- Park manager called police after seeing the man parked on one of the trails.
- When police arrived, male reportedly was "very nervous."
- Officers noticed a strong odor of raw marijuana coming from the vehicle.
- Police later discovered ski mask, knives, rope and duct tape in the man's vehicle.
An Auburn man is facing two drug charges as a result of a May 1 encounter with Gwinnett County Police at Little Mulberry Park in Dacula.
The park manager for Little Mulberry Park contacted Gwinnett County Police after speaking with a "suspicious person" sitting in a black Chevrolet Malibu parked on one of the trails in front of the restrooms.
The park manager said he asked the male to move his car, but the man did not comply, The male, according to the park manager, seemed to be "not all there."
When the first officer arrived, he found Kenneth Aldridge III, 22, of Auburn, sitting in his vehicle with the car in drive. Aldridge, the report stated, was "laid back" in the seat and did not immediately notice the officer.
"I noticed that the male appeared to be very nervous and was looking around at the passenger seat and the floorboard of his car instead of me," the officer noted.
By that time, backup officers arrived, one of whom noticed a knife in the passenger seat of the vehicle. The officers, who were standing next to the rolled-down passenger side window, also noticed an odor of raw marijuana coming from the vehicle. When questioned about the odor, Alldridge denied having any drugs in the vehicle.
"I told Aldridge that since we could smell the odor of marijuana coming from the car, I could search it without his permission," the officer wrote in the report. "Aldridge said he understood but told me he would rather me not search it."
Before beginning the search, the officer patted Aldridge down to check for weapons and discovered three knives in his pocket. The knives were placed on the trunk of the car while the officer searched the vehicle.
During the search, the officer found a potato chip can which contained what appeared to be marijuana. The officer also found a cigarette which had green, leafy material in it which also looked and smelled like marijuana. The officer also reportedly found another cigarette containing suspected marijuana, a grinder and a glass bong which contained a crystal-like substance which field tested positive for methamphetamine.
Aldridge was placed under arrest for drug possession. Since no one was available to retrieve his vehicle, the car was impounded. During the impound inventory, the officer found 10-15 knives, a ski mask, two hiking bags containing rope and duct tape and approximately 100 rounds of ammunition.
"I asked Aldridge why he had these things and he told me he liked to camp and shoot guns," the officer noted. The items were photographed and placed back in the vehicle.
Aldridge was booked into the Gwinnett County Jail on charges of possession of less than an ounce of marijuana and possession of a schedule II controlled substance. He was released the following day on a $6,285 bond.
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