|Trinity Standard - Local News
Stories Added - July 2009
Copyright 2008 - Polk County Publishing Company
One charged with crack possession
Trinity Standard - July 2009
TRINITY – A man apparently unaware that police were approaching was arrested last week when officers observed him smoking crack in the front yard of a residence.
Michael Isbell, 46, of Trinity was charged with felony possession of a controlled substance following his arrest shortly before 10 a.m. on Thursday, July 2.
According to Trinity Police Chief Steven Jones, a concerned citizen notified police that a man was smoking what appeared to be crack cocaine near the intersection of Israel Otis and Walker streets in southwest Trinity.
Jones, together with Sgt. Thomas Park, drove to the location and spotted two men and two male juveniles in the front yard of the residence on Israel Otis Street.
The police chief pulled his police vehicle to a stop in front of the group and both officers got out of the vehicle and approached the man who was sitting in the yard.
“He had a crack pipe in his hand and apparently didn’t notice that we had pulled up,” Jones said.
When police approached him and asked him to surrender the pipe, Jones said the man briefly struggled with police before they were able to take the “hot” pipe from him. They also found one “rock” of crack cocaine in the same hand that was holding the pipe and two more “rocks” in his other hand.
Jones said a field test of the suspected drugs gave a positive indication for cocaine and the “rocks” were forwarded to a Texas Department of Public Safety laboratory for formal analysis.
The possession charge filed against Isbell was elevated to a third degree felony because the arrest occurred within 1,000 feel of the Lansberry Elementary School property and of the Trinity City baseball fields – both of which are classified as drug free zones.
While Isbell was the only person detained during the incident, Jones said information was forwarded to both the juvenile probation department and the Child Protective Services concerning the two juveniles who were present while drugs were being used.
Tampering with evidence
In other police activity last week, a 19-year-old Trinity man was charged with felony tampering with physical evidence following a traffic stop on Saturday.
Jonathan Roy Clemons is accused of swallowing a small bag of what police believe was crack cocaine.
According to Jones, the incident began about 6:40 p.m. on July 4 when Officers John Raiford and Jon Beamon stopped a vehicle near the intersection of Walker and Sabine streets.
When the officers approached the driver, they noticed what appeared to be something in his mouth. When one of the officers asked the man to open his mouth, he saw a small plastic bag containing what appeared to be several “rocks” of crack cocaine.
When the officer ordered the driver to spit out the bag, he reported that the suspect instead swallowed it.
Because the bag and its contents were considered as evidence and the driver is believed to have deliberately tried to prevent police for obtaining it, the tampering with evidence charge was filed.
“What is strange, had the man been arrested for possession of a controlled substance, he would have been facing a state jail felony charge. The tampering charge is a third degree felony and is much more serious,” Jones said.
“He would have been much better off just letting the officer have the bag,” he added.