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PARAGOULD, Ark. – If you’re carrying meth around in your vehicle, having a headlight out is a bad idea.
It is a lesson an out-of-town suspect learned, according to a report from the Greene County Sheriff’s Department. About 1:25 a.m. Monday morning, Sgt. Tommy Huffstetler with GCSD was on routine patrol on Highway 412 East when he noticed a car with a defective headlight. He stopped the vehicle as it turned onto South 7th Street – but not before it traveled for three city blocks while his emergency lights were on.
The suspicious behavior wasn’t without cause. Huffstetler made contact with the driver, Kathy Ann Woods, 51, of Escanaba, Mich. and while she grabbed her license, he noticed several blue pills in a cigarette cellophane. He also saw a clear plastic tube with some marijuana seeds. That’s when he asked her to step out of the car, the report details.
Woods explained the pills were hers, Valium. The sergeant explained all prescription medication has to be carried in a properly labeled prescription bottle. Woods’ explanation for the seeds were that they were left by “some guy” who was dragged out of the car by another man. She was arrested for the pills. A search of the vehicle then yielded a green glass meth pipe. Sure enough, when she arrived at Greene County Detention Center, a detention officer found a small bag of meth while searching the woman.
Woods is facing felony charges of possession of meth and meth drug paraphernalia, along with misdemeanor possession charges for the pills and misdemeanor charges for the headlights.
It wasn’t the only meth arrest Huffstetler made while on patrol Sunday night and Monday morning. At about 6:20 p.m. Sunday night while on County Road 823, he noticed a black GMC pickup truck parked in a farm field. Recent thefts inspired the sergeant to check it out. He made contact with a woman, not arrested and thus not named in this story, who said herself and Billy Jo Gatewood, 43, of Paragould were “rock hunting.”
A check showed Gatewood was on probation, making him subject to search during any lawful encounter with law enforcement. He insisted he did not have anything. With Deputy Mike Wess arriving for backup, Huffstetler found the kind of “rock” the two were hunting and it was not the naturally forming kind. A small ziplock bag with a “crystal rock” consistent with meth was found where Gatewood was standing, leading to his arrest. Gatewood reportedly told the law enforcement officer he, “had been doing good but just messed up.”
Gatewood was booked for felony possession of meth.