Lenoir City man speeds into drug arrest in Vonore        

A traffic stop in Vonore led to two drug-related arrests by the Vonore Police Department on Monday.

Officer Brandon Pesterfield said he was on Old Slag Road when he saw a black Pontiac traveling 43 mph in a 25-mph zone. He stopped the car on Hall Street and as he approached it, he saw the driver and the passenger moving around inside the car.

Pesterfield said the driver was identified as Bradley Joe Bragg, 25, Pine Ridge Road, Lenoir City, and when asked why he was speeding, Bragg replied he thought the speed limit was 30 mph.

Pesterfield asked for a driverís license, and Bragg said he did not have one because it was suspended. Pesterfield checked and found this was true, then asked if he had another form of identification. Pesterfield said Bragg reached around to look for one, but he would not take his left hand off his lap.

Pesterfield asked Bragg what was in his hand, and Bragg said there was nothing in it, but he proceeded to shove the hand into a pants pocket. Pesterfield said he opened the door and asked Bragg to get out.

Bragg did, still with a clenched left fist, and Pesterfield tried to see what was in it but Bragg would not let go. Pesterfield said he brought Braggís right hand up behind his back and Bragg put whatever was in his left hand into his mouth and tried to swallow it.

Pesterfield said he told Bragg to spit it out and Bragg refused and began to fight with Pesterfield. At this point, Sgt. Joe Fritts, who had arrived, hit Bragg with a Taser and Bragg was taken to the ground where a bag with a crystal substance in it fell out of his mouth.

After Bragg was cuffed, another bag was found on the ground, then another one was found on the driverís seat in the car. All contained a crystal substance thought to be meth.

A search of Bragg then turned up a capped syringe and a scale.

The passenger in the car was identified as Melissa Culberson, 25, Toomey Lane, Madisonville. Culberson said she did not know Bragg but was giving him a ride to help out a friend. She said Bragg had insisted on driving.

Pesterfield said a search of the car turned up a capped syringe where Culberson was sitting.

Bragg is charged with the manufacture/sale/delivery of meth, resisting a stop, possession of drug paraphernalia and driving on a suspended license.

Culberson is charged with possession of drug paraphernalia.