Routine traffic stop leads to arrest of felon allegedly found with guns

Russell Lee Long (Submitted photo)

A routine traffic stop resulted in the arrest Tuesday of a local man on felony charges after a rifle and shotgun were allegedly found in the vehicle and he was determined to be a felon.

Russell Lee Long, 42, who lists a Rhonda Ann Place address, was taken into custody shortly before 2 p.m. and charged with two counts of possession of a firearm by certain persons, each punishable by up to six years in prison, and a misdemeanor count of driving on a suspended driver's license. He also had two warrants for failure to appear.

Long, who was also cited for driving a vehicle with expired tags and not wearing a seat belt, remained in custody Thursday on a $6,000 bond and appeared Wednesday in Garland County District Court where a felony review hearing was set for Jan. 5.

According to the probable cause affidavit, shortly after 1 p.m. Tuesday, Hot Springs police Officer 1st Class John Albright saw a silver Dodge Ram pickup truck with tags that had expired in 2020.

He made a traffic stop at Central Avenue and Orange Street and made contact with the driver and sole occupant, identified as Long. When asked if there was anything in the vehicle Albright needed to know about, Long allegedly told him there was a firearm in the passenger seat.

Albright told Long to leave the gun in place and "not to reach for it" as he stepped back to run a computer check on him. The check reportedly revealed the two failure to appear warrants from the city and county and that Long was a convicted felon since March 20, 2002.

Long was taken into custody at that point on the warrants and "for admitting to being in possession of a firearm" since as a felon he is prohibited from owning or possessing firearms.

In searching the vehicle, Albright reportedly found the Remington .308-caliber rifle "in plain view" in the passenger seat and noted it was loaded with one round in the chamber and two rounds in the clip. He then allegedly also found a pump action shotgun and three boxes of .308-caliber ammunition totaling 41 rounds.