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Local arrested on drug charge
Suspect held at gunpoint after exchange with STEP deputy
Edward Jermaine Rawls

A man who was slow to obey deputies’ commands was ordered to the ground at gunpoint and eventually arrested on a drug charge, according to the Bulloch County Sheriff’s Office.
Shortly before 8:30 p.m. Thursday, a deputy with the Sheriff’s Targeted Enforcement Patrol, or STEP, was on patrol near The Lodge Apartments when he noticed that a vehicle pulled away and a man, later identified as Edward Jermaine Rawls, 30, of West Grady Street, began walking toward him, holding an open 12-ounce beer bottle, according to an incident report.
As the deputy got out of his patrol vehicle, Rawls stopped as if he were about to change directions. When the deputy asked him why he was holding a beer bottle, Rawls said he was sorry and that he was just trying to get home. Rawls was extremely nervous and jittery, the report says.
Rawls began to turn away from the deputy and reached his right hand into the waist area of his pants. Fearing Rawls could be reaching for a weapon, the deputy ordered him to place his hands on the trunk of the patrol vehicle, and Rawls complied, according to the report.
The deputy told Rawls he was going to pat him down for weapons, and Rawls took his hands from the vehicle and began to reach for the waist area of his pants, the report says.
The deputy ordered Rawls to the ground at gunpoint. He went to his knees but would not lie down as ordered. The deputy repeated the command at gunpoint, and Rawls finally complied, according to the report.
The deputy called for backup, then saw Rawls spit several times toward the patrol vehicle. The newly arrived deputies found several pieces of suspected cocaine in what appeared to be several pools of saliva, the report says.
While walking the same path Rawls had walked, the deputy noticed a clear plastic bag that also contained suspected cocaine. A K-9 deputy immediately alerted on the bag, according to the report.
Rawls was arrested and charged with possession of cocaine and taken to the Bulloch County Jail for processing.

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