Athens Review, Athens, Texas

December 4, 2012

Simple traffic stop leads to 5-year prison sentence

From Staff Reports
The Athens Review

Athens — On Monday, Nov. 19, Lloyd Dwight Stephens, 48, of Chatfield, was sentenced to five  years in the Texas Department of Criminal Justice for possession of methamphetamine.  

Judge Mark Calhoon of the 3rd Judicial District Court sentenced Stephens after he pled guilty to the charge, as well as a tampering with evidence charge, which carried an 18-month State Jail sentence.

Stephens was arrested in January this year after being pulled over by Henderson County Sherriff’s Dep. David Robertson for a traffic violation.  Robertson stopped Stephens in front of the Brookshire’s in Seven Points on State Highway 274. 

According to the police report, as Robertson was approaching Stephens’ vehicle on-foot to issue the citation, Stephens appeared very nervous, and was clutching something in his left hand.  Robertson also noticed several empty plastic baggies, as Stephens was retrieving his wallet.  

As Stephens was getting his license from his wallet, he kept his left hand clenched.  Robertson then began questioning Stephens about his criminal history, and learned that he was on parole, and had been arrested numerous times in the past for possession charges.  

After more conversation, Robertson asked Stephens to empty his left hand.  Stephens did place some items from his left hand on the passenger seat, but kept some in his hand.

Robertson eventually asked for consent to search the vehicle.  After some hesitation,  Stephens agreed, but stated that he needed to get some money that he had dropped on the floorboard.  After reaching down on the floorboard with his left hand, Robertson shined his flashlight on the area Stephens reached, and noticed a partially-chewed plastic baggie with white residue inside still wet with saliva.  Robertson then read Stephens his rights, and questioned him about the baggie.  After questioning, Stephens admitted it contained methamphetamine.

Robertson then arrested Stephens for possession of a controlled substance, and tampering with evidence. 

McKee praised the work of Robertson and Henderson County Sheriff Ray Nutt for his work in identifying those that possess or distribute narcotics. 

“Sheriff Nutt told the citizens when he was elected that all officers would work narcotics, and he has stayed true to his word,”  said McKee.  “This was a simple traffic stop that led to a parolee charged with and successfully prosecuted for possession of meth. This was just good ol-fashion police work.”