By Jon Johnson
SAFFORD – A traffic infraction led to the seizure of a small quantity of methamphetamine and drug paraphernalia late Saturday night, including a baby bottle that had been altered into a meth bong, according to police.
A Safford officer was patrolling behind a brown Ford pickup truck at about 11:18 p.m. as the vehicle was westbound on U.S. Highway 70 when it caught his suspicion. The officer followed the truck as it went northbound on 2nd Avenue and then eastbound on 3rd Street. The officer wrote that the truck failed to initiate its turn signal prior to making a right turn onto 1st Avenue from the intersection with 3rd Street, and so he performed a traffic stop on the vehicle for a moving violation as it pulled over at an abandoned residence.
Immediately, a male passenger, identified as Sergio Garcia, exited the vehicle and questioned, “why are you harassing us?”
The officer ordered Garcia back into the truck and noticed there was a female driver and a small dog in the vehicle as well. Also, in plain sight, was a pink baby bottle with the tube section of a ballpoint pen sticking out of it so that the officer believed it had been altered into a meth bong. The bowl section of the smoking device was later discovered underneath a rear seat. Roughly .15 of a gram of meth was also located in Garcia’s pockets.
He later advised that he had just gotten out of rehab for heroin addiction and had purchased the meth earlier in the day. He said he didn’t know anything about the baby bottle meth bong but that he would take responsibility for it.
The contraband was then taken to be analyzed by the Arizona Department of Public Safety’s Crime Lab in Tucson, and Garcia was released pending charging from the Graham County Attorney’s Office for possession of a dangerous drug (methamphetamine) and possession of drug paraphernalia.