A recent routine traffic stop of a car resulted in the discovery of a bag with suspected heroin inside it, but neither the driver nor the passenger claimed to know anything about it.
Whitley District Judge Fred White entered not guilty pleas during Thursday afternoon’s arraignments for the driver Ewell Lawson, 44, and passenger Stanley Dean Lay, 48, both of Williamsburg, who are charged were importing heroin, first-degree possession of a controlled substance (heroin) and possession of drug paraphernalia.
In addition, White entered a not guilty plea for Lawson on the additional charges of second-offense operating a motor vehicle while under the influence of a substance, driving on a DUI suspended license, failure to wear seatbelts, license not in possession, and no operator’s/moped license.
About 7 p.m. on May 18, Kentucky State Police Trooper Donnie Jones observed a 2013 white Volkswagen Jetta traveling north on US25W coming from Tennessee with the driver not wearing a seatbelt, according to an arrest citation.
When Jones walked up to the vehicle he observed multiple needles in the floor board of the vehicle, and determined that Lawson had a suspended license for DUI, a citation read.
“After detaining Mr. Lawson, I looked back into the driver seat and in plain view was a bag with suspected heroin inside of it,” Jones wrote. “At the time of the stop, I was not able to single out who the bag belonged to.”
After searching the car, Lawson located multiple needles throughout the vehicle.
Lawson refused a request to have his blood drawn for toxicology testing, but field sobriety tests were administered, according to an arrest citation.
In addition, Williamsburg Police Lt. Brandon White, who is a drug recognition expert, administered a drug recognition evaluation to Lawson at the Whitley County Detention Center, according to an arrest citation.
During Thursday’s arraignment, White appointed the public advocate’s office to represent each defendant.