Traffic stop on allegedly stolen Jeep yields two arrests
A traffic stop on a reportedly stolen Jeep Thursday resulted in the arrest of the driver and passenger on felony charges after drugs were allegedly found in the passenger’s possession.
The driver, Michelle Dianne Upshaw, 54, who lists a Laredo Loop address, was taken into custody around 12:15 p.m. and charged with theft by receiving over $1,000, punishable by up to six years in prison.
The passenger, Casey Lee Lowman, 40, who lists a Scott Street address, was arrested at the same time and charged with a felony count of possession of a controlled substance, meth, punishable by up to six years in prison, and a misdemeanor count of possession of a controlled substance, marijuana, punishable by up to one year in jail.
Upshaw, who also had a local warrant for a probation violation, was being held on a $12,500 bond and Lowman, who had a probation violation warrant out of White County, was being held on a zero bond. Both were set to appear Friday in Garland County District Court.
According to court records, Upshaw was convicted on April 27, 2020, of two counts of possession of a controlled substance, involving meth and hydrocodone, and possession of drug paraphernalia and was sentenced to six years’ supervised probation which was revoked a year later and a warrant issued because she repeatedly failed to report to her probation officer, failed to show proof of employment and failed to pay her fines and fees.
Lowman was convicted on Oct. 5, 2016, in White County of possession of a controlled substance, meth, and sentenced to six years’ probation which was revoked and a warrant issued on Oct. 5, 2022, because he had changed his residence without notifying his probation officer and had repeatedly failed to report.
According to the probable cause affidavit, shortly before noon Thursday, Hot Springs police Officer Nathan Thomas was patrolling when he saw a green 1994 Jeep Cherokee pulling out of the parking lot of Walmart, 1601 Albert Pike, headed west. After a computer check, he determined the license plate was one that had allegedly been reported stolen Tuesday from the 2000 block of Central Avenue.
He attempted to get behind the vehicle as it turned south onto Hammond Drive and then it pulled into the parking lot of the All Washed Up Coin Laundry at 1819 Albert Pike and he saw the white female driver, later identified as Upshaw, starting to exit the vehicle.
Thomas made a felony traffic stop, ordering Upshaw to step away from the vehicle, face away from him and walk backward to his unit where she was detained. Upshaw allegedly made a spontaneous statement that she had not stolen the vehicle.
Meanwhile, other officers detained the passenger, identified as Lowman, and a computer check revealed the warrant for his arrest so he was taken into custody. Upon searching him, officers allegedly found a small blue container on his person which contained 0.2 grams of marijuana and 0.1 grams of what later tested positive for meth.