluded in Mt. Juliet.

Meanwhile, it’s not just dogs who can detect the odor of marijuana with a free air sniff. 

While following the suspect’s vehicle, traveling on Interstate 40, K-9 officer Sgt. Ridge Long stated in an offense report he could “smell a strong odor of marijuana” emitting from the car in which the suspect was traveling.

The incident began as Sgt. Long, was observing traffic along Interstate 40 at the 258 mile marker (Gordonsville area) on June 21, noticing a vehicle switching lanes.

The officer fell in behind the vehicle, witnessed the driver braking heavily and traveling at a speed of 77 miles per hour in 70 mile per hour speed zone.

It was after Sgt. Long smelled the odor of marijuana, the officer activated his emergency lights, attempting to stop the vehicle which failed to yield and increased speed, according to Sgt. Long’s offense report.

A pursuit ensued with the car’s driver passing other vehicles on the shoulder of the Interstate, according to the report.

At times, the vehicle was traveling at a speed well in excess of one hundred miles per hour, according to the report.

Sgt. Long continued to pursue the vehicle along Interstate 40 in Smith County well into Wilson County where the driver exited the interstate at the Exit 232, entering Highway 109, where the vehicle ran into an embankment, busting a tire.

Despite a busted tire, the vehicle continued, traveling down Bluegrass Parkway where the officer noticed the driver tossed a clear baggie out the driver’s side window, according to the officer’s report.

The vehicle came to a stop at 144 Bluegrass Highway and the driver was ordered out of the vehicle but refused.

A female passenger was inside the vehicle, along with minors in the backseat. The female and two juveniles complied with the officer’s command to exit the vehicle and lay on the grass near the vehicle.

A retired deputy with the Wilson County Sheriff’s Department pulled onto the scene, watching the female and two male juveniles.

An officer with the Gordonsville Police Department and two officers with the Mt. Juliet Police Department arrived on the scene to assist in the investigation.

Sgt. Long had to remove the driver from the vehicle in order to place him under arrest, according to an offense report.

Sgt. Long located a gram of marijuana inside  the vehicle, according to the report.

The vehicle’s driver told the officer he fled because he had an outstanding arrest warrant.

After checking a national crime data bases, Sgt. Long learned the driver of the vehicle was confirmed to be a gang member with an active warrant related to a conviction for sale of a schedule II drug cocaine and aggravated robbery.

Seayon Weston, 35, Knoxville, was charged with possession of controlled substances, driving on revoked license, evading arrest, tampering with or fabricating evidence, resisting arrest, reckless endangerment, reckless driving and violation of parole.

Bond for Weston was set at $56,000 for all charges except violation of parole.

For violation of parole, Weston is being held without bond.

Weston has general sessions court dates of July 14 and September 15.

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