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Drugs, weapons found after traffic stop

Turn in front of lawman leads to Hot Springs man’s arrest on several charges by Steven Mross | January 4, 2019 at 2:36 a.m.

HOT SPRINGS -- A traffic stop over what authorities said was careless driving resulted in the arrest of a man on multiple felony charges.

Authorities said they found drugs, a stolen gun and multiple knives in the possession of Johnny Ray Clay, 52, who lists a Mountain Valley Street address. He was arrested around 11:30 p.m. Saturday and charged with simultaneous possession of a firearm and drugs, punishable by up to life in prison; possession of meth with purpose to deliver, punishable by up to 20 years, and theft by receiving of a firearm and three counts of possession of drug paraphernalia, punishable by up to six years.

Clay, who was also cited for careless and prohibited driving, driving on a suspended driver's license and no liability insurance, had his first appearance Monday in Garland County District Court.

According to the probable-cause affidavit, Hot Springs police Cpl. Zac Rostan was turning left onto Central Avenue from West Grand on a green light when he was cut off by a blue Dodge Dakota truck turning north from the outside lane into his path, forcing him to stop in the middle of his turn.

He stopped the Dakota in the 1100 block of Central and spoke with the driver, identified as Clay, and noted his hands were "very shaky" as he handed him his ID, the affidavit said. A computer check showed Clay's license was suspended and he had a warrant from another jurisdiction.

Rostan asked Clay to step out and informed he was going to cite him on the various charges and have his vehicle towed. He asked Clay if he had any weapons and Clay said he had a knife on him, according to the probable-cause affidavit, and Rostan located "several knives" on his person.

At this point, Clay also stated he had a pistol under his left arm and Rostan spotted a derringer in a shoulder holster, according to the affidavit. A computer check showed the gun had been reported stolen.

In searching Clay further, a container was found in his pants pocket containing two small bags of a substance that later tested positive for methamphetamine -- a total of 8.5 grams, according to the affidavit. In another pocket, it said, a set of digital scales were found with meth residue and another small bag with 0.3 gram of meth. Also found were a spoon, razor, two straws and a glass smoking pipe.

Once at the jail, in searching Clay's "multitude of pockets," jailers found another glass smoking device, the affidavit said, noting that agents with the 18th Judicial District East Drug Task Force were notified to assist in the investigation.

Metro on 01/04/2019

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