In separate incidents, police officers have arrested three Paragould residents on felony drug charges.
In one incident, they arrested Thomas Wayne Gauthier, 44, on charges of one count each of theft of property (i.e. a debit card) and possession of drug paraphernalia, each a Class D felony; plus misdemeanor charges.
According to a probable cause affidavit sworn by Detective Sgt. Michael Oost of the department’s Street Crimes Unit (SCU), the arrest occurred July 24 after officers had responded to a call for service at a residence in the area of South Fourth Street. When officers arrived, they encountered a man standing outside. Identifying him as Gauthier, the officers determined he had an active misdemeanor arrest warrant. As officers spoke with Gauthier, they reportedly noted signs of intoxication.
They sought and received consent to perform sobriety tests on Gauthier, which he failed, according to the affidavit. But when the officers tried to take him into custody, he reportedly pulled away and began yelling and cursing at them. After a brief struggle, the officers managed to handcuff Gauthier, but he then kicked one of them in the thigh as they were trying to put him into the patrol car. The officers then held Gauthier down, the affidavit states, until he calmed, and then shut the vehicle’s door.
Upon Gauthier’s arrival at the Greene County Detention Center, jail staff reportedly discovered a syringe and a pipe of the type typically used to smoke methamphetamine, each with suspected methamphetamine residue, inside a bag belonging to him. According to Oost’s affidavit, they also discovered a partially smoked marijuana cigarette as well as a Schedule IV pill for which he had no prescription. They allegedly discovered a debit card that did not belong to Gauthier. Contact with the cardholder also revealed Gauthier did not have permission to have the card; the cardholder reportedly said Gauthier must have stolen it.
Gauthier was held in the Greene County Detention Center on a $10,000 cash-only bond.
Also on July 24, officers arrested Michael James King, 43, on a charge of one count of possession of less than two grams of a Schedule I/II controlled substance (methamphetamine or cocaine), a Class D felony; plus misdemeanor charges.
According to a probable cause affidavit sworn by Detective Cpl. Jason Boling of the SCU, the arrest took place after officers responded to the area of East Lake Street in reference to a man being jumped. When officers arrived at the location, they encountered the man (identified as King), who told one officer a vehicle had stopped in the road and that its occupants were yelling at him and saying they were going to “mess him up.” As he continued speaking with King, the officer concluded King was seeing people who were not there. Officers further noted King was waving his arms erratically and sweating profusely.
Dispatchers having advised officers that King had a warrant for parole absconding, the officers took him in to custody. Upon King’s arrival at the Greene County Detention Center, the officers reportedly discovered 1.8 grams of methamphetamine in his shoe.
King was held in custody on a $25,000 bond.
Officers also arrested Brittany Nicole Bland, 25, on July 24, on a charge of one count of possession of less than two grams of a Schedule I/II controlled substance (methamphetamine or cocaine), a Class D felony; plus misdemeanor charges. According to a probable cause affidavit sworn by Detective Lt. Scott Snyder of the SCU, Bland was a passenger in a vehicle that had been stopped by police officers. During a consent search of the vehicle, she was allegedly found to possess 1.5 grams of “pope” (a synthetic cannabinoid derivative) and was arrested for it. But after Bland arrived at the police station for processing, officers also reportedly located about 0.25 grams of methamphetamine on her person.
Bland was held in the Greene County Detention Center on a $5,000 bond.