From staff reports
JEFFERSON COUNTY –Two men have been arrested and charged with trafficking methamphetamine after they were caught following a 10-mile chase on Interstate 459 on Tuesday according to Chief Deputy Randy Christian.
A Jefferson County sheriff’s deputy attempted to stop a black Chevrolet Impala going westbound on Interstate 20 near the I-459 ramp around 3 p.m. on Tuesday, but the driver of the impala refused to stop and led deputies on the short chase . Christian said the suspect continued on to I-459 in attempt to get away.
A description of the suspect vehicle was broadcast to other deputies in the area as well as Birmingham, Hoover and Vestavia police departments. Just before the Liberty Park exit the passenger in the car threw two plastic storage containers out of the car’s window. The car then exited at Liberty Park where a Hoover Officer in his patrol vehicle was positioned to wait for the chase to arrive. The driver of the suspect vehicle swerved off the road to get around the police vehicle. This damaged the right rear tire of the suspect’s car. The suspect vehicle entered the interstate again traveling south on I-459.
The damage to the tire caused it to deflate. The vehicle pulled off the freeway and the occupants were taken into custody at the exit ramp to U.S. 280. Deputies returned to the location where the plastic containers were thrown from the car and recovered eight ounces of methamphetamine. The meth has a street value of $13,000. Inside the car, deputies located scales, a shotgun and ammunition.
The driver of the car was identified as Billy Wayne Connell, 25, of Thorsby. Along with the trafficking charge, Connell was charged with attempting to elude and reckless driving. He remains in the Jefferson County jail with bond set at $107,000. The passenger was identified as 23-year-old John William Harder V of Millbrook. Harder only faces trafficking charges. He remains in the Jefferson County jail with bond set at $100,000.