A man who tried to claim his wife was having labor pains was arrested on drug charges after he was pulled over for speeding Jan. 28.

Monroe County Sheriff’s Deputy Billy Littleton said he was parked at Highway 322 and Glenlock Road outside of Sweetwater, checking for speeders, when he used radar to clock an SUV doing 59 mph in a 45 mph zone.

Littleton said he hit his lights and siren but the SUV kept going before slowing down and coming to a stop at the intersection of Sweetwater/Vonore Road and Highway 322.

Littleton said he approached the vehicle and found the driver to be Christopher Payne Bennett. He told Bennett why he’d stopped him and Bennett said his wife was possibly in labor. Littleton then asked the wife in the backseat if she needed him to call an ambulance, but she said that wasn’t necessary.

Littleton then ran a check on Bennett and found he didn’t have a driver’s license, so he asked Bennett, his wife and front seat passenger Dennis Manis to get out of the SUV, asking if there was anything illegal in the vehicle.

Bennett reportedly told Littleton he had a pipe for smoking meth and asked Manis for it, but Manis said he’d thrown it out the window. Littleton said he then asked for and received permission to search the car.

Littleton said the search turned up a bottle with 82 pills inside of it. None of the people in the car would claim the pills.

Littleton said a further check on Bennett showed he was wanted for vandalism in Loudon County and Manis had a warrant out of McMinn County Juvenile Court.

Littleton said he arrested both men and, while searching Bennett, found a syringe in his pocket. Bennett told Littleton he’d forgotten about the syringe.

Bennett, 25, Hawkins Road, Sweetwater, was charged with simple possession of Oxycodone, simple possession of Alprazolam, possession of Clonazepam, possession of drug paraphernalia, speeding and driving without a license.

Manis, 35, Reed Springs Road, Philadelphia, was charged with simple possession of Oxycodone, possession of Alprazolam, possession Clonazepam and possession of drug paraphernalia.

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