Passenger in traffic stop allegedly had gun, drugs; arrested on felony charges
A Jessieville woman who was a passenger in a traffic stop by Hot Springs police was arrested Friday afternoon on felony charges after a gun and drugs were allegedly found in her possession.
Kayla Marie Harper, 32, who lists a Little Blakely Creek Road address, was taken into custody around 2:30 p.m. and charged with simultaneous possession of drugs and a firearm, punishable by up to life in prison, and possession of a controlled substance, meth, possession of drug paraphernalia, and tampering with physical evidence, each punishable by up to six years.
Harper was being held on a zero bond and was set to appear Monday in Garland County District Court. According to court records, Harper lists no prior felony history, but pleaded guilty to misdemeanor counts of possession of marijuana and possession of drug paraphernalia on Nov. 2, 2020, and was sentenced to 60 days in jail and one year of probation.
According to the probable cause affidavit, around 1:45 p.m. Friday, HSPD Officer John Albright saw a white GMC Yukon in a parking lot in the 300 block of Albert Pike Road and noted the vehicle showed to have unconfirmed insurance.
As the vehicle started to leave the lot, Albright made a traffic stop and made contact with the male driver, who was found to have a suspended driver’s license and was a parolee with a search waiver on file.
He was removed along with the front seat passenger, identified as Harper, and a male back seat passenger. While checking the driver’s side area Albright reportedly found a black handbag in the center console.
He opened it and allegedly found two baggies with 1.9 grams of what later tested positive for meth. All three occupants were detained and Albright started speaking with Harper. After being read her rights, she reportedly stated “without hesitation” the substance found was meth and it belonged to her.
When asked if there was anything else in the vehicle, she allegedly admitted there was a handgun. Officers then located a black Ruger .45-caliber pistol under the front passenger seat that was fully loaded with one in the chamber.
Albright escorted Harper toward his patrol unit and she reportedly stopped him and stated she had a meth pipe hidden in her privates. Albright had a female officer respond to the scene who took Harper to a bathroom at a nearby business and watched as she retrieved the pipe.
The driver was reportedly released with a citation and the other passenger was released without further incident.