Traffic stop ends with felony drug charges for man sought on warrant

Jason Charles Griffith - Submitted photo

A routine traffic stop lead to the arrest Friday of a local man on multiple felony drug charges and a warrant for failure to appear stemming from a previous arrest involving drugs, a gun and a stolen car.

Jason Charles Griffith, 47, who lists a Summer Street address, was taken into custody shortly before 10 a.m. and charged with possession of meth with purpose to deliver, punishable by up to 20 years in prison, and possession of marijuana with purpose to deliver, possession of alprazolam with purpose to deliver and possession of drug paraphernalia, each punishable by up to six years, and he was cited for driving on a suspended license and no insurance.

Griffith was being held on a $12,500 bond and was set to appear Monday in Garland County District Court. He was previously arrested Nov. 5 for simultaneous possession of drugs and firearms, possession of a firearm by certain persons, possession of marijuana with purpose to deliver and theft by receiving. He was released Jan. 5 on $30,000 bond and reportedly failed to appear for a hearing Sept. 12, so a warrant was issued and a hearing to revoke his bond is set for Dec. 12.

According to the affidavit on Friday's arrest, Hot Springs police Cpl. Tyler Ward was patrolling in the area of Malvern and Grand avenues when he saw a silver 2009 Chevrolet Avalanche and a computer check showed it had no insurance.

He made a traffic stop on the vehicle in the 100 block of East Grand Avenue and made contact with the driver, identified as Griffith, who showed him a paper with insurance that had lapsed. While reaching for his wallet, Ward noted Griffith appeared to throw something in the back seat.

A computer check on Griffith revealed the warrant for his arrest "on a dangerous drugs and firearms case," and Ward also recalled from his time as a detective that Griffith had a history of narcotics use, specifically meth, so he removed him from the car. He spoke to the female passenger, 33, who stated she was "just catching a ride to work" from Griffith.

The vehicle was searched and officers allegedly found two baggies of what later tested positive for meth, a total of 4.6 grams, and a glass pipe with residue. The passenger was detained because the drugs were found within reach of both of them, but Griffith later allegedly told police everything they found belonged to him and she didn't know anything about it, so she was released.

In searching further, officers allegedly found 53 grams of marijuana, a bottle with 23 alprazolam pills, and a blue digital scale with meth residue.