Three held on drug charges after traffic stops
Faith Huffman | News-Telegram News Editor

Two men and a woman were being held at the county jail Monday morning for controlled substance charges resulting from two separate traffic stops overnight Saturday. All together, local officers seized more than 3 pounds of crystal methamphetamine, $10,000 cash, several items of drug paraphernalia and equipment often used to monitor police activity.

The first stop was made at 7:30 p.m. Saturday by Texas Department of Public Safety Trooper Joseph Hogue, who stopped a man in an Acura for traffic violations on the interstate.

The driver of the Acurawas identified as Mark Allen Halterman, 39, of Memphis, Tenn., and the front seat passenger as Marilynn Sue Simmons, 38, of Anna, Ill.

Hogue noted Halterman to appear very nervous and that the reasons he gave for his travel were "suspicious." When Simmons gave conflicting information when questioned about their travel itinerary, Hogue became suspicious of illegal activity and asked for permission to search the car.

When Halterman refused, a DPS canine was called to the scene for a search around the car. When the police dog gave a positive alert on the car for illegal substances, troopers began conducting a probable cause search of the car.

Both Halterman and Simmons were arrested for possession of a controlled substance after Hogue recovered about 3.4 pounds of crystal methamphetamine, $10,000 cash, night vision scopes, a police scanner which was being used to monitor local law enforcement radio traffic, five cell phones, high powered binoculars, “lots of drug paraphernalia” and a hidden camera from the car's trunk. Both remained in the county jail early Monday morning in lieu of bond on the charge.

The second traffic stop and subsequent felony arrest was made by Hopkins County Sheriff's Deputy Daniel Winn.

Win stopped a custom built Chevrolet pickup truck at 1:58 a.m. Sunday on State Highway 19 north at FM 1537 for a traffic violation. The driver was identified as John Willard Franken Jr., 47, of Hawkins, who was noted to be “very nervous," and resulted in Winn asking him to step out of the truck. Franken's excessive nervousness coupled with his inability to stand still resulted in Winn asking and receiving Franken's permission to search the truck.

Franken was arrested for possession of a substance after Hogue recovered about 3.4 pounds of crystal methamphetamine, $10,000 cash, night vision scopes, a police scanner which was being used to monitor local law enforcement radio traffic, five cell phones, high powered binoculars, “lots of drug paraphernalia” and a hidden camera in the car's trunk. Both remained in the county jail early Monday morning in lieu of bond on the charge.

The second traffic stop and subsequent felony arrest was made by Hopkins County Sheriff's Deputy Daniel Winn.

Win stopped a custom built Chevrolet pickup truck at 1:58 a.m. Sunday on State Highway 19 north at FM 1537 for a traffic violation. The driver was identified as John Willard Franken Jr., 47, of Hawkins, who was noted to be “very nervous," and, as a result, Winn asked him to step out of the truck. Franken's excessive nervousness coupled with his inability “to stand still” resulted in Winn asking and receiving Franken's permission to search the truck.

Franken was arrested for possession of a controlled substance after officers found a yellow and white rock-like substance believed to be crack cocaine in the driver’s seat and a crack pipe. He too remained in the county jail early Monday morning in lieu of bond on the charges.

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