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Three arrested for meth possession By Greg Jones, staff writer
Two Tucson residents and one Benson resident were arrested on charges of possession of a dangerous drug after being stopped by Safford Police for speeding Wednesday night.
A Safford Police officer patrolling First Avenue reported a vehicle traveling at 45 mph in a 35 mph zone. The officer stopped the vehicle, which pulled into the parking lot of the Circle K on First Avenue.
The driver did not have a driver's license, but was identified as Jason Gunderson, 21, Tucson, by an Arizona identification card.
A passenger, Candice Carpenter, 28, also of Tucson, said the car belonged to her. A third passenger did not have identification, but gave the officer the name Jesse D. Earhart, 23, of Benson.
Carpenter said they drove up from Benson and were in Safford to visit a friend.
The officer learned Gunderson had a warrant out of Tucson after running a check for warrants on the three subjects. The officer also learned that both Gunderson and Carpenter had suspended licenses.
Gunderson was arrested on the warrant.
Earhart was asked to empty his pockets. He placed a lip balm container on the hood of the officer's vehicle. He reportedly said there was nothing inside the container.
The officer looked inside and saw a zip lock bag that had a residue of what appeared to be methamphetamines. According to the police report, while the officer was placing Earhart under arrest for possession of drug paraphernalia, Earhart said, "Can't we just write this off?"
During a search of the vehicle, officers found a glass pipe, reportedly similar to those used to smoke crystal meth, in a center console.
A backpack on the back seat reportedly contained a scale and packing materials, and a baggie in the front of the vehicle contained what appeared to be psilocybin, or "magic" mushrooms.
Another glass pipe and a set of scales were also reportedly found inside the vehicle, and a broken glass pipe and set of scales were found in a plastic bag.
Carpenter was placed under arrest for possession of drug paraphernalia.
She later admitted to being in possession of a golf ball-size bag of drugs, according to the police report. Carpenter said Gunderson said he had a warrant and asked her to conceal the drugs.
The bag reportedly contained 9.7 grams of meth. According to Arizona law, possession of more than nine grams of methamphetamines is considered possession for sale.
Gunderson denied the allegation. He reportedly said he knew Carpenter had the drugs, but that he wasn't involved.
After being taken to the Graham County Jail, Carpenter said again that the drugs belonged to Gunderson. She said she does not use drugs, and according to the police report, she offered to take a drug test to prove it.
The drug test showed she had the active chemical in marijuana, THC, opiates and methamphetamines in her system.
Carpenter, Earhart and Gunderson were all booked on charges of possession of a dangerous drug, possession of a dangerous drug for sale and possession of drug paraphernalia.
Gunderson was also charged with driving on a suspended license.