HURRICANE – A self-proclaimed license plate collector was arrested Wednesday after collecting a stolen license plate and displaying it on his car.
While on patrol, officers ran the license plate of a Geo Metro traveling on State Street in Hurricane. When the license plate returned as stolen, police initiated a traffic stop of the vehicle, according to a probable cause statement written by Hurricane City Police Officer Spencer Lundell in support of the arrest.
The driver of the Geo Metro was identified as 33-year-old Brandon Lloyd Stewart, of Sigurd.
“(Stewart) stated that he is from Richfield and collects license plates,” Lundell wrote in the probable cause statement. “(Stewart) stated that the plate does not belong on the car, but (he) did not know that it was stolen.”
During an investigation into who the license plate belonged to, another officer and his K-9 partner arrived on scene, the statement of probable cause said. As the narcotics K-9 walked around the vehicle, he alerted to the presence of drugs inside the vehicle.
“(Stewart) stated that there was a small container of marijuana inside the vehicle,” Lundell said.
According to the probable cause statement, officers then located a pipe containing residue that tested positive for marijuana, and a small translucent bag with a white powdery substance that tested positive for methamphetamine.
During a field sobriety test, Stewart showed signs of impairment but refused to give a blood sample.
“(Stewart) stated that he has used methamphetamine in the past,” Lundell wrote, “but stated that he has not used it recently.”
A warrant was signed and Stewart’s blood was drawn and placed into evidence.
Stewart was arrested and booked into the Washington County Purgatory Correctional Facility.
He was charged with a third-degree felony for possession of drugs; a class A misdemeanor for possession of drugs; three class B misdemeanors for driving with measurable controlled substance, operating a vehicle without insurance and theft by receiving stolen property; and a class C misdemeanor for using plates registered to another vehicle.
His bail pending trial stands at $7,560.
Stewart made his initial court appearance Thursday and is scheduled to make his next court appearance on April 27.
Persons arrested or charged are presumed innocent until found guilty in a court of law or as otherwise decided by a trier-of-fact.
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