HAZARD – A Leslie County man was allegedly found with more than 300 pills and a loaded firearm during a traffic stop this past weekend, and is now facing a bevy of charges.
Hazard Police Officer Wilson Jones was off duty on May 26 when he reported that a man driving a Ford pickup appeared to be under the influence. Officer Arthur Gayheart responded to the scene where he conducted a traffic stop, pulling over 43-year-old Larry A. Lewis, of Smilax.
According to the arrest citation, Lewis was “uneasy on his feet and had slurred speech” upon contact with the officer, and later admitted to Gayheart and Patrolman Zach Miller that he had been to the methadone clinic earlier that day and had ingested the drug.
Officers obtained consent to search the vehicle, and that’s when they found drugs, cash and a loaded pistol, according to HPD Sergeant Randy Napier.
“When he searched the vehicle, under the driver’s side seat he found a bag, and … all these pills were inside that bag,” Napier said, adding that there were several types of pills, including Xanax, methadone and oxycodone, totaling 325 tablets in all. Police also located a Highpoint .380 firearm and $795 in cash.
Napier noted that while police did not see Lewis engaged in drug trafficking, the totality of the evidence including the pills, cash and firearm, all found in the same vehicle, indicates strongly that Lewis was illegally selling the medication.
Lewis is facing charges of first-degree trafficking in a controlled substance, third-degree trafficking, carrying a concealed deadly weapon and operating a motor vehicle under the influence. He was lodged in the Kentucky River Regional Jail.