In separate incidents, Paragould police have arrested two men on felony drug charges.
The first arrest came Nov. 30 as the result of a vehicular chase after an attempted traffic stop. On that date officers arrested Barry Gentry, 41, of Metropolis, Ill., on charges of one count each of simultaneous possession of drugs and firearms, a Class Y felony; as well as possession of a firearm by certain persons (i.e. a convicted felon), possession of less than two grams of a Schedule I/II controlled substance (methamphetamine or cocaine) and possession of drug paraphernalia, all Class D felonies; plus misdemeanor charges.
According to a probable cause affidavit sworn by Detective Cpl. Aaron Gamber of the department’s Street Crimes Unit (SCU), the arrest took place after police Cpl. Aaron Schenk stopped a vehicle for crossing the center line several times and speeding up and down, well above and below the speed limit. Schenk stopped the vehicle, but before he had the opportunity to contact the driver (later identified as Gentry), he fled north in the vehicle onto Highway 135 North. According to the affidavit, Gentry continued north on Highway 135 at around 60 mph before slowing and eventually stopping near the Memorial Gardens Cemetery.
At that point, Schenk ordered him out of the vehicle and took him into custody. Also according to Gamber’s affidavit, Gentry appeared to have difficulty understanding simple instructions and yelled vulgarities toward police. He admitted to smoking methamphetamine and believed he was having a bad reaction to it. Additionally, he reportedly said he had no idea where he was or what state he was in.
A search of Gentry’s vehicle yielded a loaded syringe presumed to contain methamphetamine, a glass pipe, 25.3 grams of marijuana and a loaded 9 mm pistol.
Gentry is forbidden to possess firearms as the result of multiple felony drug convictions. He is being held in the Greene County Detention Center (GCDC) on a $25,000 cash-only bond.
In the other incident, police arrested Jason Wayne Taylor, 32, of Paragould, on a charge of one count of possession of less than two grams of a Schedule I/II controlled substance (other than methamphetamine or cocaine).
According to a probable cause affidavit sworn by Detective Cpl. Jason Boling of the SCU, the arrest took place on Nov. 24 after police Cpl. Owen Mundy contacted Taylor with a warrant for his arrest for failing to appear in court.
Mundy reportedly asked Taylor if he had anything illegal on his person prior to being transported to the GCDC to await court or bond as stated on the warrant. Taylor reportedly responded by telling Mundy that he had mushrooms, a Schedule II narcotic, in his coat pocket. Mundy then located them in Taylor’s front coat pocket.
Taylor is being held in the GCDC on a $10,000 bond.