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THURSDAY, JANUARY 18, 2007
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Pills litter Limestone roadside, lead to arrest

By Holly Hollman
hhollman@decaturdaily.com 340-2445

ATHENS — Limestone County ditches have apparently become roadside pharmacies.

The tale of prescription pills littering local terrain began with the burglary of a Lauderdale County pharmacy.

A Tanner man under investigation for that burglary told Limestone authorities that on Jan. 10, he found more than 4,000 pills in a ditch on U.S. 72 in Athens, an investigator said.

Sheriff's Department drug investigator Lance Royals identified the man as Ian Emerson Case, 25, of 12188 Spring Road.

Royals said that later that day, Case allegedly became involved in a chase in Ardmore and tossed some of the pills from his car, only to return to the ditches to recover them. That's when authorities arrested him.

This is how the events in this tale unfolded, according to Royals.

Someone used a sledgehammer to break into the Crossroads Pharmacy at Elgin Crossroads and stole 4,352 pills such as Xanax, Soma and hydrocodone.

"Case denies it was him," Royals said. "He claims he found the pills in a big bag next to some scrap metal on 72 near Magic Car Wash, but Lauderdale authorities plan to question him."

Later in the day, Ardmore police spotted a suspicious car at Gatlin Cemetery. When officers tried to investigate, the driver fled.

"It was Case, and he was throwing pills out the window as he was driving," Royals said.

Ardmore lost Case and notified the Sheriff's Department. Royals said Limestone authorities allegedly found Case walking in the ditches picking up the tossed pills.

"He had thrown out 700 to 800 of them," Royals said. "The pills are worth about $5 a piece, so the entire stash is worth about $20,000."

Royals said investigators got a search warrant for Case's home and found more pills, marijuana and drug paraphernalia.

On Tuesday, Limestone charged Case with first-degree receiving stolen property for allegedly having the pills from the burglary. Limestone also charged Case and his live-in girlfriend Kayla Word, 19, with possession of a controlled substance, second-degree possession of marijuana and possession of drug paraphernalia for the items in their home.

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