Traffic stop turns into drug bust


On Sunday, Dec. 13, around 2 a.m., Officer Luke Smith of the Bryant Police Department pulled over a vehicle on Interstate 30 in the eastbound lane between Alcoa road and the Raymar Road overpass.

According to an incident report filed by Smith, he initiated the traffic stop because of slow driving and an unsafe lane change that made an 18 wheeler brake suddenly and swerve onto the right shoulder.[more]

The driver could not produce a driver’s license or current proof of insurance when Smith requested them. In his incident report, Smith said he had dispatch run a check of both the driver and passenger of the car and found that the driver had a revoked license.

After taking the driver into custody, he began to inventory the car for impounding. He opened the trunk, and that is when he noticed something unusual.

“As I leaned into the trunk to remove the first item to inventory, I smelled a strong odor of raw marijuana,” stated Smith.

According to Smith, as he began to look through the bags to inventory them, he discovered several bags and cellophane-wrapped objects, which were found to contain the illegal substance as well.

The driver, Teaira Taylor, and the passenger, Larhonda Brown, both of Missouri, where arrested at the scene and taken into custody. The incident report states, “Taylor was charged with Careless/Prohibited Driving, Driving with a Revoked Driver’s License, and Possession of a Controlled Substance with the Intent to Deliver. Brown was charged with Possession of a Controlled Substance with the Intent to Deliver.”

The report states the packages of marijuana were weighed and found to be about 22 pounds. The packages will be sent to the Arkansas State Crime Lab for further analysis.

Captain Phillip Newcomb said he was very pleased with the outcome.

“The guys are doing their job,” commented Newcomb. “The whole shift deserves credit for working together. The officer noticed something, and by being observant, turned a regular traffic stop into a drug bust of 22 pounds.”

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