Taos man charged with DWI picks up drug trafficking charges

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Hendrix Caje Johnston was driving through Ranchos de Taos on Monday (July 3) when members of New Mexico State Police pulled him over for allegedly speeding and crossing traffic lines. He was initially only charged with DWI, but after a search warrant approved for the driver’s vehicle led to the alleged discovery of narcotics, multiple felony charges were added to Johnston’s rap sheet.

The suspect, whom police have identified as a Taos County resident, was stopped by a state police officer around 4 p.m. while traveling along State Road 68. According to a state police press release, Johnston, 25, “did not pull over immediately” and traveled a short distance before stopping at the side of the road. The release, however, did not specify whether Johnston was confused as to whether his was the vehicle the officer intended to pull over or whether he was in an unsafe area to comply when given the command.

When the officer approached the vehicle, he stated that he could smell a “strong odor” of marijuana that seemed to be coming from within the suspect’s vehicle. Johnston’s eyes were allegedly “red” and he appeared “sluggish,” according to the arresting officer. The suspect admitted to having consumed marijuana, but said that he did so only the day before. He also allegedly admitted to having marijuana inside the vehicle.

He then agreed to take a sobriety test, leading the officer to determine that “Mr. Johnston appeared to be impaired and unable to safely operate the vehicle.” He was immedietely arrested for DWI.

Upon further inspection, the officer said they could see drug paraphernalia in the console of the suspect’s vehicle, which was then towed to the New Mexico State Police office in Taos. A request for a search warrant was approved, leading officers to allegedly discover “containers and bags consistent with the trafficking of narcotics, as well as scales, devices commonly used for the production of narcotics, and other drug paraphernalia.” Police also claimed to have located heroin and methamphetamine, leading to additional drug possession charges – both felonies.

Public Information Officer Elizabeth Armijo stated that officers had performed initial field tests on the suspected narcotics with drug testing kits, “thus giving [probable] cause for those charges,” she said. The drugs, however, have not been submitted to the State Crime Lab for “further, specific testing,” she said.

While the initial tests may have provided probable cause to levy the charges, a failure to send drugs to the lab in a “timely manner” may lead to charges being dismissed. Such was the result in one of Johnston prior cases from 2016. Just this year, the fourth-degree felony drug possession charge stemming from the case was dropped “on the grounds that the drugs in this matter were not sent to the State Crime Lab in a timely fashion,” according to court records. The decision on the matter came less than one month ago: June 14. Prior to the charge, Johnston’s record included only relatively minor traffic violations, according to New Mexico court records.

http://www.taosnews.com/stories/taos-man-charged-with-drugs-trafficking,41645

HS teacher charged with DWI

A Jacksonville High School teacher has been charged with a DWI after she allegedly blew 0.19 over the holiday weekend.Laura Ashley Beard, 26, of Davis Street in Jacksonville was arrested Sunday by the Highway Patrol and charged with driving while impaired and civil revocation of her driver’s license.When the Highway Patrol pulled Beard over on Ramsey Road near Waterstone Lane in Jacksonville at 2:10 a.m., there was a strong odor of alcohol, according to the findings report in the court documents.Beard allegedly admitted to the trooper that she’d drank two beers before driving; she’s accused of having a blood alcohol level of 0.19, according to the breathalyzer test results listed in her court file.Her license is now attached to the inside of her court folder.Beard was set with a $500 bond and court documents stated she could be released to a sober and responsible adult.When asked if she’d like to make a comment, Beard said she wanted to call her boss first. Her lawyer, Bob Warlick, then reached out to The Daily News and said he was advising her not to comment at this time.Beard is listed as a 10th grade English teacher with Jacksonville High School on the school’s website.MORE VIDEO:Earlier today took a visit to Grainger Stadium in Kinston, home of the Down East Wood Ducks.PlayMuteCurrent Time 0:01/Duration Time 0:13Loaded: 0%Progress: 0%FullscreenAutoplay ToggleShe’s an AVID elective teacher who graduated from the high school herself in 2009 and earned her teaching degree at the University of North Carolina at Wilmington, according to the website.“She is a North Carolina Teaching Fellow and is thankful to be working back in Onslow County, especially at the greatest high school in Jacksonville!” according to her teacher’s page on the school’s website.Suzie Ulbrich, the public information officer for Onslow County Schools, said Beard was still an employee of the schools as of late Thursday.“Repercussions vary depending upon circumstances — it can range from a letter of reprimand to termination,” Ulbrich replied when asked about the school’s policies for DWI charges.The policies also require employees to divulge information about an arrest to their supervisor within five days of the incident, Ulbrich said, adding that whether the school knew about the arrest prior to The Daily News asking about it was not a matter of public record.Beard’s next court date is scheduled for Sept. 5, according to N.C. Courts.

