By: Marie Scarci | January 13, 2023
Madison, Ga - Markus Rashad Tull, a 28-year-old resident of Social Circle had an unusual request while being arrested for shoplifting at Walmart. Despite the circumstances, he asked officers if they could allow him to keep goods that were already paid for prior to his arrest.
After being handcuffed, and placed in the back of the officer's car, Tull directed the officers to his vehicle with his recently purchased items.
A shoplifting incident quickly escalated when a police officer used Tull's key fob to secure his items in the trunk of his car.
In a shocking discovery, police uncovered a trove of narcotics during the search of Tull's 2021 Toyota Camry. In the trunk, they discovered more than 37 pounds of marijuana, psychedelic mushrooms, and other THC products; while in the center console were reportedly Ecstasy pills alongside three phones and an iPad.
Of note was also a mysterious white powder found among these items that authorities left unopened for safety reasons and has yet to be identified.
Tull has been arrested and faces a variety of charges, including shoplifting, possession of marijuana with intent to traffic as well as trafficking in marijuana. Additionally, the individual was found with drug paraphernalia and charged with two counts of illegal possession of controlled substances.
On Saturday, January 7th, in Madison Police Department responded to a shoplifting call at Walmart on Eatonton Road. Officers Blake Rowe and Tyler Finch arrived shortly after 4:43 p.m., finding an individual attempting to "skip scan" multiple goods through the self-checkout area.
Tull had attempted to evade payment of over $165 worth of goods. A protection officer on the scene flagged 24 items that he claimed were "skip scanned", or put through self-checkout without registering, prompting police officers and store staff alike to review surveillance footage to confirm the allegations.
In a strange twist of events, Police Officers Rowe and Finch found themselves having to make an unexpected decision when they arrested Tull as he left the store.
Reports say that instead of confiscating all the items, the officers agreed to allow him to retain the ones he purchased. Tull insisted on the officers wait for his parents to arrive to retrieve the items. Negotiations ended with police deciding to place everything inside the vehicle's trunk.
Officer Rowe had a hunch that something was amiss when he deployed Tull's key fob to locate his vehicle, and the trunk release only confirmed it. According to reports, an aroma of marijuana emanated from within triggering a further investigation into the situation.
Police officers allege that Tull told them to place the items on the back seat instead of the trunk where he had luggage stored.
In an eye-opening discovery, Rowe came upon four packs of half-gallon Mason jars near two suspicious bags. Upon further inspection, the red bag was revealed to contain a quantity of vacuum-sealed marijuana.
One black bag had more vacuum-sealed packages of marijuana and another red bag held suspected Psilocybin mushrooms inside. In addition to these substances, there were also other THC products, ecstasy, and an unknown white powder.
In a landmark event for the police department, Assistant Chief of Police Colin Campbell announces that this is one of its biggest drug busts to date.
Campbell said, “During a shoplifting arrest you don’t expect to find 37 pounds of marijuana in a car.”
Tull's parents arrived at the scene after their son was caught shoplifting, demanding to view video evidence. Officers present had to explain why they were searching the vehicle and inform them of any charges that may be issued. It surely created an emotionally charged atmosphere inside Walmart.
Officers denied the requests from Tull's parents but allowed them to reclaim their vehicle. Shockingly, a secondary bag containing suspected Psilocybin mushrooms was subsequently discovered within the passenger side of the vehicle during a final search.