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Traffic stop results in arrest of wanted man

A man being sought by authorities in Thomson, Washington and Augusta in connection with such crimes as aggravated assault and armed robbery was apprehended by an officer with the Thomson Police Department early Tuesday.

Dion Jamal Taylor, 20, was being sought on outstanding warrants involving aggravated assault and one count of armed robbery by the Washington Police Department, according to Thomson Police Chief Joseph D. Nelson. Mr. Taylor also is wanted for questioning in connection with a recent murder case and two armed robberies that occurred in Richmond County, the police chief said.

Mr. Taylor was taken into custody without incident following a traffic stop shortly after 1:30 a.m. by Officer Pat Sanders of the Thomson Police Department.

Chief Nelson said he had advised his officers to be on the lookout for Mr. Taylor a few days ago.

"I'd like to applaud the efforts of my officers, especially Officer Sanders, for having performed their jobs in a professional manner and helping us rid our streets of violent offenders," Chief Sanders said during an interview Tuesday afternoon.

Mr. Taylor, who had been living at an address in Hephzibah before moving in with a woman in the Washington area, provided police with a 600 Pace Street, Thomson address after being caught by Officer Sanders.

Chief Nelson recently had learned from informants that Mr. Taylor was staying with a cousin in Thomson.

"We knew eventually that he'd surface around here," Chief Nelson said.

The police chief, a former investigator with the Washington Police Department, first became acquainted with Mr. Taylor following a botched drug deal that turned into an armed robbery and subsequent shooting in a residential neighborhood of Washington on Feb. 15 of this year.

"It was a drug deal gone bad that led to the shooting of a young man," Chief Nelson said.

"Taylor is believed to have been a party to a conspiracy to rob the shooting victim during the drug deal."

The victim was identified as Joseph Vest, 19, of the 1800 block of Tignall Road, Washington, the lawman said.

Mr. Vest received a gunshot wound to his lower back -- the bullet exiting his abdomen and requiring him to have to be taken to the Medical College of Georgia Hospital in Augusta. He was treated and later released. The shooting occurred on the 600 block of Lincoln Circle in Washington.

In addition to having been shot, Mr. Vest also faces criminal charges. He was charged by Washington police with Violation of the Georgia Controlled Substances Act for possession of marijuana, Chief Nelson said.

Another man, Christopher Sims, 17, of the 2500 block of Sharon Road, Crawfordville, also was charged in connection with the case, Chief Nelson said. He faces charges of aggravated assault and armed robbery.

Web posted on Thursday, April 08, 2010

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