Woman busted for suspended license caught with drug paraphernalia

The city of Safford has settled a lawsuit brought by a number of current and former police officers regarding the city's change of its benefits package. Each officer will receive $22,000 to be paid over the next three years.

SAFFORD – Just after 10:00 am, last Thursday, an officer in a marked patrol vehicle was in the Sunrise Village mobile home park. The officer noticed a truck enter the park and pull into a trailer space that is known for drug activity. The officer drove by and noted the license plate number. As the officer drove by, the truck immediately pulled out and left the area. The officer ran a check on the plates on the truck and discovered the insurance had been canceled. The officer left the park to find the vehicle and got behind it just as it again pulled into the same mobile home park and pulled into a vacant lot. The officer activated his emergency lights to initiate a traffic stop after becoming suspicious of the driver’s behavior.

The female driver immediately exited the truck and began walking toward the the officer’s vehicle, asking “What’s going on?”

The officer told the woman to sit back in her truck and explained that when he ran the plates on the truck,  it showed the insurance had been canceled. The woman stated that she had insurance as she began looking through items in the cab area. The woman told the officer that she was dropping off old bike parts to her friend’s husband. The officer could see the parts in the back of the truck.  The officer also noticed the woman had  a small black dog with her sitting on the seat. The woman was unable to produce proof of insurance but continued to insist that she had coverage. In the meantime, it was confirmed to the officer that the woman had a suspended driver’s license as well. When the officer informed the woman, she became upset and stated that it was not possible because she had just gotten it back after paying the courts and she had not been notified. The woman reported that this happens to her about every 6 months.

When the officer informed the woman her truck would be towed, she became upset and stated she didn’t think the officer could have it towed from private property. The officer informed the woman he had seen her driving on public roads, and that it would be towed. When asked if there was anything illegal inside, the woman stated that there was not. The woman had gotten out of the truck and asked the officer if she was going to jail. When the officer explained that driving on a suspended license was an arrestable offense, and that she was under arrest, the woman became even more upset and irritable. After she was placed in handcuffs and was being  escorted to the officer’s vehicle, the woman at first refused to get in, but eventually complied.

The officer was unable to retrieve the dog from the truck, so the woman was allowed to get out of the officer’s vehicle to get the dog out. While the officer inventoried the items in the truck, a glass pipe with white residue on it was found in the woman’s purse along with a digital scale. While the officer was searching the vehicle, another woman approached the officer and asked if she could take the dog to give it some water and get it in the shade. The officer asked if she knew the woman the dog belonged to, but she stated that she did not. However, the woman was asked by the owner to take the dog to the owner’s, friend’s house, which was the house the officer had seen her turn around in earlier. When the officer spoke with the woman about the items found in the truck, she denied all knowledge of the pipe, and claimed the scale was used for gems. She later stated that she suffers from short term memory loss and that she also gives lots of people rides and the pipe could have been placed in her purse.

The woman’s blood had to be drawn at the Mount Graham Regional Medical Center, due to unsuccessful attempts at the police station. The officer offered to give the woman a ride to her dog’s location. While en-route,  the woman reportedly admitted that the meth pipe was hers, that someone had given it to her. She continued to state she had used meth a few days prior. She said that she had been clean for a long time but recently relapsed because she was going through a hard time. The woman was dropped off at Sunrise Village.

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