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Police: Deputy witnesses drug transaction, 2 arrested

12:45 PM, Nov 2, 2012   |    comments
  • Willie Folston (L), Catherine Smith (R)
  • Catherine Smith
  • Willie Folston
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COLUMBIA COUNTY, Fla. -- A man and a woman are in jail after an off duty Columbia County Sheriff's Office deputy saw what he believed to be a drug deal.

The sheriff's deputy was stopped at East Duval Street and Country Club at 11 a.m. Thursday, according to a news release from Columbia County Sheriff's Office Public Information Officer Sergeant Ed Seifert.

Seifert said the deputy saw an alleged drug transaction take place between 20-year-old Willie Folston and 48-year-old Catherine Smith, who were in their cars in the parking lot of Columbia Discount Beverage.

When the deputy identified himself to Folston and Smith as a police officer, Seifert said Folston drove away.  When the deputy went to speak with Smith, Seifert said she handed him a piece of suspected crack cocaine.  Smith told the deputy it was given to her by Folston.

The deputy then asked Smith to step out of her vehicle, but instead she also drove away, nearly striking the deputy while she did so, Seifert said.

The off-duty deputy followed Smith and also radioed dispatch.  Additional officers stopped Smith's car at the intersection of East Duval Street and S.R. 100. where she was arrested.

Seifert said deputies found Folston's car at the intersection of Cider Street and Beech Street.  A resident of a home at that intersection told police they found Folston hiding in a closet.

Folston was also arrested.  Seifert said when deputies searched the closet he was found hiding in they also recovered narcotics.

Police booked Willie Folston into the Columbia County Jail on charges of sale of a controlled substance and resisting arrest without violence.  He is being held on $11,000 bond.

Catherine Smith is charged with possession of a controlled substance, assault on a law enforcement officer and possession of a listed drugs without a prescription.  She is being held on $17,000 bond.

First Coast News

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