Altamirano, 47, a native of Honduras and current Austell resident, was pulled over shortly before 11 p.m. July 2 by Cobb police on Veterans Memorial Highway near Powder Springs Road after changing lanes without using his turn signal, according to the arrest warrant.
Altamirano exited his vehicle to speak with one police officer when another police officer reported, “I could see a brown paper bag in plain view under the driver’s seat.”
Police say the bag contained a white substance that tested positive as methamphetamine, a man-made drug that can be taken in pill form, snorted, smoked or injected.
Altamirano was driving a 1998 Honda Civic with Minnesota tags. He had a male passenger with him in the car who was not charged.
Altamirano was arrested by the Cobb County Police Department and jailed on a $5,000 bond. He was charged with improper lane change, a misdemeanor, and possession of methamphetamine, a felony.
Altamirano engaged in a hunger strike from July 1 to July 12, 2011, in protest of Georgia’s immigration law, House Bill 87, which was signed into law by Gov. Nathan Deal in 2011.
He was joined in the strike by Salvador Zamore, who fasted for more than six weeks eating only yogurt while Altamirano helped take care of him.
“I was feeling weak and dizzy; it’s weird to describe,” Altamirano said at the time. Two weeks earlier he had vowed he would continue his hunger strike until death.