Routine traffic stop yields two felony drug arrests

By FAITH HUFFMAN, News-Telegram News Editor

Sept. 2, 2008 - Law enforcement was kept busy this weekend. A routine traffic stop Monday netted two aggravated felony drug arrests, while a woman went to jail Saturday for fleeing and nearly striking a police officer who was attempting to serve her with a trespass warning. A theft report over the weekend also resulted in two men going to jail on drug charges.

Kip Lamont Echols, 35, of Moulton, Ala., and Carl Anthony Cooper, 40, of Huntsville, Ala., were both charged at about 6 p.m. Monday with aggravated possession of more than 400 grams of the controlled substance cocaine, a "capital felony."

Sulphur Springs Police Officer Mark Estes and Sgt. Mitch Griggs stopped a white Chrysler Sebring at 5:56 p.m. on Interstate 30 east at the 124 mile marker for speeding, as the vehicle was noted to be traveling at 74 miles per hour in a 70 mph speed zone.

Upon contact with the driver, identified as Kip Lamont Echols, he was noted to be "very nervous and continued to look away" from officers, often indicators of criminal activity. Estes requested permission to search the car, but the driver refused.

Lt. Buddy Williams was contacted to bring his canine partner, Atos, to the location to conduct an open air sniff around the vehicle for contraband. Atos gave a positive alert on the car.

A search by Estes revealed a large bundle in the trunk area which was wrapped in a pink polo shirt. Inside the bundle was 1.9 pounds of a white powdery substance which field tested positive as cocaine.

When officers attempted to place hand restraints on the passenger, identified as Carl Anthony Cooper, he fled. During the foot pursuit Estes chased him across I-30 before catching him at intersection Waco and Plano streets where he tried to hide in someone's truck. He resisted officers and "chemical agents" were applied. He was forced to the ground and placed in custody.

Both Cooper and Echols were arrested for aggravated possession of more than 400 grams of a controlled substance, a capital felony.

In an incident Saturday, Como Police Chief Lee Skidmore arrested Teresa Ann Johnnene, 41, of Como at 10:36 a.m. on FM 69 south of Interstate 30 for failure to identify, possession of marijuana and aggravated assault on a peace officer.

Skidmore at 10:24 a.m. attempted to serve Johnnene with a criminal trespass warning for an FM 69 south residence in Como. When he identified himself as a peace officer, Johnnene "failed to identify herself" to Skidmore and took off in a Hyundai Accent. As she did, the car moved toward the officer, threatening to strike him, hence the assault on the peace officer charge, according to Skidmore.

The Como police chief along with sheriff's deputies, chased the woman up FM 69 to just south of Interstate 30, where she was ordered out of the car at gunpoint. She was transported to jail by deputies to the county jail, where she was found in possession of marijuana.

In yet another incident Saturday, deputies and Cumby police responded at 3:10 p.m. to a report of items stolen from a property at FM 1567 west of FM 275 south Saturday. The resident noted the suspects were two white males in a light cream-colored four-door vehicle last seen traveling north on County Road 1131.

Officers located the vehicle at a County Road 4131 residence. They detained two people at the location for questioning about the theft.

Samuel Lynn McCarter, 42, of Brashear was arrested at 3:45 p.m. for possession of a controlled substance after methamphetamine found in his wallet.

After receiving written permission to search the residence, officers found a small bag containing drug paraphernalia and suspected methamphetamine inside. Consequently, Benny Sim Winstead, 32, of Cumby was arrested for possession of a controlled substance as well.

Cpl. Dennis Findley and deputy Jason Poteet, along with Cumby police officer Charles Herford were credited with the CR 4131 arrests Saturday.

Older Archives

Looking for News-Telegram Sports and News Archives for January 2004 - November 2008