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GA Trio Busted with Drugs During Traffic Stop

Three individuals from Clayton, Georgia, are facing a variety of drug-related charges following a traffic stop that culminated in a confrontation and the use of force by Sylva Police officers.
The alleged drug-related incident came to light due to traffic infractions that occurred shortly before midnight on September 28th.
“Sylva Police Officer Gabe Ashe observed the vehicle in front of him failing to maintain its lane and having a mechanical issue while traveling on Highway 74 near Exit 83, around 11:30 p.m.,” stated Police Chief Chris Hatton in an official statement.
The occupants of the vehicle were all residents of Clayton, Georgia, and included John Lafayette Hamby III, 52; Julie Venie Riddle, 53; and Grady Bob Holcomb, 49. Hamby was driving the white Dodge Dynasty at the time, with Holcomb and Riddle as passengers.
Upon noticing the traffic violations, Officer Ashe initiated a traffic stop of the white Dodge Dynasty driven by Hamby for further investigation. Holcomb and Riddle were passengers in the vehicle.
During the course of the traffic stop, Officer Ashe developed suspicion of drug presence and sought assistance from a K9 unit.
Officers Ashe and Josh Geiger requested that all three occupants exit the vehicle, and Hamby allegedly resisted. According to court documents, Hamby is accused of being in possession of a fixed-blade knife, a baggie containing crystal residue, a bong with residue, and a marijuana pipe connected to a grinder.
Holcomb allegedly had a clear plastic container containing crystal residue and a silver Smith & Wesson 9 mm handgun, as per court records.
Court documents also allege that Riddle was found with a glass pipe.
The investigation conducted by SPD received assistance from the Jackson County Sheriff’s Office and the N.C. Highway Patrol.
John Lafayette Hamby III, 52

Hamby faced multiple charges, including two felony counts of trafficking methamphetamine and conspiracy to traffic methamphetamine, as well as one felony count each for maintaining a location for distributing controlled substances, possessing methamphetamine, and three misdemeanor counts of resisting, delaying, or obstructing an officer. Additionally, there were two misdemeanor counts of assault on a government official, and one misdemeanor count each for possession of up to ½ ounce of marijuana, possession of drug paraphernalia, carrying a concealed weapon, and possessing marijuana paraphernalia.

Riddle, on the other hand, was arrested on two felony counts of conspiracy to traffic methamphetamine and trafficking methamphetamine, along with one felony count for possession of methamphetamine with the intent to sell or deliver, and one misdemeanor count each for possessing up to ½ ounce of marijuana and possession of drug paraphernalia.

Grady Bob Holcomb, 49

Holcomb faced similar charges to Riddle and Hamby, with two felony counts each of conspiracy to traffic methamphetamine and trafficking methamphetamine, one felony count for possession with intent to sell or deliver methamphetamine, possession of methamphetamine, and one misdemeanor count each for carrying a concealed weapon and possession of drug paraphernalia.






Julie Venie Riddle, 53

Riddle was released from custody after posting a $125,000 secured bond. As of Wednesday morning, both Hamby and Holcomb were still in the Jackson County Detention Center, with secured bonds set at $130,000 for Hamby and $125,000 for Holcomb.

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