Two Lumberton Police Officers made drug-related arrests on the same day in separate routine traffic stops
“They were definitely on their toes,” Lumberton Police Chief Danny Sullins said, referring to the officer’s diligence.
Chief Sullins has some advice for drivers with narcotics: “Don’t do it, because if you have drugs, you’re going to wake up in the Hardin County Jail.”
The first stop came on Sept. 1, at 9:05 am, when Lumberton Officer Michael Strange pulled a 2005 Nissan Sentra on Hwy 69/287 at Walton Road.
The driver, Shelly Raenae Munselle, 38, of Lumberton, was stopped for out-of-date tags but Officer Strange determined that she also had multiple active suspensions, stated the chief.
Her passenger, Casey Lane Trahan, 29, of Lumberton, did not have a valid license.
While waiting for a tow-truck Officer Strange inventoried the vehicle, locating a clear plastic baggie with crystal methamphetamine, another with crystalline residue, and two other baggies with marijuana and synthetic marijuana.
Additional materials including two glass pipes and digital scales were also found in the vehicle.
The driver said that none of those items were hers. The couple was booked into the Hardin County Jail on narcotics-related charges.
Charges include possession of a controlled substance, penalty group 1, less than one gram; possession of a controlled substance, penalty group 2-A (synthetic marijuana), and possession of marijuana.
Later that day, Lumberton Police Officer Dale Kinsley made a traffic stop on a white Ford pickup at 5:35 pm in Lumberton on the Village Creek Parkway near Green Briar Road.
“Even before the stop while still driving, Officer Tinsley reported he could smell marijuana,” Chief Sullins said.
Approaching vehicle, the driver Crystal Elizabeth Tynes, 32, of Lumberton, refused to lower the window fully.
There were three people in the vehicle including the driver, passenger Brandie Lyn Gray, 41, of Beaumont and passenger Trisha Lynn Nettles, 40, of Orange.
“The driver admitted that she had marijuana in the vehicle,” according to the report.
Given the presence of a controlled substance, Tinsley had the three step out of the vehicle, stated the Lumberton Chief.
The Hardin County Sheriff’s Department assisted in the case with Sheriff’s Deputy Jesse Orr working in searching the vehicle.
Together, they found a purse with 34 pills of an unspecified medication for which there was no prescription, a baggie with crystal methamphetamine, several baggies of marijuana, and a glass smoking pipe.
Lumberton Police Officer Jones finished the inventory before the vehicle was towed and the three women were taken to the Hardin County Jail.
Tynes was charged with possession of a dangerous drug (the pills) and possession of marijuana and passenger Gray was charged with possession of a controlled substance, more than 1 gram, but less than 4 grams, possession of marijuana, with two active Kountze PD warrants.
Passenger Nettles was charged with possession of a controlled substance, less than 1 gram, and five preexisting Silsbee traffic warrants
“Our officers are getting better and better at finding (drugs),” says Chief Sullins, adding that most drug busts come from traffic stops.
Finding drugs in traffic stops is a regular occurrence, Chief Sullins said: “from January to September we’ve had 274 narcotics arrests, almost all off routine traffic stops.”
Illicit drugs are a persistent problem; “almost 40 percent of all arrests in Lumberton over the year are drug-related,” he said.