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Missing license plate results in meth bust

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McKinley County Sheriff Deputy Roane Alan was running radar on U.S. Highway 491, Aug. 24 when he observed a silver Ford Taurus traveling south without a license plate.

Alan proceeded to follow the vehicle and conducted a traffic stop near the 1.5 mile marker.

After making contact with the driver, Nicole Brown, 35 of Gallup, Alan asked her to show him the vehicle documents. While she searched for them, Alan noted there were other occupants in the car who were not wearing seatbelts. Alan asked the passengers for their identification cards, at which point they become nervous.

Alan obtained identification details on the passengers and ran the info through Metro Dispatch. He was advised two male occupants had active arrest warrants. Jeffery Tsosie, 47, of Saint Michaels, was placed in Alan’s unit without incident.

Deputy Johnson Lee arrived on-scene to assist Alan and spoke with Brown. Alan spoke to another passenger, Brandon Lee, 36, of Saint Michaels, who was revealed to have small bags containing a crystal-like residue in them. Alan knew from training and experience these bags could be used to transport illegal substances, so Brandon Lee was also placed in his unit.

Deputy Lee and Alan got permission from Brown to search the vehicle and found one other passenger, Charley Myrtle, 38, of Gallup. Brown let the officers search her purse and they found another small bag containing more of the crystal-like substance.

Alan determined through training and experience the substance was methamphetamine. Myrtle was placed in Deputy Lee’s patrol unit, and Brown, Lee, and Tsosie were transported to McKinley County Adult Detention Center and booked on charges of possession of a controlled substance.

Brown was given a traffic citation and she and the vehicle were released.

McKinley County Sheriff’s Office did a field test of the substance, which tested presumptive positive for methamphetamine.

Staff Reports