Seven arrested on meth charges stemming from traffic stop

JONESBORO, Ark. – It is hard to picture running a red light resulting in a house full of felony drug arrests but that’s exactly what happened Friday in Jonesboro.

It began at 3:54 p.m. on Friday, when JPD Street Crimes Unit Investigator Chris Jefferson noticed a gold 2010 Ford Escape run a red light at Johnson Avenue and Main Street, the incident report said. The driver, Tyler Keith Howard, 29, of Jonesboro, was stopped by Jefferson, whom he told he had no valid license. The front seat passenger, Yolanda Carole McFarland, 48, of Jonesboro, was found to have a warrant for her arrest for contempt of court. Meanwhile, Howard was on felony probation and had two confirmed failure to appear warrants through JPD.

Howard was taken into custody without incident. McFarland was asked to exit the vehicle as a search was performed.  As Investigator Jason Chester arrived and joined the search, he reported finding a broken glass meth pipe with residue inside of McFarland’s purse. A plastic bag containing 0.6 grams of meth was also said to be in her purse.

Howard was cited on a ticket for driving with a suspended license, running a red light, no proof of insurance and two failure to appear warrants. He was left in the custody of the Craighead County Detention Center, as was McFarland. She faces felony possession charges for the meth and paraphernalia.

Along this time in the report, Jefferson noted he received confidential information that Howard was selling crystal meth out of an address he was staying at. After some communication with his probation officer and other confidential sources, it was learned he was living at 628 East Oak Street at an apartment with Shandie Leigh Koen, 36, of Jonesboro.

Police arrived to speak with Michael Edward Yates, 38, of Jonesboro, at the front door. Evidently, Yates was the owner of the vehicle involved in the traffic stop. After knocking several times and hearing movement in the apartment, Investigator Bryan Bailey said Kimberly Nipper, 34, of Jonesboro, came to the door. A short time later, Koen came to the door and allowed police inside to show them where Howard’s belongings were. Bailey reported her being nervous and her story was changing several times. He then heard a loud noise in the rear bedroom which he noted as sounding like someone was trying to get out of the window. He asked who else was there and Koen told him it was Trisha Sloan, 35, of Jonesboro. Bailey said he knew she had a warrant and went to arrest her.

Sloan was found hiding in the closet, trying to force the door shut. When Bailey had her step forward, he saw her digging in her shorts. He noticed a glass meth pipe in the rear of her shorts. He placed her into custody, but wasn’t finished finding people.

He then found another person hiding in the closet – Tyrone Griffin, 36, of Wynne. He, too, was reportedly on active probation. He was taken into custody.

Officers returned to the front area of the apartment and took note of a Razorback backpack, belonging to Yates. Yates reportedly said it was his but that someone could have put something inside of it since it had been there all day. He consented to a search and a smaller, grey bag was pulled out of it. Inside of it was a set of digital scales and a roll of bags, along with two small plastic bags containing what was believed to be meth rocks. Yates was taken into custody, at this point.

As Chester was securing the couch to be certain no weapons were on it before sitting the suspects down, he found another bag of meth under a cushion. Koen reportedly looked at Nipper and told her she better claim her own stuff.

After being read her Miranda rights, Nipper was said to have claimed the meth as hers and said she shoved it down into the couch when police went to the rear bedroom. Yet another bag of suspected meth was found in her bra, following a search of her person. It was not indicated who performed the search.

A total of 6.9 grams of meth was recovered along with several Hydrocodones and Clonazepams.

The suspects were taken to CCDC and left to face charges of possession of meth and possession of meth paraphernalia. Some of the charges included purpose for delivery and possession of meth greater than two grams. All of the potential charges are felonies.

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