A Safford police officer on patrol last Wednesday night at approximately 11:00 p.m., observed a vehicle on west 8th Street with large objects hanging from the rear view mirror, which included and air freshener and a red bandana. According to Arizona law, it’s illegal to have any objects that that obstructs or reduces a driver’s clear view through the windshield or side or rear windows. The officer turned around and got behind the vehicle and conducted a records check of the license plate. According to the police report, the vehicle has been spotted at local residences with on-going reports of drug activity. The vehicle was registered to a person with a Tucson address.
When the vehicle came to a stop at the stop sign at 8th Street and Central Avenue, it stopped with both front tires past the stop bar. The officer activated his emergency lights. The vehicle turned south on Central Avenue, then turned west onto 9th Avenue before yielding to the officer’s emergency lights.
The driver of the vehicle was reportedly fidgeting in his seat and reaching around the inside of the vehicle with his hands. As the officer approached the driver’s side of the vehicle, the driver opened the door suddenly and acted as though he was going to stand up. The officer told him to remain inside the vehicle. The driver was trembling and appeared to be extremely nervous.
The driver told the officer that he did not have any identification because his driver’s license was suspended. The officer verified the driver’s identity from previous booking photos. The driver had two non-extraditable warrants out of Tucson, and a statewide DPS warrant out of Phoenix, which was also non-extraditable.
The driver was asked to exit his vehicle and placed at the rear of the vehicle. He gave permission to be searched. Officers found two pieces of tin foil rolled into squares in the man’s fight pocket, a plastic smoking device with residue, and two plastic baggies with brown residue. When asked when he last used heroin, the man said that he used it the night prior and that he was already feeling sick.
A search of the vehicle turned up a hypodermic needle, which had a brown tint at the top. In between the driver’s seat and the center console, officers found a large knife in a sheath. Without being asked, the driver said that he had recently been released from prison. Dispatch conducted a criminal background on the driver, which showed felony convictions and a 9-month prison term. The knife was seized as evidence.
The vehicle was released to its owner and the driver was released pending formal charges.