Source: Jacksonville HS teacher charged with DWI

Sheriff’s captain retires weeks after arrest on DWI charge

WESTFIELD — A captain with the Union County Sheriff’s Department retired just weeks after he was charged with drunk driving.

William Bukowski, 49, allegedly crashed a department SUV into a parked pick-up truck. He was charged with driving while intoxicated and careless driving for the collision at 9:53 p.m. on East Dudley Avenue in Westfield on April 9. The incident sent a previously parked Chevy Colorado careening across a road and onto a front lawn.

At the scene of the crash, Bukowski told police a deer had run into the street in front of his county-owned Chevy Tahoe, causing him to strike the truck to avoid the animal, according to the police report.

“Through the course of the investigation (Bukowski) was determined to be operating the (Tahoe) while impaired due to alcohol,” police said in the report.

Bukowski, of Whitehouse Station, was arrested and later released to a sober adult, officials said.

Bukowski’s attorney, Joseph Spagnoli, said his client has pleaded not guilty to the charges.

The case was transferred from Westfield to Mountainside Municipal Court to avoid a conflict of interest. Westfield municipal court Judge Brenda Coppla Cuba is also the presiding municipal court judge for the county, and as such, presides over first appearances at the Union County jail where sheriff’s officer operate in the court.

A court date is set for July 20.

Union County Sheriff Joseph Cryan, when asked about Bukowski, issued a statement saying his department ‘takes this incident and its potential devastating consequences with extreme concern.”

“First and foremost, we are grateful no one was injured,” Cryan said. “Upon notification of the incident, all proper procedures and protocols were followed. Captain Bukowski never returned to work and retired at the end of June,” he said.

He said all 250 officers in the department were retrained on alcohol awareness for both themselves and what to look for in co-workers.

http://www.nj.com/union/index.ssf/2017/07/sheriff_dept_captain_retires_weeks_after_dwi_charg.html

Rio Grande City lawyer charged with DWI, drug possession

Man claims substance, which found to be cocaine, was prescribed

EDINBURG — A Rio Grande City lawyer faces state drug and driving while intoxicated charges after he was pulled over Monday night in Edinburg after running a red light.

Juan Eduardo Garcia was booked in the Hidalgo County jail on the afternoon of July 4 on one count of driving while intoxicated and one count of possession of a controlled substance.

He was released later that day on a $7,500 personal recognizance bond, jail records state.

Garcia was stopped by Edinburg Police around 8:50 p.m. Monday at the intersection of Jackson and Trenton Roads.

During the traffic stop Garcia admitted he made a mistake running the red light and had one beer earlier in the day, according to the criminal complaint.

The officer noted that Garcia showed signs of intoxication such as “red blood watery eyes, slurred speech and a strong odor of alcohol.”

Garcia refused to submit to a blood-alcohol level test.

The officer also discovered what appeared to be a white powdery substance on a dollar bill inside his wallet, an allegation Garcia denies.

“I don’t believe they have any substance,” Garcia said in a telephone interview Thursday. “The prescription will hold up.”

The 41-year-old attorney did not elaborate on what the prescription was, however, the substance, which weighed 1 gram, later tested for cocaine, the complaint states.

Garcia has been a licensed lawyer in Texas since 2005 and specializes in criminal defense.

“I’m a little bit disappointed on this whole issue,” he said.

