Around 2:28 a.m., Monday, Jan. 4, Deputy Nick Ade of the Independence County Sheriff’s Department was patrolling in the Spring Valley area when he noticed a silver Ford pickup parked in front of the Phillips 66 gas station at 11 Ashley Dr.

As Ade turned off the highway, the truck began to pull off from around the air pump at the front of the convenience store. Due to the suspicious activity of the vehicle parked in front of a closed business in the early morning hours, Ade attempted to make contact, but the vehicle continued to drive off. Ade turned on his blue lights to stop the vehicle to investigate. The vehicle stopped at the intersection of Hwy. 167 North and Ashley Drive. Ade made contact with the driver identified as Steven Kyle Winkle, 30, of Oil Trough, who said he was trying to air up his truck tire but didn’t have any change. A check of the driver revealed he had a suspended driver’s license and a warrant out of the Bradford area. Deputies Smith and Harder arrived to assist.

Harder examined the building and determined it had not been tampered with. He then examined the area where the truck was parked and found a black cloth bag. The bag contained a pink glass pipe with white residue, wrapped in white tissue paper, one Marlboro brand cigarette pack, and a plastic bag with 1.3 grams of a crystalline substance that field tested positive for methamphetamine.

Winkle was removed from the vehicle and detained during our investigation. Winkle gave verbal permission to a search of the vehicle. Nothing was found on search of the vehicle by Smith and Harder. Sheriff Shawn Stephens advised officers to seize the drugs for further investigation and release the individual. Winkle was cited for driving on a suspended driver’s license and no proof of liability insurance. The truck was released to Robin Winkle, who had a valid driver’s license. A warrant for possession will be issued at a later date.

Around 10 p.m., Saturday, Dec. 26, Chief Deputy Aaron Moody was patrolling on Hwy. 69 when he observed an older model GMC vehicle traveling west. The vehicle did not have an operative license plate light and was driving left of center. Moody activated his emergency blue lights to conduct a traffic stop. The vehicle turned south onto Brittnay Street and stopped. The operator of the vehicle was identified as William Lloyd Smart, 50, of Magness. Moody knew Smart was on parole and there was a search waiver. Smart understood the reason for the stop and when asked if anything was illegal in the vehicle he replied “No.”

Moody advised Smart of the search waiver.

A search of the vehicle was completed. On the middle front seat a broken glass smoking device that is commonly used to ingest methamphetamine was located. Moody continued the search and located a clear sandwich baggie between the driver’s seat and the front middle seat.

The baggie was retrieved and inside was an unknown amount of suspected methamphetamine. Smart denied possession of the drug, but complied with an evidence receipt.

Smart was released from the scene with an affidavit being presented at a later time.

Moody changed possession of the confiscated evidence to Investigator Zach Bailey along with the evidence receipt. A warrant was completed and will be presented to the prosecutor’s office at a later date.

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