Traffic stops for headlights being off or failure to dim them properly resulted in the arrest of four suspects on felony drug charges in two separate incidents late Thursday.
The first incident occurred shortly before 9 p.m. when Hot Springs police Officer William Stockwell stopped a 2014 Chevrolet Impala after the driver failed to dim the vehicle's high beams in the 100 block of Albert Pike Road, according to the probable cause affidavit.
He made contact with the driver, identified as Demeonta Kenneth Barlow, 21, who lists a South Patterson Street address, and immediately noted a strong smell of marijuana coming from inside the car. Barlow consented to a vehicle search and reportedly admitted there was "about an ounce" of marijuana in his checkered bag.
During a search of the bag, Stockwell found a box containing 17 rounds of .40-caliber handgun ammunition and a baggie with 39.4 grams of marijuana. There were also three smaller bags, one 2 grams, one 9 grams, and one 2.7 grams, for a total of 53.1 grams of marijuana, a set of digital scales and a bag sealer found in the checkered bag.
In searching the vehicle further, Stockwell found a loaded Glock .40-caliber handgun between the driver's seat and the center console. A computer check revealed the gun, valued at $350, was reported stolen in Hot Springs on June 4. A second loaded magazine for the gun was in the driver's door panel.
Stockwell made contact with the front seat passenger, identified as Al'trevion Exavier Marcell Bryant, 20, who lists an Autumn Street address, and noted a gray bag in the passenger-side floorboard. He asked Bryant if the bag was his and he reportedly confirmed it was and gave consent to search it.
Inside, Stockwell reportedly found a glass jar of marijuana, 20 grams, and a Ziploc bag with more marijuana, 42 grams, and another scale was found underneath the bag.
Both Barlow and Bryant were arrested and each charged with possession of marijuana with purpose to deliver and possession of drug paraphernalia, punishable by up to six years in prison. Barlow was also charged with simultaneous possession of drugs and a firearm, punishable by up to life in prison, and theft by receiving of a firearm, punishable by up to six years.
Barlow was being held on a zero bond and Bryant was being held on a $5,000 bond and both were set to appear Friday in Garland County District Court.
The second incident occurred shortly after 11 p.m. when Officer 1st Class Richard Nunez saw a black 2012 Dodge Avenger eastbound on East Grand Avenue without its headlights turned on, and pulled it over at East Grand and Convention Boulevard, according to the affidavit.
He made contact with the driver, Eric Wesley Loftis, 29, and his two passengers, Alfred Frank Kalkan, 51, and Sequoyah Nicole Carter, 20, who all listed the same address on Huckleberry Street, and a computer check showed Loftis had a warrant for a parole violation and a search waiver on file, and Kalkan and Carter each had warrants for failure to appear, so all three were taken into custody.
During a search of the vehicle, a black bag was found in the middle part of the back seat that contained 16.5 grams of what later tested positive for meth and 5 grams of marijuana. On the floorboard, Nunez found a marijuana pipe and in the front passenger door pocket he found a meth pipe.
Loftis, Kalkan and Carter reportedly all three admitted they did not have a medical marijuana card.
Loftis and Kalkan were each charged with felony counts of possession of a controlled substance, meth, punishable by up to 20 years in prison, and possession of drug paraphernalia, punishable by up to six years, and a misdemeanor count of possession of marijuana, punishable by up to one year in jail.
Carter was not charged in connection with the drugs and was later released on a $1,000 bond on her warrant. Loftis was being held on a zero bond and Kalkan was being held on a $9,500 bond and both were set to appear Friday in district court.