If convicted of the most serious charge, possession of a controlled substance, Garcia faces between two to 10 years in prison.

http://www.themonitor.com/news/local/article_26ac654c-62bc-11e7-b87e-5ba4c2266253.html

Distiller disputes argument that ‘nips’ are behind increase in drunken driving

Drunken-driving convictions are on the rise in Maine at the same time sales of miniature liquor bottles are skyrocketing, but the LePage administration and a major distiller disagree about whether the so-called nips are responsible for the increase in OUIs.The issue is central to a debate about banning the sale of nips in Maine, which could affect jobs at a Lewiston bottling plant and cost the state tens of millions of dollars in revenue in years to come.A ban on the sale of 50-milliliter liquor bottles in Maine could affect jobs at a Lewiston bottling plant and cost the state tens of millions of dollars in revenue in years to come. Staff photo by Michele McDonaldRELATED HEADLINESGov. LePage forges ahead with bid to stop lucrative sales of ‘nips’ liquor bottlesLewiston liquor bottler says ending nips sales would have ‘drastic impact’ on companyAfter a few misses, LePage nails argument against nips Search photos available for purchase: Photo Store →Lawmakers last month overrode the governor’s veto of a bill that requires retailers to collect a 5-cent deposit on every 50-milliliter bottle beginning in 2019. Supporters argued that adding nips to Maine’s “bottle bill” would help reduce roadside litter.LePage originally opposed the bill because he said it would hurt businesses and state finances, and he now argues it does not do enough to discourage drivers from drinking behind the wheel. He has asked the state Bureau of Alcoholic Beverages and Lottery Operations to formally begin the process of “delisting,” or removing, nips in Maine.In June, the bureau’s director filed a recommendation in support of delisting with the State Liquor and Lottery Commission, drawing a connection between the small liquor bottles and drunken driving. The number of convictions for operating under the influence decreased 38 percent from 2006 to 2014, but convictions have risen in the past two years, according to the state. At the same time, sales of nips have been growing by as much as 40 percent annually.That combination of trends, along with complaints about empty bottles on roadsides, proves nips are enabling people to drink and drive, the administration says.Sazerac Co., which makes Fireball Cinnamon Whisky, operates a bottling and finishing plant in Lewiston. In a July 3 filing with the liquor commission, an attorney for Sazerac said more evidence is needed to link nips and drinking behind the wheel.“The (beverages and lottery) bureau’s rush to judgment tells us nothing about whether there is a correlation between the sale of (50-milliliter) spirits and the increase in OUI convictions, and its failure to procure any support for its conclusion from law enforcement is telling,” the filing reads.SEEKING CORRELATION IN NUMBERSNips sales in Maine topped 8 million bottles in 2016. The most popular brand was Fireball, which represented more than 40 percent of all nips sales in Maine in the last fiscal year. Nips account for only 6.6 percent of the beverages and lottery bureau’s profits from spirits in the past year, but sales of the 50-milliliter bottlers are growing at a faster pace than any other liquor product.However, legislators said complaints about the number of small liquor bottles along roadsides led to the passage of L.D. 56, which established the nickel deposit.In his veto letter, LePage said the bill does not address the issue of people drinking nips while driving and then tossing them out the car window.“Absent increased penalties, which this bill failed to impose, an alternative approach is to discontinue the sale of (50-milliliter) bottles containing alcohol altogether,” LePage wrote. “If this bill passes, I have directed the Bureau of Alcoholic Beverages and Lottery Operations to work with the Liquor and Lottery Commission to delist these products for sale in Maine.”Gregory Mineo, the bureau’s director, filed his recommendation to that effect with the commission June 23.Mineo said convictions for liquor OUIs had been declining annually – from 5,548 convictions in 2006 to 3,462 in 2014. However, those numbers have trended upward since then. There were 3,539 convictions in 2015 and 3,735 in 2016 – roughly an 8 percent increase over two years.At the same time, nips sales have been rising steadily. In 2007, the number of 50-milliliter bottles sold statewide was 511,331. In 2014, the year before liquor OUI convictions began to increase again, 3.5 million nips were sold. That number grew to 5.5 million in 2015 and 8.4 million in 2016, representing a 142 percent jump over two years. This year, sales are expected to reach 12 million.Advertisement“It is self-evident that discarded containers along roadsides come from occupants of vehicles,” Mineo

Source: Distiller disputes LePage’s argument that ‘nips’ are behind increase in drunken driving – Portland Press Herald

