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K-9 unit helps catch fleeing drug suspect

A resident of St. Clair County is in the Covington County Jail following a drug-related arrest on Friday night, according to a spokesperson with the Covington County 22nd Judicial Drug Task Force.

At approximately 8 p.m., Deputy Bret Holmes with the Covington County Sheriff's Department was checking a suspicious vehicle at the Covington County Maintenance Building, next to the county jail.

The vehicle had been reported by a citizen, said the spokesperson.

As Holmes sought to contact the driver of the car, the driver fled into the woods next to the jail.

Holmes called for assistance, and several agencies responded to the scene, including Ricky Meeks of the Andalusia Police Department and K-9 unit dog Blade.

Once the K-9 unit and Meeks arrived, Meeks began to track the suspect.

Shortly afterward, about 150 yards into the search, the suspect was located in the woods and taken into custody by Holmes and a Drug Task Force agent.

The suspect was in possession of a large amount of methamphetamine.

The suspect's vehicle was subsequently searched and recovered was a small amount of marijuana and two tubular smoking devices.

Arrested was Samuel Grady Vinson, 32, of Springville.

Vinson was charged with trafficking of a controlled substance, possession of marijuana in the second degree and possession of drug paraphernalia.

He was taken to the Covington County Jail and his bond was set at $1,530,000.

The DTF agent said this case was the first one for the Task Force involving the finished product of methamphetamine to date and he said he also thanks Holmes, Meeks and K-9 unit Blade for all of their valuable assistance on the case.