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Posted: December 10, 2013 8:26 p.m.

Drug arrests after officer notice man not handicapped

A man and woman were arrested on drug charges after a Covington police officer recognized that the man, sitting in the driver’s seat of a vehicle parked in a handicapped spot, did not have a valid driver’s license and was not disabled.
Beau Basham and Crystal Luna were both arrested on charges of possession of methamphetamine and possession of marijuana less than an ounce Saturday.

According to an incident report, the officer, while on patrol, went to QuikTrip on U.S. Highway 278 to get something to drink. The officer parked in a spot near the front door, to the left of a handicapped parking space.

As the officer exited his vehicle, he saw Basham sitting in the driver’s seat of a 2004 Crown Victoria that was parked in the handicapped space. The report said there was a handicapped parking decal in the front window.

According to the report, the officer was familiar with Basham, “due to being out with him before, and he knew that he had a suspended driver’s license and was not handicapped.”

As the officer walked toward the car, Basham, the report said, immediately attempted to get out of the car. The officer reported that Basham was “twitching around and appeared to be impaired or high.”

The police officer reportedly asked Basham if he had obtained a valid driver’s license, and Basham replied “no.” Basham told the officer that he slid over to the driver’s seat to “stretch out” while Luna was in the restroom inside.

According to the report, Basham’s “lips were twitching and he couldn’t be still, which is common with persons under the influence of methamphetamine.’’

When Luna exited the store, the officer asked Basham to sit in the car while the officer spoke with her.

The officer asked Luna if she is handicapped, and she told him “no,” and that the parking decal was for her mother. The officer asked Luna who parked the car in the handicapped spot and Luna reportedly said it had to be Basham, because he was the only one in the car when she went into the restroom.

The officer noted that Luna also seemed to be impaired and the she looked “very nervous” and “seemed to be looking around in a paranoid state.”

While speaking to Luna, according to the report, the officer saw Basham was fumbling around with something between the front seats of the car.

The officer told Luna that he suspected they were in possession of narcotics, and asked Luna if he could search the vehicle, which Luna agreed to.

According to the report, a brown hardback sunglasses case was found in the back passenger floorboard, and it contained three small bags of a crystal-like substance suspected to be methamphetamine. Another small bag contained suspected marijuana.

The officer asked Basham and Luna who the items belonged to, and both said the items did not belong to them. The two were then arrested.

According to the report, when Basham was placed in the patrol car, he reportedly told the officer the drugs were Luna’s and that she also had a pipe in her possession. He also stated that he only smoked the marijuana.

The officer had another police officer check Luna, who was found to have a piece of crystal-like substance in her pants pocket and a glass smoking pipe with residue in her jacket pocket, wrapped in a bra.

Basham and Luna were taken to the Newton County Jail.

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