|Suspicion pays off for state trooper with drug bust|
|Faith Huffman | News-Telegram News Editor|
June 30, 2005 -- Three Missouri residents were arraigned Thursday on charges of possession of marijuana and cocaine following their arrests by state troopers and Sulphur Springs police officers.
The trio were riding in a truck stopped by Department of Public Safety License and Weight Trooper Bruce Roberts just after 5 a.m. Wednesday morning for a routine Department of Transportation inspection.
The driver of the truck, 44-year-old Gerald Louis Calmese, was unable to produce the required commercial documentation truck drivers are required to keep with them, specifically the truck registration papers.
The trooper's suspicions that criminal activity was afoot peaked upon learning that Calmese was accompanied by two passengers, a very unusual occurrence for truck drivers.
"You have to have permission from the commercial business to have two passengers," Roberts said Wednesday. "They didn't have permission."
At that point, he identified all three occupants of the truck-tractor and had a standard background check conducted on each of the three. Roberts' suspicions that something was amiss were further aroused when the check turned up extensive criminal histories on all three.
The trooper said he received at least two different stories regarding the nature of their travels.
"Their story was that they went to Dallas from St. Louis, Mo.," Roberts said. "One said they went to return the lease truck to a company. That didn't happen and they were on their way back. Another one said they went to Dallas to pickup a load. That didn't happen, so they were on their way back."
Roberts asked and was given permission to search the truck and called for assistance, which was answered by Sulphur Springs Police Officer Mitch Griggs.
"I could smell marijuana," said Roberts of his entry into the truck cab. "Mitch stepped up and smelled marijuana also. I opened the side box and found a soft suitcase with 15 pounds of cocaine and 25 pounds of marijuana."
Calmese and both passengers, 43-year-old Michael Anthony Hubbard ad 49-year-old Pamela Jackson, were all jailed for possession of more than 5 pounds but less than 50 pounds of marijuana and for possession of cocaine. The three were formally arraigned Thursday morning, and bonds were set at $110,000 each on charges of possession of cocaine and possession of marijuana.