A man from Malvern who was pulled over for speeding has been arrested, according to state police. The Arkansas State Police have charged the man with multiple drug crimes after finding what they say was a significant amount of marijuana as well as a handgun. If he is found guilty, he could face years in prison — possibly even a life sentence.
According to Arkansas police, the 20-year-old man was stopped on Sept. 27 around 1:15 p.m. after police allegedly recorded him traveling at 60 mph in a 45 mph zone on Highway 270. The officer on the scene requested to see his driver’s license, which the man apparently said he did not have. The officer noted in his report that the man seemed nervous, causing him to initiate a pat-down. The officer then said he found a baggie containing some 3.1 grams of what would later test positive as marijuana.
A subsequent search of the vehicle turned up almost $5,000 in small bills, several large bags of what is believed to be 1.81 pounds of marijuana, the man’s suspended license, a 9mm handgun and clip, and paraphernalia allegedly consistent with drug trafficking. Further investigation revealed the man did not own the car he was driving, and that a warrant was issued for his arrest in Rockport County. He was arrested and charged with possession of drugs and firearms, possession with purpose to deliver, and unauthorized use of property with criminal intent, among other charges. He is being held against $40,000 bond.
Drug crimes of this severity could see this man behind bars for the rest of his natural life. This is an incredibly serious punishment, but the burden of proof will rest with Arkansas prosecutors to prove all of the specifics of the case beyond a reasonable doubt. Searches conducted without regard to individual rights are against the law, and evidence recovered in this way could be considered inadmissible in court. It will be the responsibility of the man’s criminal defense team to build a compelling case by carefully reviewing the case and the conduct of officers on the scene.