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North Forsyth traffic stop yields meth, marijuana, money
Christina Atwell

NORTH FORSYTH — Two north Forsyth residents were arrested after deputies found 45 grams of suspected methamphetamine, 69 grams of suspected marijuana, other drugs and about $8,000 in cash in their vehicle during a recent traffic stop off Dr. Bramblett Road.

According to the Forsyth County Sheriff’s Office, Christina Marie Atwell briefly attempted to elude deputies in a 2006 BMW 3251 on Feb. 20.

By the time they pulled her over, passenger Stephen T. Butler had reportedly thrown several plastic bags filled with drugs from the vehicle.

Atwell and Butler, both 31, have each been charged with trafficking methamphetamine, possession of marijuana with intent to distribute, felony possession of marijuana and possession of methamphetamine.

They also face charges of possession of a schedule IV controlled substance, possession of drug-related objects and felony tampering with evidence, according to an incident report.

In addition, Atwell was charged with brake light violation and failure to maintain lane.

As of Friday, both suspects remained in the Forsyth County Jail, where they were being held without bond.

Atwell’s son, who she said was nearly 3, was picked up by her mother while the Division of Family and Children Services was notified.

“I stepped to the vehicle to check on the child and spoke with him, and he was calm and playing with a toy,” the deputy stated in the report.

Atwell and Butler told deputies that they were in a relationship and that she drives his car regularly, “which is supported by the fact that her child was in the backseat in a car seat surrounded by child care items, several makeup bags and her perfume in the driver’s door panel.”

During the traffic stop, the deputy who pulled the vehicle over called for backup after seeing “a digital scale on the drivers’ floorboard and a large amount of U.S. currency under Mr. Butler’s left thigh.”

The officer who responded as backup found “multiple plastic bags” with “bags consistent with the packaging of narcotics,” the report said.

The bags were in the road, where the vehicle had reportedly attempted to elude the patrol car.

Deputies also recovered “a large Tupperware container, and inside the container was a plastic bag with a large amount of methamphetamine, a plastic bag with a large amount of marijuana and a Marlboro menthol cigarette pack.”

The report continued, “Inside of the cigarette pack was a small personal-use amount of methamphetamine, and Mr. Butler had an identical brand and style of cigarette pack in his pocket, tying him to the container.”

The Tupperware was found on the right side of the road, “which supports Mr. Butler throwing the container and bags out of his window,” according to the report.

When the deputy pulled the car over, the passenger side window was “rolled completely down.”

He stated in the report that this “stood out to me because the windows had been rolled up when the vehicle passed and indicated to me that something had possibly been thrown from the vehicle.”

Atwell supposedly dropped a marijuana pipe in the grass outside of the vehicle, which was found “later.”

The money found was reportedly on the passenger seat and separated by denomination with rubber bands.

A “second large amount” of cash was found in the center console, also banded and separated.

The two makeup bags in the vehicle supposedly contained “a used methamphetamine pipe, rolling papers, two empty sandwich bags, two Xanax pills and one soma pill and two marijuana smoking devices.”

“In the backseat next to where the 3-year-old child was seated was a false compartment dictionary, which contained marijuana and methamphetamine residue,” the report said.

Other drug-related objects and money was found throughout the vehicle.