Prosecutors also claim defendant Billie Joe Melvin, III, possessed additional 3.8 pounds of unknown substance
Cherokee Judicial Circuit Judge David K. Smith denied a motion to set bond for a Tunnel Hill, Georgia, resident accused of trafficking methamphetamine in Bartow Superior Court Tuesday morning.
Defendant Billy Joe Melvin, III, has been held in pretrial detention at the Bartow County Jail since June 27, according to Bartow County Sheriff’s Office (BCSO) records.
BCSO documents indicate he has been charged with one misdemeanor count of failure to meet brake lights standards and one felony count of trafficking in illegal drugs.
“Apparently, this was a stop and there was a significant amount of methamphetamine found in the vehicle,” said public defender Kearston Gill. “Mr. Melvin was the driver, however, I believe based on what I was told, a lot of the drugs were found on or near the co-defendant, Mr. Tyler Andrew Underwood.”
According to BCSO data, Underwood is a resident of Chatsworth. Records indicate he is facing one misdemeanor count of possession and use of drug-related objects and one count of felony trafficking.
Gill requested that a bond be set for Melvin, although she did not specify a monetary amount in the courtroom.
Cherokee Judicial Circuit Assistant District Attorney Erle S. Newton said Melvin was stopped off Cass-White Road — with law enforcement officers uncovering more than eight pounds of what is believed to be illegal drugs in his vehicle.
“The deputy sheriff ended up finding 4.6 pounds of suspected methamphetamine and another 3.8 pounds of some unknown, white powdery substance,” Newton said. “Obviously, both have been submitted to the crime labs, so they’ll be able to tell us with certainty what those substances are.”
Although Melvin has no convictions in Georgia, Newton said the defendant has been arrested at least six times in Florida, with two confirmed convictions.
“The first is an aggravated assault conviction out of Hillsborough County in 2015, and then he violated his probation in the same county in 2017,” he said.
Newton also told the court the defendant has been arrested in Tennessee at least five times. While he didn’t have any dispositions available, Newton noted that the alleged offenses include burglary, possession of a controlled substance, “promoting the manufacture of methamphetamine” and possession of a weapon by a convicted felon.
Gill said she believes it will be a “substantial” amount of time before Melvin’s case is heard by a grand jury or the crime lab tests are returned.
At this point, however, Judge Smith said it was “very proper” for the court to deny bond for the defendant.
“We’ll take a look at it as time goes on,” he said, “if there’s no indictment or no crime lab evidence ready to submit to a grand jury.”