Traffic stops net grass, drugs, fake cop
Faith Huffman | News-Telegram News Editor

Oct. 10, 2005 - State troopers and sheriff’s deputies netted three arrests and seized nearly 60 pounds of marijuana, a bag of cocaine and two kinds of prescription medication as a result of two interstate traffic stops Saturday. A Nevada man was also charged Saturday for falsely representing himself to police as a Las Vegas peace officer.

Texas Department of Public Safety Trooper Corey Kernell and Hopkins County Sheriff’s Cpl. Eddie Moon and canine Jack were credited for the arrest of 29-year-old Ben Jason Jacobs of Houston Saturday night.

Kernell stopped Jacobs around 11:30 p.m. Saturday on Interstate 30 east at the 130 mile marker for following too close to other vehicles. Kernell asked Jacobs for permission to search the car after noting the Houston man to exhibit indicators of suspicious behavior.

When Jacobs refused to let Kernell search his car, Cpl. Moon was contacted to bring his canine partner Jack to search around the car for illegal substances and gave a positive alert on the passenger’s side of the trunk, giving the officers probable cause to search the car. They recovered two very large plastic-wrapped bundles of marijuana from the trunk.

�Jacobs was arrested for felony possession of marijuana, which was determined to weigh 58 pounds. He was released Sunday after posting $50,000 bond.

In an unrelated stop early Saturday, sheriff’s deputies Daniel Winn and Dennis Findley arrested Gary Hillard, 39, and Michael Odell Harris, 48, both of Memphis, Tenn., for possession of a controlled substance. 

The Tennessee men were passengers in a Ford Expedition stopped by the deputies at the 126 mile marker on Interstate 30 west just after 6:30 a.m. Saturday for a traffic violation. During the course of the stop, a search of the Expedition was conducted. Harris was arrested after a tin of marijuana and a bag of cocaine were found inside luggage bag Harris claimed as his. An unlabeled prescription bottle containing several Hydrocodone and Oxycodone pills was found in Hillard’s bag, resulting in his arrest.

Both Harris and Hillard were released from the county jail later Saturday after posting $5,000 bond each on the controlled substance charges.

Later Saturday, around 9 p.m., police stopped a gray Eagle Talon on North Jackson Street after noticing the driver was not wearing a seat belt. Upon contact, the man displayed a Nevada driver’s license and a Las Vegas Police Department license identification card. 

Police, who had previous knowledge of the man, asked him to get out of his vehicle for further investigation. The man told officers that the Las Vegas Police ID card was just to allow him entrance to the jail, where he works part-time. When asked if he had a Texas license, the man denied ever having such a document.

A records check however showed the man to have suspended licenses in both Nevada and Texas, which conflicted with his claim that he never had a Texas license.

At that point, the 24-year-old Las Vegas man was arrested for falsely identifying himself as a peace officer.  He was later charged with tampering with identification numbers after a suspicious black equalizer was found in the vehicle. The serial number appeared to have been deliberately scratched off the equalizer.

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