James A. Pritchard
A Wood River man was charged today in Madison County Circuit Court with a felony charge of unlawful possession of a controlled substance (clonazepam), Madison County Sheriff Robert J. Hertz said in a press release.
The man is identified as James A. Pritchard, 21, of the first block of South Second Street.
On Monday, February 17, at about 1:50 a.m., a sheriff’s deputy witnessed a man exit the Walmart at 6660 Godfrey Road, Godfrey, without any visible merchandise. The man entered an occupied vehicle parked on the parking lot. The vehicle exited the parking lot onto Montclair Avenue, where the deputy stopped it for a turn signal offense.
During the traffic stop the deputy observed unopened pieces of retail merchandise lying next to the man he had just witnessed exiting the business. The man was the passenger of the vehicle and identified as Pritchard. When asked about a receipt for the items, Pritchard told the deputy that the driver stole the items. In reviewing the video surveillance inside the business the deputy identified Pritchard as the person responsible for the theft of the merchandise.
Pritchard was searched during the encounter and found to be in possession of a metal cannabis pipe, cannabis and clonazepam tablets he did not have legal authority to possess. Pritchard was arrested and transported to the Madison County Jail, where he was held pending a formal review of facts by the Madison County State’s Attorney’s Office.
The warrant and criminal information was issued by Judge Richard Tognarelli, who set Pritchard’s bond at $20,000. Pritchard also was charged with misdemeanors of retail theft, unlawful possession of drug paraphernalia, and unlawful possession of cannabis.