Traffic stop on car with blue lights leads to felony drug arrest

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A traffic stop on a vehicle reportedly displaying blue lights late Monday resulted in the arrest of a local parolee on felony drug charges.

Fredrick Dewonne Easter, 34, who lists a Palmetto Street address, was taken into custody around 10 p.m. and charged with possession of a controlled substance, ecstasy, with purpose to deliver, punishable by up to 20 years in prison, and possession of a controlled substance, marijuana, with purpose to deliver and possession of drug paraphernalia, each punishable by up to six years.

Easter was also cited for having no, or an expired, driver’s license and unlawful use of rotating or flashing lights on a vehicle. He remained in custody Tuesday on a zero bond parole hold and is set to appear today in Garland County District Court.

According to court records, Easter was convicted in 2014 on felony drug charges and sentenced to 15 years in prison, but later paroled; and on Oct. 2, 2019, on felony drug charges and sentenced to six years in prison, but later paroled. He was arrested on Feb. 19 on felony drug charges and misdemeanor fleeing and was released on March 8 on a $15,000 bond with a review hearing set for April 7.

According to the probable cause affidavit, shortly after 9:30 p.m., Hot Springs police Officer Blake Forga saw a brown Chrysler 300 westbound on East Grand Avenue and noted the vehicle had blue lights on the undercarriage.

Forga made a traffic stop on the vehicle at East Grand and Grove Street and made contact with the driver, identified as Easter, who told him he didn’t have a driver’s license.

Easter handed the officer his insurance and registration and Forga reportedly noted he was “visibly shaking” and displaying signs of “extreme nervousness.”

Dispatchers told the officer that Easter was a parolee with a search waiver on file, so Forga had him exit the vehicle to search him and the car. When asked, Easter reportedly admitted he had “some marijuana” and “a few ecstasy pills.”

In searching the vehicle, officers allegedly found a small baggie of marijuana and a black scale in the driver’s door. In the center console, they found two baggies with a total of 35.7 grams of marijuana and a pill bottle with 60 ecstasy pills.

Agents with the 18th Judicial District East Drug Task Force were notified and assumed the case.

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