Near-fight leads to drug arrest

A Jonesboro Police Department patrol car. Photo by Stan Morris.

JONESBORO — An almost-dispute between two subjects on Sunday led to the arrest of one suspect on several drug charges after he tried to drive away.

Police responded to the 5000-block of Nettleton Avenue after a woman reported she thought her boyfriend was about to be in a fight with another suspect. When officers arrived they found both males standing in the parking lot speaking with each other, but told police it was only a misunderstanding and they shook hands and parted ways.

As one of the two men, Roberto Betancourt, 39, drove away, officers noticed his van had broken tail lights and were not functioning at all. Police pursued the suspect and pulled him over. While explaining why they stopped him, officers took note of Betancourt acting very nervous and ignoring their request for his driver’s license.

The suspect finally told police he did not have a license because he is paying fines and officers had him step out of the vehicle. Betancourt attempted several times to reach into his left pocket before being stopped by officers. When police asked him if he had any weapons or anything illegal in his pockets he responded by saying, “What do you mean by illegal?” according to the report.

The suspect was placed into custody and it was determined he was driving on a suspended license. In his pocket, officers found a plastic baggie containing a substance consistent with the smell of marijuana. Upon further inspection it was determined inside the baggie was another bag containing a crystal substance consistent with the look of methamphetamine.

Betancourt was taken to Craighead County Detention Center where he was cited for driving on a suspended license, no proof of insurance, failure to register vehicle, possession of marijuana and felony possession of meth.

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