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Routine traffic stop leads to arrest of a Texas woman for drugs, DWI

by Steven Mross | March 28, 2023 at 4:03 a.m.
Starla S. Richardson - Submitted photo

A Texas woman was arrested on a felony drug charge and for driving while intoxicated following a routine traffic stop early Friday for not having a license plate light.

Starla S. Richardson, 42, who lists a Texarkana, Texas, address, was taken into custody shortly before 1 a.m. and charged with a felony count of possession of a controlled substance, meth, punishable by up to 10 years in prison, and a misdemeanor count of DWI, drugs, as well as traffic violations.

Richardson, who lists no prior local history, was later released on a $4,500 bond and is set to appear on April 10 in Garland County District Court.

According to the probable cause affidavit, Garland County sheriff's Cpl. Matthew Cogburn saw a black Jeep Patriot traveling east in the 3000 block of Albert Pike Road and noticed he couldn't read the license plate because the light was out.

He attempted to make a traffic stop in the 2900 block of Albert Pike, but the Jeep continued for about half a mile before stopping near the intersection with Bull Bayou Road. Cogburn made contact with the driver, identified as Richardson, and noted she seemed "very anxious" and before he could explain why he stopped her she reportedly stated, "I know it's the tags, right? I just got the car."

As he explained about her light being out, he reportedly noticed she was "making exaggerated movements" and seemed uneasy and noted her pupils were dilated and her speech was rapid. He also allegedly saw a "fresh puncture mark" in the bend of her right elbow.

A computer check on Richardson revealed she didn't have a valid driver's license so he asked her male passenger if he had a license. After checking him, Cogburn determined his driver's license was suspended and he was a parolee with a search waiver on file.

Deputy Candice Presley arrived to assist and the deputies searched the area where the passenger had been sitting. They asked Richardson if there was anything illegal in the vehicle and she stated there was not.

In searching the front seat, Cogburn moved a bag Richardson had placed in the passenger seat and saw a piece of cellophane on the center console with a crystal-like substance in it. He asked the passenger if he knew anything about it and he denied it, noting Richardson had "just picked him up."

When asked, Richardson allegedly admitted the substance, determined to be 0.8 grams of what later tested positive for meth, belonged to her. At that point, Cogburn told Richardson he was going to have Presley search her and she reportedly stated she had hidden a syringe in her bra which was located by Presley.

The syringe was found to contain 20cc of a brown liquid that Richardson reportedly admitted was meth. She allegedly stated she had "shot up some meth" earlier before leaving Texarkana. A second empty syringe and a set of digital scales were also located and before being taken to the jail Richardson revealed she had another syringe on her person "she had forgotten."

Once at the jail, Richardson willingly gave a urine sample and reportedly told Cogburn it would be positive for meth. She also submitted to a breath test which registered her blood-alcohol at 0.0, but then submitted to a drug influence examination. Cogburn reported it was his opinion Richardson was "under the influence of a CNS stimulant" and "unable to operate a vehicle safely."

Print Headline: Routine traffic stop leads to arrest of a Texas woman for drugs, DWI


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