ST. HELENA ISLAND, SC (WTOC) - The Savannah Police Department fired a lieutenant and dispatcher supervisor after they were found with cocaine and marijuana during a traffic stop on St. Helena Island.
Deputies from the Beaufort County Sheriff's Office pulled over Lt. Michael Wilson and dispatcher supervisor Irene Gould on Saturday, Aug. 4 on Sea Island Parkway in St. Helena Island, South Carolina.
Wilson was driving at the time of the stop, which deputies made because of a faulty license plate light. According to the police report, Wilson and Gould were both registered users of the Toyota Camry they were in.
When he was stopped, Wilson exited his vehicle with his hands in the air and allegedly handed an object to Gould before being asked by deputies to remain seated in the vehicle.
The former lieutenant told a deputy that he exited the vehicle for the deputy's safety.
"I worked traffic for about 10 years and when I work traffic, at night time especially, I always have the violators come back and walk back to me," Wilson said according to the police report.
Throughout the traffic stop, he repeatedly asked deputies if he could exit the vehicle because he was "a big guy" and felt cramped.
After searching the vehicle, they discovered a bag of powdered cocaine in a box of cigarettes that belonged to Wilson. Gould told deputies the cocaine belonged to her, and they arrested and charged her with possession of cocaine. They issued Wilson a citation.
Deputies also discovered "a small untestable amount of 'shake or loose suspected marijuana'" in the vehicle. According to the police report, Wilson confirmed to deputies that the substance was marijuana.
Wilson told deputies during the traffic stop that he "knew command staff officers that worked within Beaufort County."
"I know PJ very well, Jeff Dowling and Dave Brown," Wilson said according to the police report.
PJ Tanner is the sheriff of Beaufort County.
When a deputy asked Wilson if he could search the vehicle, Wilson again referenced his status as a law enforcement officer.
"I don't think it's necessary, and I feel insulted that you would want to do that knowing I am law enforcement. A forty year law enforcement veteran," he said according to the police report. "...you know that you would be insulted if you came to Savannah and I did this to you."
Wilson told deputies Gould was his girlfriend of three years, but he also was "single and has other girlfriends in [Beaufort] County."
Gould told deputies she had been in possession of the cocaine since returning from New Jersey a few days prior to the traffic stop. She did not disclose where she purchased it.
She admitted to using illegal drugs in the last few days and that she, "had a lot of issues in the past few months."
Wilson had been employed by the Savannah Police Department since December 1987. Gould had been employed since December 2008.
We went to Wilson's home Wednesday for a comment and no one came to the door. We also went to Gould's home to see if she had anything to say. We heard dogs barking, but no one came to the door. She has been released from jail.
We spoke with the Beaufort County Sheriff's Office who says if Wilson or Gould tried to get hired at another police department, they would have to go through extensive background checks, but with illegal activity on their records, their chances for hire would be slim to none.