A group travelling from Colorado in a stolen SUV were found after Clinton Police made a traffic stop on Highway 65 just after midnight on Tuesday, Aug. 15.
The report filed in the matter was when a Clinton Police officer was called to Walmart to help a woman start her car. While doing so, the woman told the officer of some people parked next to her in an SUV, a Honda CRX, who were acting suspicious. The officer helped the woman get her car started and, as he watched, a man and woman wearing backpacks came out of the Walmart and got in the Honda, which then left. It was 29 minutes before 1 a.m.
As the Honda pulled out on 65, the officer saw the driver was riding the brakes to give the impression the rear driving lights were working. As he followed somebody in the car tossed a cigarette out the window. The officer pulled the car over, coming to a stop at Gasoline Alley.
As the officer walked up to the driver’s door the driver, Avery Humberd, 19, of Aurora Colo. was lighting a cigarette, and blew smoke in the officer’s face as he stepped up, the report stated. The officer asked for the paperwork: License, registration and insurance, and the driver said he didn’t have a license and handed over a Colorado paper ID, per the report. The officer also asked for ID from the other three people in the SUV.
The front seat passenger said he didn’t have an ID, but gave the name “Martaviuos Tupton,” the rear driver’s side passenger said he was Jeromy Howard of Eminence, Mo. and the rear passenger side passenger handed over her Colorado driver’s license, showing her to be Michele Welch, 41 of Aurora, Colo. The officer noted here the strong smell of marijuana coming from the SUV.
The officer had Welch step out of the car and speak with him away from the others, asking her if there was anything illegal in the Honda. She told the officer there was some shake (a slang term for ground marijuana) and “two or three pipes in the vehicle,” the officer reported. With this the officer had the driver step out, asking him the same question. The man initially said “no,” the report stated, but later admitted there may be some marijuana in the car. The remaining two passengers were gotten out and asked the same question, each replying no, there was nothing illegal in the car.
The officer had the four take a seat by the roadside and a deputy watched them while he searched the SUV. Inside he found a sandwich and some numbing tablets in a backpack, nearby a box with several pistol bullets in it, 324 Sudafed tablets, a set of digital scales, a glass smoking pipe with some residue on it, baggies, latex gloves, rubber bands and some marijuana residue. He also found the driver’s birth certificate and social security card located with the contraband.
With that the officer returned his attention to the four and, with the deputy, placed them in the back of his and the deputy’s patrol cars. As they did so they found a glass pipe where the four had been sitting with some suspected methamphetamine residue in it. A second deputy arrived and took the four to jail while the officer and deputy finished searching the Honda.
Found during the second phase of the search was a CO2 pistol in a backpack “Tupton” said belonged to him, near it a sunglass case with a broken pipe, apparently used for smoking methamphetamine. There was also a bag of needles in the front pocket of a pair of pants sitting in the SUV, as well as a second backpack with an still-in-the-wrapper knife, hose and some tubing in it. This was the same backpack Welch was seen wearing out of the Walmart. The Honda was impounded and towed.
At the jail police found “Tupton” was actually Darius Jevon Marquise Slaughter, 19, also from Aurora, Colo. wanted on a felony warrant there. In questioning, one of the four admitted they had stopped at several Walmarts along the way to buy Sudafed. (While the purpose was not stated in the report, Sudafed is a common ingredient in illegal methamphetamine production.) The SUV, Welch said, belonged to a friend of her husband’s and “I hope they don’t report it stolen,” she was reported telling the officer.
The next day police received notice from the Aurora, Colorado police that the Honda was, in fact, stolen.
All four are currently held at the Van Buren County Jail. Charges include possession of drug paraphernalia, possession of drug paraphernalia with intent to manufacture, with Slaughter having the additional charge of criminal impersonation, and Avery with charges of no driver’s license and faulty equipment.