News and Tribune

February 5, 2013

Clarksville police make drug arrest during traffic stop

Jeffersonville man faces third syringe possession charge since October

By GARY POPP
gary.popp@newsandtribune.com

CLARKSVILLE — A Jeffersonville man was arrested in Clarksville on Friday for unlawful possession of a hypodermic needle, police reported.

It is the third time Joshua Thurman Smith, 28, of 1727 Green St., has been arrested on the D felony charge in just more than four months.

Despite Smith’s recent arrest history, officials with the Michael L. Becher Adult Correctional Complex said he was released Tuesday, four days after being booked in the jail.

Clarksville police found Smith with a needle in his right sock during a traffic stop. Prior to the stop being made, according to the probable-cause affidavit, the officer pulled next to the vehicle — which was driven by Smith and occupied by a man in the passenger seat — and told the men that their vehicle had a broken headlight.

“[Smith] began acting very suspicious and then lied to me stating he was heading to Walmart when he was exactly driving away from Walmart, while his passenger was stating they were going to a bar,” the officer noted in the report.

The officer then conducted a traffic stop, which resulted in Smith’s arrest.

He was charged Tuesday in Clark County Circuit Court No. 2 for possessing the needle and false informing police, a class B misdemeanor, by providing a fictitious birth date. Smith is scheduled to return to the court Feb. 19 for an initial hearing.

He was arrested in an unrelated incident by Clarksville police Jan. 16 and later charged in Clark County Circuit Court No. 4 with unlawful possession of a syringe. Police were called to Walmart after Smith and a female were seen by employees stealing cold cuts, soft drinks and mustard.

Police responded and located Smith and the woman.

During a search of Smith, a syringe was located in his possession.

“[The needle] did not appear to have been used or have any substance inside,” police reported.

Smith told the officer that it was his mother’s needle and that she was diabetic.

Police reported that Smith and the woman both admitted to using heroin.

According to court documents, Smith appeared in court Jan. 25, but records have not been updated of his next scheduled court appearance stemming from the charge as of press time.

Smith was arrested Sept. 27 after Clarksville police made a stop on a vehicle in the parking lot of First Savings Bank on East Lewis and Clark Parkway.

The stop was made, according to the police report, after the officer saw the driver of the vehicle make motions with her right hand that gave him reason to believe she was trying to conceal items in the console area.

All four passengers of the vehicle, including Smith, were told to exit the vehicle. As police questioned Smith, he said his girlfriend, who was also in the vehicle, was carrying syringes in her purse that belonged to him. Police searched the woman’s purse and located three syringes, a metal spoon with burn marks and four plastic bags containing brown residue.

Smith was charged several days later in Clark County Circuit Court No. 4 with possession of a syringe and two counts possession of paraphernalia, both class A misdemeanors.

He later failed to appear for a hearing, and a warrant was issued for his arrest. The warrant has since been withdrawn.

Court records do not reflect Smith’s next court appearance for his September arrest.