By Beth Lawrence
A Jackson County man and woman face several charges after being caught riding around in a stolen car last week. One of them scored additional charges following an attempt to get out of paying a bail bondsman.
Michael Dustin Brooks, 37, of Sylva was arrested for one felony count each of possession of methamphetamine, possession of a stolen motor vehicle, failure to report a new address by a sex offender and two misdemeanor counts of resisting a public officer.
Amanda Lee Mezyck, 33, of Cashiers was arrested for one felony count each of larceny of a motor vehicle and possession of a stolen motor vehicle.
The charges stem from an incident in the early hours of Saturday, July 16, when the pair allegedly stole a 2015 Kia Soul valued at $15,000 belonging to Tiffany Sims.
Sylva Police received the report from Sims that morning saying the crossover SUV went missing from a home on Ensley Street between 1:20 and 2 a.m., said SPD Chief Chris Hatton.
The car was soon discovered not far from where it was taken. Sgt. Meleah Mathis pulled the car over in Walgreens parking lot.
“Sergeant Mathis located the vehicle traveling on Asheville Highway approximately 30 minutes after the car was reported stolen” Hatton said. “The driver was Amanda Mezyck; and, in the passenger seat, was Dustin Brooks.”
During the arrest, Mathis allegedly found one gram of meth hidden in Brooks’ wallet.
But that was not the end of Brook’s escapades that morning. After having his bond paid by a bail bonds company, Brooks allegedly tried to run away without paying while in the parking lot of the Justice Center. That led to additional charges from the Jackson County Sheriff’s Office for resisting an officer.
“After he ran from the bond company representative without paying, we assisted in locating him and the bond company surrendered him back,” Chief Deputy Matt Wike said. “After running from the bond company, he was arrested by deputies on the Justice Administration property.”
Larceny of a motor vehicle and possession of a stolen motor vehicle are both Class H felonies and punishable by up to 39 months in prison if convicted. Failure to report a change of address by a sex offender is a Class F felony punishable by up to 62 months in prison if convicted. Possession of meth is a Class I felony punishable by up to 12 months in prison, fines and loss of license if convicted.
Brooks remains jailed in Jackson County Detention Center under a $50,000 bond for these and previous charges.