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Elgin Crime Report - May 21, 2019
One arrested on meth charge after traffic stop

An Elgin Police Department (EPD) officer arrested Houston Charles Gobbel, 28, of Cross Hill Road, Lexington, for possession with intent to distribute methamphetamine after stopping the car Gobbel was driving because it did not have a license tag and a passenger was not wearing a seat belt. An officer stopped the Nissan Sentra at the intersection of Main and Ross streets around 3:50 a.m. May 18.

As Gobbel and his passengers retrieved their identification, the officer saw some syringes in the car and had a female passenger get out of the car. When the officer asked Gobbel to do the same, he reportedly had made a tight, closed fist with his left hand and refused to open it when asked to by the officer.  When the officer went to grab his hand, Gobbel allegedly placed his hand, palm down, very tightly against his thigh, hiding something in a clear bag.

During an ensuing struggle over what was in his left hand, Gobbel reportedly made it into a fist again, leaned over to the passenger side seat and shoved it into and through a crack of the passenger seat. This released the plastic bag containing a white crystal substance the officer recovered after getting Gobbel in handcuffs. A search of the car turned up another bag of the same substance, later determined to be a total of 7 grams of meth.

In addition to the possession with intent to distribute meth charge, the officer also charged Gobbel with possession of drug paraphernalia due to one of the syringes being in the center dash compartment.

The officer also cited the 33-year-old Lexington woman and a 27-year-old male passenger from Camden with possession of drug paraphernalia. The woman was found to be in possession two syringes, while the man was found with a glass smoking pipe.

The EPD also reported the following recent incidents:

Officers arrested 25-year-old Benjamin Kyle Murphy, of Lyrical Road, Ridgeway, for speeding on Main Street. An officer sitting in the Family Dollar parking lot caught Murphy driving at 69 mph in the 35 mph speed zone. When the officer went to conduct a traffic stop, he could actually hear the engine to Murphy’s car get louder from accelerating and estimated he increased speed to 106 mph as he passed Hillcrest Baptist Church. The officer gave chase and, after leaving the town limits, observed Murphy’s vehicle reach a speed of 120 mph at one point and passing a car in a double yellow line zone. The officer finally caught up to Murphy at Stephen Campbell Road as the car slowed to the 45 mph speed limit. Murphy admitted to having been drinking earlier and reportedly told the officer he did see them at the Family Dollar parking lot but thought he could get away by speeding. After the officer determined Murphy was not impaired, he arrested him on the speeding charge. The officer had the car towed, and other people came to the scene to pick up Murphy’s passenger who was the actual owner the car.

An officer cited a 36-year-old Lexington man with possession of drug paraphernalia and unlawful possession of a firearm after stopping the man for speeding on Smyrna Road on May 18. During the stop, the officer noticed the odor of alcohol coming from inside the car. When the officer attempted to conduct a field sobriety test, the man hesitated to get out of the vehicle. When he did step out, the officer could see a pistol grip and the back end of the slide of a semi-automatic pistol in the driver’s door side pocket. The man admitted he did not have a concealed weapons permit. He also admitted to having two glass “bowls” used for smoking marijuana in the car.

Around 9 a.m. May 4, two men allegedly drove up to a Dogwood Avenue home and stole a 3-1/2 gallon pancake air compressor and 5-gallon gas container. According to an EPD report, the men drove up in a white 2006 to 2011 Suburban. The men were described as white males between 20 and 29 years of age. A witness said the Suburban sounded as though it had a loud exhaust and that it had all-terrain type tires with a paper tag. The witness said the driver was wearing blue jeans, red T-shirt and a visor hat; the passenger wore a blue T-shirt and had a little facial hair.

A traveling barber is accused of taking $100 from a basket in a home on Abbey Road on May 16. A woman living there said she left the door open for the barber before leaving at 10 a.m. so he could cut her husband’s hair. Her husband said the barber arrived and cut his hair, so he told him to take a $20 bill from the basket as payment and $5 for a tip. When his wife returned at 2 p.m., all but $5 of the $105 in the basket was gone, in effect stealing $80 more than he was supposed to receive.

(EPD reports are provided under the S.C. Freedom of Information Act. Subjects are considered innocent until proven guilty.)