Brunswick police received a call Wednesday afternoon from the Georgia State Patrol, which was seeking assistance after a routine traffic stop on U.S. Highway 341 turned out to be anything but.
“It’s never routine out there,” said state patrol Cpl. Richard Sikes.
The stop led to the arrest of two men and two women, who allegedly were found in possession of dozens of likely fraudulent identification cards and credit cards, according to Brunswick Police Capt. Angela Smith. In support of the state patrol, Brunswick police arrested Kenson Hunte, 33, of Canton; Monique Salene Laing, 20, of McDonough; Colby Taylor Hart, 24, of Vidalia; and Sheryl Lyn Henderson, 36, of Norcross.
All four remained Thursday in the Glynn County Detention Center, each held on $122,292 bond, a jail spokeswoman said. Each is charged with 44 counts of second degree forgery and four counts of financial transaction fraud, Smith said.
The incident began when Sikes encountered a vehicle traveling 85 mph on U.S. 341 near Georgia Highway 99, where the speed limit is 55 mph, Sikes said. It was a rental car out of Atlanta, and the woman driving said they were headed to Jacksonville, Sikes said. Sikes also said he smelled pot inside the car.
The woman acted nervously and could not initially provide police with an identification. She could only identify one other passenger, and then only by a nickname, Sikes said. “She didn’t know his actual name, and she didn’t know the other occupants of the vehicle,” he said. “Nobody had an ID at first. There was a lot of movement inside the vehicle. Basically all four of them were nervous.”
Sikes’ state patrol backup, trooper Keldon McCrary, witnessed a man inside the vehicle hand something to a woman inside the car. That is when Sikes called Brunswick police, seeking a K9 team to search the car for drugs and a female officer to search the two women, he said.
Smith responded, as well as Brunswick police investigator Meredith Tolley and Sgt. Matthew Wilson and his partner, Rico. Additionally, county sheriff’s deputy Stephanie Britt assisted, Smith said.
“One female had several driver’s licenses,” Sikes said. “Another large quantity of IDs also was located. A small amount of pot was located in the trunk as well.”
The driver’s licenses and identification cards came from as far away as California, Pennsylvania and North Carolina, Capt. Smith said. Some of the credit cards seized matched the driver’s licenses, meaning the suspects might have used the IDs to apply for some of the credit cards, Sikes said. “And they did have a substantial amount of cash with them as well,” he said.
FBI agents were contacted and could become involved in the investigation, Sikes said. The Glynn-Brunswick Narcotics Enforcement Team also was contacted.
“No traffic stop is ever normal or routine, for any agency,” Smith said. “And we’re here to assist other agencies at any time. People who are breaking the law don’t have jurisdictional boundaries, so we’re always ready to lend a hand to another agency.”