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Man arrested in drug bust

Authorities say that Walter James Chatman Jr., pictured in the mug shot that appears on the left-hand side of the table, was arrested Wednesday after being caught with roughly a pound of marijuana during a traffic stop.

Authorities say that Walter James Chatman Jr., pictured in the mug shot that appears on the left-hand side of the table, was arrested Wednesday after being caught with roughly a pound of marijuana during a traffic stop.

ALBANY -- What started out as a traffic stop landed an Albany man in jail Wednesday.

Maj. Bill Berry, commander of the Albany-Dougherty Drug Unit, said a Dougherty County Police Department officer was working a traffic stop on Southgate Avenue Wednesday morning when the officer noticed a white plastic bag in the car, as well as an odor.

The driver, identified as Walter James Chatman Jr., 31, was then asked to step out of the vehicle. At that point, Chatman reportedly drove off and threw the bag out of the window.

In the bag was roughly a pound of marijuana. A few blocks away from where he was stopped, Chatman ran into a dead end on Neuman Place. This is where authorities caught up with him, Berry said.

"The way it (the marijuana) was packaged shows us that he is dealing," the commander said. "He is getting at least a pound at a time and selling it."

The call came into the drug unit at 11:45 a.m. Authorities were still processing the evidence late Wednesday afternoon.

The drugs are thought to be worth roughly $5,000 in street value, Berry said.

Chatman was by himself at the time of the incident. The vehicle, a tan 1997 Buick LeSabre, did not belong to him. It was towed and will likely be returned to the owner, Berry said.

Chatman was taken to the Dougherty County Jail. He was expected to have his initial court hearing today. He is being charged with possession of marijuana with intent to distribute, tampering with evidence, a tint violation, attempting to elude an officer and failure to stop at a stop sign.

The case remains under investigation.

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