A Middlesboro man is behind bars at the Bell County Detention Center after police say he fled what started as a routine traffic stop.
Brandon Smith, 29, is charged with fraudulent use of a credit card, two counts of theft of identity of another without consent, served two bench warrants for court, failure to wear a seat belt, second-degree fleeing or evading police and operating on a suspended/revoked license.
According to the arrest citation, Middlesboro Police Officer Barry Cowan was traveling northbound on US 25 E when he noticed Smith traveling southbound around Brownstone not wearing a seat belt. Cowan turned and got behind the vehicle, activating his emergency lights and notifying dispatch he was conducting a traffic stop at the Shell. The vehicle passed the Shell market and several other spots suitable for pulling over before pulling into the Community Trust parking lot. Smith switched seats with the passenger of the vehicle prior to Cowan walking up to the driver’s side door.
Cowan says he asked Smith for his driver’s license and Smith replied he did not have one. Cowan says Smith gave his brother’s name to try to avoid being served on several warrants out of Harlan County.
Smith is being held on $3,500 worth of cash bonds and is due back in court on Aug. 18.
In other police news, officers arrest two Middlesboro individuals after they responded to calls of a strong chemical odor coming from a home in the West End Trailer Park.
Matthew Sparks, 41, and Janet Sparks, 47, were both charged with manufacturing methamphetamine. Matthew was also charged with first-degree possession of a controlled substance (methamphetamine), first-degree possession of a controlled substance and drug paraphernalia.
According to the arrest citation, officers located several key ingredients used to manufacture methamphetamines in the home and Matthew had a small baggie containing a crystal like substance that field tested positive for meth and two peach colored tablets believed to be hydrocodone in his pocket.
*Darin Morris Helton, 26, of Kettle Island, alcohol intoxication in a public place, second-degree criminal mischief and second-degree assault.
Reach Reina P. Cunningham at 606-302-9091 or on Twitter @ReinaDailyNews.