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  • Writer's pictureDennis McCaslin

ASP details over 1,100 pounds of narcotics and 19 guns seized in most recent traffic stops


On Tuesday, June 18, 2024, around 8 a.m., Arkansas State Police (ASP) stopped a rented 2023 white Suburban on Interstate 40 Eastbound at the 1-mile marker in Crawford County, near Van Buren, for a traffic violation.


A search of the Suburban resulted in the seizure of nine trash bags and one duffle bag filled with 325 pounds of illegal marijuana, with an estimated street value of more than $487,000.  ASP also seized over $25,000 cash from the two occupants.


ASP arrested the driver, Christian Nichols, 50, of Hopkinsville, Ky., and the passenger, Giovanni Capozzi, 21, of Fresno, Calif., and transported them to the Crawford County Detention Center.


Both men were charged with felony Possession with Purpose to Deliver and Possession of Drug Paraphernalia.  Capozzi also had felony warrants out of California.


On Friday, June 21, 2024, at approximately 9:45 p.m., ASP stopped a white 2016 Chevrolet pickup truck on U.S. Highway 49 southbound near County Road 253, near Barton, for a traffic violation. A search of the truck revealed a Savage 93 bolt action .17HMR rifle with a Banish Suppressor and a .22 caliber Ruger Mark IV pistol with an unmarked black suppressor.


Troopers arrested the driver, Dallas Young, 30, of Poplar Grove, and transported him to the Phillips County Sheriff’s Detention Center, where he was booked and charged with two counts of felony Criminal Use of Prohibited Weapons, Resisting Arrest, DWI, Possession of Controlled Substance, Possession of Drug Paraphernalia, and other charges.


Two days later, on Sunday, June 23, 2024, in Lonoke, at around 7:45 a.m., ASP stopped a gray Ford F-150 traveling eastbound near the 173-mile marker for a traffic violation. Troopers searched the vehicle and discovered 23 cardboard boxes containing approximately 682 pounds of THC products and 99 pounds of Psilocybin Mushroom products.


Troopers arrested the driver, Joshua Burgess, 35, of Monroe, N.C., and the passenger, Cynthia Nickolaisen, 26, of Charlotte, N.C., and transported them to the Lonoke County Detention Center. Burgess and Nickolaisen were charged with two counts of felony Trafficking a Controlled Substance and Felony Possession of Drug Paraphernalia. 


Also, on Sunday, June 23, 2024, around 9:45 p.m., ASP stopped a 2019 black Dodge Challenger northbound on Highway 61 near Sandy Ridge in Mississippi County for a traffic violation. A search of the vehicle resulted in the seizure of 17 firearms, multiple fully loaded magazines, and a backpack full of ammunition.


Troopers arrested the driver, Tyree Speed, 24, of Blytheville, and transported him to the Mississippi County Detention Center, where he was charged with DWI, Possession with Intent to Deliver, Simultaneous Possession of Drugs and Firearms, among other charges.    


On Wednesday, July 3, 2024, around 2:12 p.m., ASP stopped a rented 2023 gray Nissan Rogue at the 16-mile marker on Interstate 40 Eastbound in Crawford County for a traffic violation.

Troopers searched the vehicle and found three duffle bags containing 92 pounds of illegal marijuana.


ASP arrested the driver, Wenchao Zhen, 45, of Rowland Heights, Calif., and the passenger, Muayad Yasin, 53, of Los Angeles, Calif. The two men were transported to the Crawford County Detention Center, where they were charged with felony counts of Possession with Intent to Deliver and Possession of Drug Paraphernalia.


The men told investigators they were traveling from California to Atlanta, Ga.  



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