One of two suspects arrested earlier this year in a traffic stop with more than a pound of marijuana in his possession was sentenced to four years in prison Monday after pleading guilty in Garland County Circuit Court.
Wynton Dupree Erby, 29, who has remained in custody on zero bond since his last arrest July 26, pleaded guilty to a felony count of possession of a controlled substance with purpose to deliver while additional charges of possession of drug paraphernalia and possession of a firearm by certain persons were withdrawn.
Erby, a previously convicted felon on parole, was set to stand trial on Dec. 13, and could have faced up to 10 years in prison on the charges. Court costs were expunged for time served.
His alleged accomplice, Corey Alexander Melton, 29, is still set to stand trial Dec. 7.
According to the affidavit, on May 2, shortly before 2 p.m., Hot Springs police Officer Rod West was working radar when he spotted a black Dodge Charger speeding on Bellaire Drive and made a traffic stop on it after the driver pulled into a driveway in the 100 block of Stonehenge Court.
The driver, identified as Erby, attempted to exit the car as West repeatedly told him to stay inside. He approached the car to explain the nature of the stop and Erby reportedly said, "You are pulling me over because I am black."
A passenger, identified as Melton, reportedly told West he was in possession of a firearm, but had a concealed carry permit. A friend of Melton's who lived at the residence on Stonehenge came outside and provided West with the permit.
West noticed an odor of what he believed to be marijuana coming from the Charger. When questioned, Erby said there was nothing in the car, but when asked to get out he said, "Wait, there is some in the back seat." Both men were detained as the car was searched.
West allegedly located two weapons on the front passenger floorboard, an SKS pistol and a 9-mm hand gun. Inside a backpack in the back seat, he reportedly found one large sealed bag with approximately 544 grams of marijuana, a glass jar with approximately 109 grams of marijuana, a clear plastic bag with 4 grams of marijuana and a digital scale. A total of approximately 1.45 pounds of marijuana was recovered from the vehicle.
Melton reportedly said Erby was taking him to the gun range. He said he knew Erby was a convicted felon but thought he could be in possession of a firearm, just not shoot it. He initially claimed he was unaware of any marijuana in the vehicle, but when questioned about the amount he reportedly said there was "1 pound and four zips."
Erby declined to answer questions, but as he was being escorted into booking, he stopped and stated, "Oh, I forgot about this." He then removed a total of $8,900 in cash from his socks.Local on 10/19/2017
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