An employee of the Horseshoe Bend Animal Control is facing several charges following a traffic stop.
According to an affidavit for warrant of arrest filed in Izard County Jan. 2, on New Years Eve, Deputy Caeden Wolfe conducted a traffic stop on 58-year-old Donnie Britt after he was seen driving in an erratic manner.
When making contact with Britt, Wolfe noted his movements were rapid and atypical compared to other stops.
While speaking to Wolfe, Britt said he had just left work at the animal shelter and an issue with a dog at the shelter had caused him to be distracted.
Wolfe could smell the odor of marijuana coming from the vehicle and asked Britt to step from the truck. Britt grabbed his phone, wallet and other items as he exited the vehicle and consented to field sobriety tests.
After failing several of the tests, Wolfe told Deputy Brent Engles about his observations and asked him to smell the interior of Britt’s vehicle.
Wolfe then asked Britt if he had anything illegal in his vehicle and was told there was marijuana inside and that Britt had smoked earlier in the day after leaving work at the animal shelter. Britt said he did not have a medical marijuana card and was then placed under arrest.
Britt then began to argue with the officers and requested a citation for being on the phone instead of being arrested.
He then questioned the officer’s training and was provided with an explanation. “Donnie seemed to believe his clean record should mitigate his potential DWI charge,” the affidavit stated.
Britt then told Wolfe he was just getting into law enforcement, citing his job at the animal shelter and as animal control officer as a position of law enforcement.
Britt was placed in handcuffs and the contents of his pockets were removed. He was placed in the patrol unit and began yelling when told his vehicle would be towed. He requested he be allowed to move his vehicle to his home around the corner but was told no.
Wolfe noted Britt began to experience mood changes and when a search of his vehicle was conducted, Britt questioned the officer’s authority to search.
During a search, in addition to marijuana, drug paraphernalia was recovered from the vehicle as well as methamphetamine.
Britt requested Wolfe remove the city truck keys from his personal vehicle and then informed officers they would need to get a warrant to search the bed of his truck.
When told a hold would be placed on the truck, Britt granted permission for the bed to be searched.
While being transported to the jail, Britt said he’d forgotten about the methamphetamine in his vehicle. When later asked about the items recovered from his vehicle, Britt said the methamphetamine was a “Christmas deal” and that he’d last used the drug on Dec. 28. When asked about the bag which contained marijuana andparaphernalia, Britt said the bag traveled with him from truck to truck implying that the bag had been in his city-issued vehicle.
Once at the jail, Britt agreed to undergo additional sobriety tests which he failed.
On Jan. 2, Izard County Investigator Blake Cruz agreed to file charges in Circuit Court and took possession of the evidence which included an Altoids can containing a plastic baggie containing methamphetamine, two used plastic baggies containing white residue, a metal pipe and razor blade, a second round tin can containing a green vegetable material weighing less than four ounces, red metal pipe with burnt residue and a cut straw.
As a result, Britt has been charged with possession of a schedule II-controlled substance, a class B felony; possession of drug paraphernalia, a class A misdemeanor; DWI, failure to drive on the right side of the roadway, possession of a schedule VI-controlled substance, a class A misdemeanor. His bond was set at $10,000.