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Batesville Police target drug community with five charged in various cases

The Batesville Police Department (BPD) continues to hammer away at the drug community and its sellers and users.

On Monday, Aug. 5, Dillon Sallas, narcotics officer with the BPD, filed drug-related charges on five individuals in various cases.

One case developed on Friday, Aug. 2, when Sgt. David Jones with the Arkansas State Police saw a suspicious female in the parking lot of a local convenience store. The court information noted that Jones said the woman appeared to be under the influence due to her erratic behavior. As he approached her, the sergeant said the woman told him she was working and just getting fuel for her semi tractor-trailer rig.

When Jones administered a standardized field sobriety test on the subject, identified as Rose Y. Powers, 54, of Hardy, he determined that Powers was under the influence of some sort of substance and placed her under arrest for public intoxication, according to the court info.

Jones then conducted an inventory of the truck and located a small plastic baggie which contained what tested positive as meth.

Powers was taken to the Independence County Detention Facility and charged with felony possession of meth, less than two grams.

Judge Chaney Taylor placed Powers on a $5,000 bond.

On Saturday, Aug. 3, two suspects were involved in a traffic stop on Harrison Street in Batesville which resulted in several drug-related charges against the duo.

The court information said the stop was initiated on a GMC Denali after an officer on patrol recognized the driver of the vehicle as a female he knew to have a suspended license.

During the stop, authorities noted the passenger in the vehicle, Thomas David Donaldson (pictured above, left), 23, of Batesville, had earlier been the subject of a sting operation that involved a confidential informant purchasing meth from Donaldson on two separate occasions, according to court documents.

After a patdown, Donaldson was found to be in possession of three baggies of meth in his cargo pants’ pockets. In the Denali, officers located a set of digital scales between the front passenger seat and center console. 

Also found sitting behind the center console was a Jimenez .380 caliber handgun, loaded with a round in the chamber, according to the affidavit of probable cause for arrest.

The driver, identified in the court documents as both Tonya Nikki Donaldson and Tonya Nikki Lundry (pictured above, right), 31, of Salem, made a spontaneous statement claiming the firearm located in the vehicle belonged to her.

The court information said officers also located a white handbag between the driver seat and center console. Inside the bag was a set of digital scales, a glass smoking device, as well as a plastic bag containing what later tested positive as crystal methamphetamine. 

Both Donaldsons, Tonya and Thomas, were taken to jail and charged with several felonies.

Thomas Donaldson was charged with two counts of delivery of meth; simultaneous possession of drugs and a firearm; possession of a controlled substance with the purpose to deliver; and possession of drug paraphernalia. And since he was caught selling meth to an undercover agent on two separate occasions, his bond was set at $75,000.

Tonya Nikki Donaldson (Lundry) was charged with three felonies and one misdemeanor: simultaneous possession of drugs and a firearm; possession of a controlled substance with the purpose to deliver; possession of drug paraphernalia; and misdemeanor disorderly conduct for her behavior while the traffic stop was being made

The court information said the judge set her bail at $50,000.

On Sunday, Aug. 4, Sallas was performing regular patrol when he was dispatched to a possible ongoing domestic disturbance at a residence on the west side of Batesville. Upon arrival, the officer made contact with a female subject in the front yard who conceded she and another man inside the residence, identified as Brandon Wayne Burtman, 39, had been yelling earlier, but it was “nothing serious.” According to the affidavit of probable cause for arrest, the woman gave Sallas permission to go inside to speak with Burtman.

The officer noted in the affidavit that inside the residence, he found Burtman lying on a bed. Sallas reported he believed Burtman was under the influence of some sort of substance due “…to profuse sweating, compulsive movements, and slurred, abrupt speech.” The female subject told the officer that Burtman did abuse methamphetamine and he had a bag of it in the room.

With her permission to search, the affidavit noted a baggie was found lying on the floor beside Burtman’s bed containing what later tested positive as crystal meth. 

Burtman was taken into custody and later charged with felony possession of meth. His bond was set at $5,000. 

And then on Monday, Aug. 5, Rick King, an off-duty officer with the BPD, was in the Walmart parking lot when he noticed a male, later identified as Aaron Ray Lee Kent, 23, of Drasco, who appeared to be unconscious while sitting in the driver’s seat of a Chrysler PT Cruiser.

The circuit court information said King looked through the vehicle window and saw a clear plastic baggie in plain view on Kent’s lap along with a glass smoking pipe.

Officer Bryan Strickland arrived on the scene and was able to retrieve the baggie and pipe. Strickland had Kent exit the vehicle and noted that Kent was unable to speak clearly or stand up, and was sweating profusely.

The court document said the baggie contained what later tested positive as crystal meth, and the pipe contained residue which tested positive as meth.

Strickland took Kent to jail and charged him with two felonies: possession of meth and possession of drug paraphernalia used to ingest meth.

A court judge placed Kent on a bond of $10,000.

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Images via Independence County Sheriff’s Department

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