Nevada launches sales of legal recreational marijuana

 Nevada dispensaries were legally allowed to sell recreational marijuana starting at 12:01 a.m. Saturday.LAS VEGAS (AP) — Nevada became the fifth state in the U.S. with stores selling marijuana for recreational purposes, opening a market early Saturday that is eventually expected to outpace any other in the nation thanks to the millions of tourists who flock to Las Vegas.People began purchasing marijuana shortly after midnight, just months after voters approved legalization in November and marking the fastest turnaround from the ballot box to retail sales in the country.Hundreds of people lined up at Essence Cannabis Dispensary on the Las Vegas Strip. People were excited and well-behaved as a lone security guard looked on. A valet was available to park the cars of customers.A cheer erupted when the doors opened.Those 21 and older with a valid ID can buy up to an ounce of pot. Tourists are expected to make nearly two of every three recreational pot purchases in Nevada, but people can only use the drug in a private home.It remains illegal to light up in public areas, including the Las Vegas Strip, casinos, bars, restaurants, parks, convention centers and concert halls — places frequently visited by tourists. Violators face a $600 fine.And driving under the influence of marijuana is still illegal.Despite the limits on where people can get high and restrictions on where the industry can advertise, dispensaries worked furiously to prepare for the launch. They stamped labels on pot products, stocked up their shelves, added security and checkout stations, and announced specials.Desert Grown Farms hired about 60 additional employees. Workers in scrubs, hair nets and surgical masks slapped stickers on sealed jars this week as others checked on marijuana plants or carefully weighed buds.“It would be a good problem to have if I couldn’t meet my demand,” said CEO Armen Yemenidjian, whose Desert Grown Farms owns the only dispensary that is selling recreational pot on the Las Vegas Strip, across the street from the Stratosphere hotel.Some dispensaries took to social media to spread the word or tried to draw in buyers with special events. Some planned to give away free marijuana to their first 100 customers or throw parties with barbecues and food trucks later in the afternoon.Some facilities are in strip malls, while others, in stereotypical Las Vegas fashion, are in neighborhoods shared by strip clubs.Nevada joins Colorado, Oregon, Washington and Alaska in allowing adults to buy the drug that’s still banned by the federal government.

Source: Nevada launches sales of legal recreational marijuana | TahoeDailyTribune.com

MTV condemns Teen Mom star Ryan Edwards after scene of him driving under the influence

When viewers tuned in on Monday, they witnessed Edwards at the steering wheel with fiancée Mackenzie Standifer in the passenger seat on the way to their elopement. But instead of seeing the happy couple beaming with joy en route to their nuptials, audiences watched Standifer question his sobriety.

Following an outpour of criticism on social media questioning MTV about why it did not intervene, the network has issued a statement.

“MTV does not condone driving under the influence,” an MTV spokesperson said in a statement obtained by PEOPLE. “Ryan’s erratic behavior was due to actions that he took without anyone’s prior knowledge.”

On Monday’s episode, as Edwards was behind the wheel, Standifer looked visibly worried and tight-lipped. Keeping on eye on him, she had to tap him several times to get him to focus on the road; his eyes visibly looked dazed and slightly shut. At one point, she took the wheel in her hand from the passenger seat to straighten their car on the road.

MTV

Turning toward the cameras placed inside the vehicle, she began to shut them off. Although the cameras were turned off, the audio continued to roll and caught what she asked her soon-to-be husband.

“Did you take Xanax again?” she was heard asking.

“Um, I don’t … I don’t have any,” he responded with a mumble.

“You did,” she stated.

“I put that on my kid’s life,” he answered, denying he took any form of drugs or medication. (Edwards shares 7-year-old son Bentley with Teen Mom OG star Maci Bookout.)

While watching the episode, one Twitter user wrote, “@MTV you guys need to hold ryan edwards responsible for driving while intoxicated. @TeenMomog.”

“WHEN RYAN EDWARDS FROM TEEN MOM KILLS A FAMILY WHILE MTV KNOWINGLY LETS HIM DRIVE INTOXICATED ON DRUGS WHILE THEY FILM IT, THEY WONT CARE,” another Twitter user tweeted.

MTV condemns ‘Teen Mom’ star after scene of him driving under the influence

Stephanie Davis has been arrested

Stephanie DavisThe alleged argument comes just a week after the 28-year-old Irish hunk – who spent six weeks in rehab earlier this year – fell off the wagon again and was seen sleeping rough on a park bench following a boozy night out in London.

