Traffic stop of three Texas residents in Ash Fork leads to arrests
A traffic stop in northern Yavapai County on Wednesday led to felony charges for three people from Texas.
On March 4, 2020, at about 8 a.m., a YCSO K9 deputy stopped a 2016 Kia Optima with a Texas plate for an equipment violation on westbound I-40 in the Ash Fork area. While speaking through the passenger window with the driver, 19-year-old Andrew Aldridge, the deputy detected the odor of marijuana from inside the vehicle.
There were two passengers in the vehicle, 18-year-old Baily Byron and 25-year-old Deven Hamilton. All three are from Texas.
All three denied there were any firearms in the vehicle. After being confronted about the marijuana odor, one of passengers admitted there was marijuana in the vehicle.
While the occupants were detained, a K9 deputy searched the vehicle for the source of the odor and found 2 rifles, both .223 caliber, that were in bags in the trunk.
With the rifles were 2 fully loaded 60 round drum style magazines, a fully loaded 40 round magazine, a pair of latex gloves and a brass catcher. One of the rifles had a shorter barrel, likely in violation of federal law.
The K9 deputy also located a 9mm semi-automatic pistol in the pocket behind the driver’s seat.
As the search continued, K9 deputies found several grams of marijuana, THC wax and a half-smoked marijuana cigarette in the passenger seat pocket.
Detectives from the Partner’s Against Narcotics Trafficking task force were called out to assist. The investigation continues, but preliminary information indicates the suspects were involved in drug sales and the firearms were associated with a criminal operation.
The three were booked into the Camp Verde Detention Center on the following charges:
Aldridge and Byron: three counts of weapons misconduct, possession of marijuana, possession of narcotics and possession of drug paraphernalia.
Hamilton: two counts of weapons misconduct, possession of marijuana, possession of narcotics and possession of drug paraphernalia.
Bond for each suspect is set at $20,000.
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