I-30 stops net felony narcotics arrests
By FAITH HUFFMAN | News-Telegram News Editor
Two interstate traffic stops netted four drug-related arrests, 250 grams of cocaine, three bags of marijuana and drug paraphernalia Monday and Tuesday mornings.
Texas Department of Public Safety Trooper Joe Hogue was credited with the first traffic stop and subsequent arrest shortly before noon Monday.
Hogue stopped a vehicle at 11:45 a.m. Monday on Interstate 30 for speeding. The driver was identified as Wayland R. Ratcliffe, 65, of White Plains, Ky.
While conducting a routine traffic interview, Hogue learned Ratcliffe was traveling from Tucson, Ariz., to Kentucky. A driver’s license check showed Ratcliffe had been previously arrested for transporting drugs, including a recent I-30 arrest for having more than 50 pounds of marijuana. The trooper asked and was given Ratcliffe's permission to search the Lincoln Continental, Hogue noted on the arrest report.
Hogue placed Racliffe under arrest for second-degree felony possession of a controlled substance after he found a wrapped bundle containing about 125 grams (approximately 4 ounces) of cocaine under the rear seat of the car.
The second stop and arrest of two men and a woman from Pine Bluff, Ark., was attributed to Hopkins County Sheriff's Cpl. Eddie Moon and Reserve Deputy Kevin Wingfield, who were assisted by deputy Daniel Winn and Cumby Police Sgt. Chris Bettis.
Moon and Wingfield stopped a Hyundai passenger car at 1:55 a.m. Tuesday on the 117 mile marker on Interstate 30 east for a traffic violation. The driver was identified as Sterling Maurice Williams, 43. The vehicle was also occupied by 21-year-old Terrance Charmond Potter and a 20-year-old Pine Bluff, Ark., woman.
All three passengers were noted to appear "very nervous" and gave deputies conflicting stories regarding their travels. Based on that information, the deputies requested and were granted permission to search the car, the deputies noted.
They found three white rocks, believed to be rock cocaine, in Potter's seat. A pat-down turned up a bag of white powder and rocks, and another rock of cocaine was found on the ground in front of him. Overall, the suspected cocaine weighed 125 grams, resulting in Potter's arrest on a second-degree felony possession of a a controlled substance charge, according to reports by Moon and Wingfield.
The female passenger was found to have drug paraphernalia in her possession, resulting in her arrest on the misdemeanor charge.
Williams was arrested for felony possession of marijuana after deputies found two bags of marijuana in the driver’s side door. He was also seen taking a bag out of his pants and throwing it into the bar ditch, an action caught on the patrol vehicle’s video recorder. The three bags were said to weigh 4.5 ounces, Moon and Wingfield noted in their reports.