By GARY POPP
A convicted felon on probation with a long criminal history was recently found during a traffic stop with a loaded, unregistered handgun, more than 4 grams of methamphetamine packaged to sell, 5 syringes and $400, the Clark County Sheriff’s Office reported.
Matthew Taul, 35, Memphis, was found behind the wheel of a car pulled over about 2:40 a.m. Aug. 31 along 10th Street after the deputy saw the vehicle making unsafe lane movements.
“Upon speaking to the driver, I immediately observed a glass pipe with burnt marks positioned on the driver’s lap,” the deputy reported.
Taul was seen trying to hide the pipe with his hands as he kept eye contact with the deputy. When Taul was asked to step from the vehicle, the pipe fell onto the floorboard below the driver’s seat.
He was patted down, and the deputy found several small plastic bags containing what later tested positive as methamphetamine in Taul’s pocket. Taul immediately denied the substance was his, the deputy reported.
As the vehicle was subsequently searched, the deputy located the pipe he had earlier seen and a Smith and Wesson .40-caliber handgun, which was loaded and in a holster that also contained a second loaded magazine. Taul said, at this time, he did not have a license to carry the firearm and that he is out of prison on parole.
A black bag was found in the vehicle’s console. The bag contained 5 syringes, another plastic bag containing methamphetamine, a digital scale and other paraphernalia.
After arriving to the Michael L. Becher Adult Correctional Complex, Taul was found with $400, all in $20 bills.
Taul was preliminarily charged with dealing in methamphetamine, a class A felony; possession of a firearm by a serious felon, a class B felony; possession of a needle or syringe, a class D felony; and possession of paraphernalia, a class A misdemeanor.
The arrest was only the most recent of interactions with law enforcement that date back to 1998.
In 2007, Taul accepted a plea for possession of methamphetamine, a class C felony, in Clark County Circuit Court No. 2 that sentenced him to two years in prison, followed by a 5-year probation term. Through the plea, Taul’s charges of dealing in methamphetamine, possession of a controlled substances, carrying a handgun without a license, possession of paraphernalia and operating a vehicle while intoxicated were dismissed.
In August 1998, Taul was charged with possession of cocaine and paraphernalia. Later in the month he was charged with battery.
He was charged with felony battery in 2009.
In 2010, he was charged with three counts operating a vehicle while intoxicated and disorderly conduct.
In March 2011, Taul was charged with intimidation, and later in the month he was again charged with intimidation and resisting law enforcement.
Early in 2012, he was charged with disorderly conduct, strangulation and intimidation.
Taul is being held in the Michael L. Becher Adult Correctional Complex under a $25,000 court-cash bond, which requires a $2,500 payment for his release.
Court records do not reflect Taul’s next court appearance.