A Washington C.H. man was arrested on felony drug and weapon charges just after midnight Monday during a traffic stop.
Andre Thomas, Jr. is being held in the Fayette County Jail on a $12,500 bond. He was charged with having weapons while under disability (a third-degree felony), improperly handling firearms in a motor vehicle (a fourth-degree felony), and trafficking in drugs (a fifth-degree felony).
A Washington Police Department officer initiated the traffic stop on Columbus Avenue for speeding and failing to yield to a traffic control device on South Elm Street, according to reports. While speaking with the driver, identified as Thomas, an officer reportedly smelled the odor of marijuana coming from the vehicle. Officers questioned Thomas about the smell, and he advised that there was burnt marijuana inside a glass bottle.
“Mr. Thomas was advised that due to the odor of raw marijuana emitting from the vehicle a search of the vehicle would be conducted,” the officer wrote in his report. “Mr. Thomas advised he did not believe a search was necessary and officers again advised Mr. Thomas that the search would be conducted and he was requested to exit the vehicle to which he obliged.”
During a pat-down of Thomas to check for weapons, he allegedly told officers there was a pistol on the driver’s seat where he had just been sitting. Thomas was secured into handcuffs at that time, and officers told him that he was not under arrest, but was being detained.
The handgun seized by officers was found to have a loaded magazine, reports said. A background search was made and found that Thomas was a convicted felon for robbery. Thomas was then placed under arrest and into the back of a patrol car.
During the search of Thomas’ vehicle, a black book bag was found in the back seat. A search of the book bag revealed approximately 29 grams of marijuana along with several baggies and a scale with marijuana residue, according to reports.
Thomas was transported to the Fayette County Jail.
Reach Record-Herald Editor Ryan Carter at 740-313-0352.