Savannah police employees fired after drug arrest in Beaufort County

Crime & Safety
MORE INFORMATION: Firing of two SPD Officers after Lowcountry traffic stop

A weekend traffic stop in Beaufort County is what lead to the end of a career for two Savannah police employees — one a 30-year veteran with the department.

Lieutenant Mike Wilson and Dispatch Supervisor Irene Gould were pulled over on St. Helena Island early Saturday morning. Deputies say they were driving with the light out over their license plate.

But as soon as the car stopped, deputies felt something seemed off.

The police report says Wilson was “breathing heavy” and seemed nervous and that both he and Gould “continued to make furtive movements.”

And even before deputies could get out of their car, Wilson got out with his hands in the air and began walking towards the patrol vehicle, the report says.

He told deputies he was a law enforcement and that he knew Sheriff PJ Tanner, Beaufort County Board of Education member Jeff Dowling and Dave Brown, a former colonel with the sheriff’s office.

As deputies began to search his car he said, “I feel insulted that you would want to do that knowing I am law enforcement. A forty year law enforcement veteran!”

He went on, adding, “You know that you would be insulted if you came to Savannah and I did this to you.”

Inside of the car, deputies found a pack of cigarettes with a baggie containing a white powdery substance determined to be cocaine.

Police report a small “untestable amount” of “shake” or loose, suspected marijuana was also on the car floor and in Wilson’s bag.

Gould admitted the cocaine was hers and said she put it there during the traffic stop. She was arrested and charged with possession of cocaine.

Wilson was given a warning for defective equipment.

Before he left that night, Wilson told deputies this is “most likely a sign that he should retire as a law enforcement officer.”

Savannah police made the following statement to News 3:

The Savannah Police Department received information about the incident involving our employees from Beaufort County, and we immediately launched an internal affairs investigation. The investigation revealed there was probable cause to proceed with the termination of both employees. While their actions reflect poorly on our profession and our department, we have zero tolerance for this activity in our employees.

Wilson was with the department for 31 years. Gould had been with them since 2008. She now faces potential prison time for the charge.

According to the report, Wilson says the two have been dating for three years.

News 3 asked to see the body camera and dash camera footage of the incident but have been told its part of an “open investigation” and are not available to the media.

News 3 reached out to Wilson for comment but was unable to get a hold of him. 

Gould is currently being held at the Beaufort County Detention Center.

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News 3 will continue to follow this story. 

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