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The original item was published from 4/4/2011 3:13:14 PM to 5/5/2011 12:05:00 AM.

News Flash

City Marshal/Police

Posted on: April 4, 2011


The DeFuniak Springs Police arrested John Thomas Watson and Jean Irene Helmick on Sunday, April 3rd 2011 after the two had checked out of a local motel in DeFuniak Springs, Florida.

The two were arrested during a traffic stop on Highway 331 South near I-10. A check of the occupant’s names revealed that the driver, Helmick, had an active warrant (Holmes County) for child support and she did not possess a valid Florida Drivers License. The DeFuniak Springs Police K-9 was on scene and did give a positive alert for the presence of narcotics. A search revealed several items of narcotic paraphernalia (spoons, syringes and straws with residue) along with several prescription Monopril (non-controlled prescription medication) tablets. The room that the two were staying in was reportedly “trashed”.

After speaking with the two suspects, officers were able to determine that the couple was using the items of paraphernalia to ingest Oxycodone (Schedule II Prescription Narcotic). The two were taken into custody and arrested at the scene. Watson fled from officers while handcuffed behind his back. A brief foot chase ended with Watson being captured near the I-10 Overpass.
Helmick was charged with Felony Driving While License Suspended or Revoked (DWLSR) and Possession of Drug Paraphernalia. Watson was charged with Escape and Possession of Drug Paraphernalia. Additional narcotic charges are pending laboratory results.

Both Helmick and Watson were recently released from Florida State Prison with Helmick released in 2010 and Watson released in 2009. The investigation is on-going and no additional information is available at this time.

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Lieutenant Tilman Mears
Special Operations Division Commander

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