Concerned neighbors suspect drug activity

SAFFORD – Officers were dispatched to the 1900 block on 20th Avenue on Sunday, due to concerns of drug activity. While officers were speaking with neighbors, a tall male wearing dark clothing appeared walking to the residence of concern from an area not normal for foot traffic. When the male saw the police, he quickly ran off from the area and could not be located by authorities.

The officers contacted a man at the residence of concern, identified as Joshua Stewart. He was informed that the police had witnessed a person approach the residence but ran off when they saw the police, as well as receiving complaints from other neighbors. Stewart stated he does not sell any drugs, he was just staying with his cousin. He apparently told authorities that he does have friends that do drugs and they have been to the residence before. When authorities asked if he had anything illegal on himself, Stewart answered that he did not. Stewart agreed to show officers what was in his pockets. The officers noticed he had a torch lighter which which drug user’s commonly use because they burn a lot hotter that normal BIC lighters. Authorities asked if they could check the residence, but were told it was not his residence so Stewart couldn’t give them permission. He later agreed for them to check his living area.

Police followed Stewart to his bedroom where he stays and were given permission to check the room. In plain sight an officer could see a black plastic pill bottle with a white label on it that they recognized as a container commonly used to store marijuana and to be from the marijuana dispensary. Stewart was asked about the bottle and he reported it was his cousin’s and he has a medical marijuana card. When Stewart was asked if he had a medical marijuana card, he answered that he did not. The officers also saw a pipe with burnt marijuana in the bowl area, along with a digital scale that had a white powder substance on it. Stewart stated he had found the scale but has used it to weigh methamphetamine before. Stewart also reported to authorities that he had smoked marijuana from the pipe before, even though it is not his. Stewart disclosed that he would test positive for T.H.C.(tetrahydrocannabinol) Nothing else illegal was found in the room.

An officer explained to Stewart that even though he claimed the marijuana paraphernalia was not his, he is still in possession of it, and uses the scale to weigh methamphetamine. Stewart was charged with possession of drug paraphernalia.