By Bonnie Culverhouse
Minden Police scored a big drug bust on Interstate 20 Thursday morning.
Chief Jared McIver said Off. Ben Sparks was on the eastbound side of the interstate at mile marker 47 around 5:30 a.m. when he clocked a white Chevy Malibu with Colorado plates traveling 85 miles per hour.
Sparks reportedly conducted a traffic stop at mile marker 48.
“Off. Sparks said the driver and his passenger seemed nervous, and the driver refused to show his ID,” said the chief. “Then the officer noticed a meth pipe on the floor in plain view.”
At that point, Off. Sparks called for back-up and Lt. Brandon Curry and Ofc. Reece Tewell arrived to help.
Officers arrested Corey Morris, 35, of Colorado Springs, Col., for resisting an officer, possession of 161 grams of marijuana with intent to distribute, possession of 6 grams of methamphetamine, possession of a legend drug, possession of drug paraphernalia, open container and as a fugitive from Colorado.
Ryan Boucher, 35, of Lakeland, Fla. is charged with speeding, possession of 161 grams of marijuana with intent to distribute, possession of 6 grams of methamphetamine, possession of a legend drug, possession of drug paraphernalia and open container.
In addition, officers confiscated the following suspected drugs: 11 Gabapentin (anticonvulsant), 48 Buspirone Hydrochloride (anxiety medication), 24 white Gabapentin, 22 yellow Gabapentin, 64.5 Setraline Hydrochloride (antidepressant) and 3 unknown blue pills. All drugs will be sent to the Northwest Louisiana Crime Lab for testing.
“Pill bottles all had different names on them, and none of them were Boucher or Morris,” said the chief. “I would say that, conservatively, street value was $5-6,000.”
The vehicle was towed to Minden PD for a thorough search and yielded several Colorado license plates and one from California.
“That’s in order to avoid electronic license plate readers on the highways,” McIver said. “They just change the plates out every so often, to avoid suspicion.”
McIver said Sparks, who has been with MPD one year, was working STEP (Safety Traffic Enforcement Program) where officers set up on the interstate inside the city limits.
“It’s a multi-purpose program,” he said. “Besides slowing speeders, we have confiscated guns and drugs with this program. It’s been very successful for us.”
McIver also said when contacted, Colorado law enforcement officials requested full extradition of Morris.
This information has been provided by a law enforcement agency as public information. Persons named as suspects in a criminal investigation, or arrested and charged with a crime, have not been convicted of any criminal offense and are presumed innocent until proven guilty in a court of law.
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