|Trinity Standard - Local News
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Recovered pistol leads to 3 arrests
Trinity Standard -
TRINITY – The recovery of a pistol on a city street last week lead to an ongoing investigation as well as the arrest of three women on drug and traffic charges. According to Trinity Police Chief Steve Jones, felony possession of controlled substance and misdemeanor possession of drug paraphernalia charges were filed early Saturday against Misty Cullen and Sandra Harkins, both of Trinity. A driving while license invalid charge also was filed Friday against Valarie Davenport, 35, of Crockett. Cullen and Harkins were released Saturday after posting $5,000 bonds on the state jail felony drug possession charges and promising to pay a fine on the drug paraphernalia complaint. Davenport also was released Saturday after promising to pay a fine. A bizarre series of events and the ensuing investigation resulted in the arrests, which were not directly related to the recovery of the firearm. Jones explained that for investigators, the incident began Friday around 3 p.m. when a loaded Highpoint 9 mm automatic pistol was turned over to police. The weapon had been found lying on the side of Trinlady Park Road near the Third Street intersection. “We had no idea where the weapon came from at the time, but we began an investigation,” the police chief said. Information gathered by officers subsequently indicated there had been an unreported domestic disturbance on the evening of Thursday, June 9, in which a woman was beaten by her boyfriend. Police were told the woman’s ex-boyfriend came to her assistance and removed her from the scene of the assault. The boyfriend then reportedly obtained a firearm with the intention of confronting the ex-boyfriend. While all this was going on, Jones, Sgt. Randy Wheeler and Officer Justin Sikes were working on a drug stakeout and had a residence in the area of Trinlady Park Road and Tenth Street under surveillance. “Officer Sikes was parked off Trinlady Park Road waiting on word from me to move in if a narcotics situation developed,” Jones said. “Apparently, the boyfriend was headed down Trinlady Park Road in search of the ex-boyfriend when he spotted Sikes sitting in his car. We were told he thought the ex-boyfriend had called police and was afraid that Sikes was looking for him. “He then tossed the pistol out the window because he did not want to be stopped and have it found,” Jones said. During the course of the investigation, Jones said officers obtained a description of the vehicle the boyfriend was driving. That description was later confirmed when three men were spotted walking around in the area where the gun was found, apparently looking for the firearm. The car they arrived in matched the description of the suspect vehicle. On Friday night, Sikes spotted the car near the intersection of Main and Robb streets and stopped it. The boyfriend was not in the car, but the driver, Davenport, was taken into custody for driving while her license was invalid. Jones said officers learned the boyfriend had been dropped off at a Third Street residence earlier. The police chief said that he, Sikes and Officer Travis Bryan went to the Second and Third street area in an effort to find the suspect. The people who live at the residence where the man was dropped off were not at home but witnesses in the area reported seeing him near the home. Jones noted there are a number of vacant houses in the area and officers began checking them to make sure they were secure. They found one in which the front door was ajar and upon checking out the residence, they found evidence of recent drug use when a homemade methamphetamine pipe was located. While driving along Third Street, Jones said he saw a shadow in an area by a car and when he went to check it out, he encountered two woman. The police chief said both women were acting nervously and were standing in front of a residence where police had made previous drug-related arrests. When Sikes and Bryan joined Jones at the site, the women were searched and two rocks of crack cocaine as well as two “well used” crack pipes were found. The two women were then taken into custody and charged with drug possession. The boyfriend was not located and remained at large this week. DWI charge filed In other action last week, a 31-year-old Crockett woman was charged with felony driving while intoxicated following a traffic accident on Tuesday, June 7. Tyara Krach was subsequently released on a $10,000 bond. Jones said Wheeler was on patrol on South High 19 when he witnessed a traffic accident shortly after 10:30 p.m. The vehicles involved were traveling north and the collision occurred where the speed limit drops to 55 miles per hour. “The car in front slowed to 55 but the one in back did not and struck the rear of the first car – in fact, it struck the lead car twice,” Jones said. While the rear car came to a stop, Jones said the lead car continued driving and Wheeler pursued it. He subsequently learned that the 57-year-old woman driving and her 16-year-old passenger became “very frightened” when they were struck twice and continued driving in search for assistance. Upon returning to the scene of the collision, Wheeler arrested the driver of the second car on a DWI charge. Because this was the third such case filed against the woman, it was elevated to felony status and she was transported to East Texas Medical Center-Trinity for a mandatory blood draw.