On January 15, while patrolling along Highway 21 north, a Washington Parish Sheriff’s Office patrol deputy made a traffic stop on a car which had no visible license plate. When the deputy approached the vehicle, he noticed a strong odor of marijuana. The driver did not have a license and appeared to be very nervous. A criminal background check of the driver indicated he had an outstanding warrant for previous traffic offenses.
The deputy asked the driver to exit the vehicle and then searched him for weapons. The driver had a drug scale in his rear pocket and $178 cash in his front pockets and wallet. The deputy placed him in handcuffs and secured him in the rear of his patrol vehicle. When the vehicle was inventoried, the deputy and his Sergeant who had arrived on the scene discovered a fully loaded semi-automatic pistol between the driver’s seat and the center console, along with bags of marijuana which was later weighed and determined to be 35.05 grams. A later search of Martin’s wallet revealed another $600 cash concealed in a zippered compartment of his wallet.
Charles Anthony Martin, 23, a resident of Wesley Ray Road in Angie, was arrested and booked into the Washington Parish Jail on two counts of possession of drug paraphernalia, one count of possession of narcotics with intent to distribute, one count of possession of controlled dangerous substances with a weapon present, one count of failure to have a driver’s license, one count of running a stop sign and contempt of court. His bond was set at $14,500. Martin met the conditions of his bond and was released on January 16.
Sheriff Randy Seal commented. “There is only one reason for carrying a concealed fully loaded semi-automatic pistol, and it is not to go squirrel hunting. When one of our deputies approaches a vehicle, there is no way to know who is in the vehicle and whether or not anyone in the vehicle has a weapon. Traffic stops are always tense times for officers and I am pleased to know that this one had a good ending. Not only was our deputy safe, but he was able to take a drug dealer out of our community and into jail where he belongs. Good job, deputy!”