Police: After Cop Spots Possible No Seatbelt Use, Traffic Stop Leads to Drug Charges

Download PDF

It began, police said,  with an officer noticing that a car passenger appeared not to be wearing a seatbelt, it got worse after police stopped the car and found more violations of the law.

Eventually the passenger was arrested on drug possession charges, the driver with vehicle-related charges (no one was charged with not wearing a seat belt).

Darien police gave this description of what happened with the following account, including accusations not proven in court:

A police officer first noticed what seemed to be the lack of seatbelt use at about 12:18 p.m. on Saturday, July 22 as a gray 2001 Chevrolet Blazer was traveling east on the Post Road, near Thorndal Circle.

A routine check of the North Carolina license plate on the car showed that the plate actually belonged to a 1991 Ford Mustang. The police officer pulled up behind the Blazer, which quickly turned into the gas station at 1358 Post Road. The officer conducted the traffic stop in the station parking lot.

The driver, a 37-year-old Maxton, N.C. man, told the officer he didn’t have a driver’s license. He said the car belonged to his girlfriend, who wasn’t in the vehicle. The passenger in the car was a 50-year-old man from Rowland, N.C. (about 15 miles south of Maxton and near Interstate 95).

Police officers saw a pill bottle on the back seat, with the label scratched off but a number of pills inside. Police K-9 Kenny was brought in.

Kenny walked around the car to do a “free-air sniff” and indicated that narcotics were present. Police searched the car and found several pills and a red straw with residue of white powder on it, along with a glass pipe with marijuana residue on it.

 

When asked about the pills, the passenger said they were his. He didn’t have prescriptions for them with him. Neither man said the red straw. The residue on it later tested positive for heroin.

The pills were later identified as: hydralazine, a blood pressure medication (two pills), clonazepam, a benzodiazepine — a class of drugs sometimes illegally abused (two), furosemide, a medication for blood pressure and other ailments (one) and oxycodone, an opioid pain medication, addictive and sometimes illegally abused (five).

 

Each of the men was arrested. The passenger was charged with drug possession, not keeping prescription medication in a proper container and possession of marijuana.

His bond was set at $10,000, which he didn’t post, so he was taken to state Superior Court in Stamford two days later, on Monday. His bond was reduced to $7,500, but he remains in custody, according to the Connecticut Judicial Branch website. His next court appearance is scheduled for Aug. 21.

He was later released on $150 bond. He is scheduled to appear Aug. 1 in the same court.