A source said at the time: “Jeremy was in high spirits when he arrived and started drinking. He didn’t seem to care who saw him and knocked back a lot of booze.

“He was pretty worse for wear by the end of the night.

“It’s sad really because most of the people around knew he was clean and had been trying to stay sober. But it seemed nothing would stop him having a few drinks.”

His relapse at the end of last month came shortly after he had a blazing row with the former ‘Hollyoaks’ star at her home in Liverpool but admitted recently that it was his fault because he can’t control his drink and is terrified of losing the brunette beauty.

He said: “It was totally my fault and there are no excuses for what I did. I relapsed. When I pick up a drink or put up a tweet it’s self-sabotage, it’s self-harming.

“When I sense fear I tend to strike out instead of being able to deal with things.

“I’m very insecure. I’m scared of people leaving me. If I felt like Steph was going to leave me I would do something out of anger, like in the past. There’s no excuse, but a lot of my behaviour is irrational and I am working hard to change that.”

The ‘Beauty School Cop Out’ star’s friends and management are now desperately trying to get him to return to rehab in order to beat his demons once and for all.

Stephanie and Jeremy met last January while taking part in ‘Celebrity Big Brother’ but their controversial relationship came crashing down just weeks after they left the abode when they locked horns and had a scrap during a holiday away.

The pretty star then found out she was pregnant with her now five-month-old son Caben-Albi but Jeremy refused to believe he belonged to him until he was born.

After a paternity test confirmed he was the little one’s biological father, the pair decided to give things another go for the sake of their child.

The 24-year-old actress has reportedly been detained by police on suspicion of Grievously Bodily Harm (GBH) after she allegedly attacked her on-off boyfriend Jeremy McConnell during a late night spat at a hotel, according to the Mirror Online.

http://www.msn.com/en-ie/entertainment/celebrity/stephanie-davis-has-been-arrested/ar-BBDEjRN?li=BBr5KbJ

Darren Carrington suspended after hitting drive-thru pole

Oregon Ducks top wide receiver Darren Carrington has been indefinitely suspended by the team after he was arrested Saturday morning.The 22-year-old junior was arrested early Saturday morning for driving under the influence of intoxicants after he hit a pole in a McDonald’s drive-thru in Eugene, Oregon. Carrington was also cited for careless driving and making an improper right turn, Eugene police spokeswoman Melinda McLaughlin told The Oregonian.Horn defeats Pacquiao via controversial decisionStephen A.: Judges’ decision on Pacquiao-Horn ‘bogus’Iguodala returning to Golden StateStenhouse Jr. wins in DaytonascCarrington’s bail was posted at $590. He is scheduled to appear in court on July 21.The 6-foot-2 receiver averaged 14.1 yards per catch for the Ducks last season, including five touchdowns, and he led the team with 50.5 receiving yards per game.Through a spokesperson, Oregon’s new coach, Willie Taggart, told The Oregonian that the program is continuing to gather information, but Carrington is banned from “all football team activities” due to the arrest.Carrington made waves off the field last season, as the team internally handled an issue with the wide receiver. At the time, The Oregonian reported that Carrington has been accused of pushing a former student near campus after a game. The former student was injured.As a freshman, Carrington was not available for the national title game due to disciplinary reasons, with sources saying that the wide receiver had failed a drug test.

Source: Darren Carrington suspended after hitting drive-thru pole – ABC News

Nevada state senator’s wife admits 3rd DUI, gets treatment

CARSON CITY (AP) — A Nevada state senator’s wife with two previous drunk driving convictions was sentenced to alcohol treatment after acknowledging to a judge she was driving under the influence when she was stopped and arrested in January.The Gardnerville Record-Courier reports that if 52-year-old Sherese Settelmeyer completes treatment within five years, her driving under the influence conviction will be reduced from a felony to a misdemeanor.If she fails it, she will face one to six years in prison and fine of up to $5,000.Settelmeyer was previously convicted of driving under the influence in 2010 and 2013.Defense attorney Ron Cauley says she is legally qualified and a classic candidate for the sentence reduction program.She is the wife of Sen. James Settelmeyer of Minden, south of Carson City.

Source: Nevada state senator’s wife admits 3rd DUI, gets treatment | KSNV