Two arrested during traffic stop
Picayune Police Dept Assistant Chief Jeremy Magri told WRJW News that on December 20th just before 2:00pm., a Picayune Police Department officer was dispatched to the area of Highway 43 North and Beech Street in reference to a reckless driver in a white 2006 Hyundai Sonata driving eastbound toward the intersection of Highway 43 North and Highway 11 North.
When the officer arrived, he observed a vehicle matching the description swerving from side to side in the eastbound lane, turned his patrol car around, activated his blue lights in attempt to pull the car over near the intersection of Highway 11, but the vehicle kept going. The officer then activated his siren and the vehicle pulled over adjacent to Read Road on Highway 43 North.
Magri said that when the officer exited his patrol car, he noticed the driver, a male later identified as Denny Paul Stewart, age 54, of 1049 Avenue F, Bogalusa, LA, hand the passenger something while the officer was approaching the vehicle. As the office approached the passenger side of the vehicle, he observed the passenger, a female later identified as Samantha McClendon, age 51, of 518 Caswell Avenue, Bogalusa, LA, stuffing something in her pants. The officer also observed that McClendon had an open bottle of a 10 ounce Jack Daniels Watermelon Punch between her legs.
The officer removed McClendon from the vehicle and placed her into custody and called for a female police officer to come to the scene to perform a search on McClendon. When the female officer arrived, she conducted the search on McClendon and found one orange pill bottle containing 17 pills identified as Xanax and 3 light blue pills identified as Oxycodone.
Through investigation at the traffic stop, it was learned that Stewart had handed the pill bottle to McClendon for her to hide it. At this time, the officer asked Stewart to exit the vehicle and a pat-down of Stewart was performed. Officers located a cellophane wrapper containing a folded up piece of foil containing a powdery substance believed to be Heroin.
Stewart was arrested and charged with two counts of Possession of a Controlled Substance (felony—for the Oxycodone and Heroin) and one count of Possession of a Controlled Substance (misdemeanor- for the Zanax). McClendon was charged with the same charges as Stewart and also for Possession of Open Beer.
Magri said both suspects were transported to the Criminal Justice Center, booked, and incarcerated on the charges mentioned.