San Augustine PD: Convicted felon found with meth, rifle during traffic stop

San Augustine PD: Convicted felon found with meth, rifle during traffic stop

SAN AUGUSTINE, TX (KTRE) - Officers with the San Augustine Police Department arrested a 33-year-old Spurger man on felony drug and firearm charges after a traffic stop on State Highway 96 Tuesday night.

The man was found with nine plastic baggies of methamphetamine and a rifle beside him in the vehicle, according to the offense report.

Rusty Wayne Mathis is still being held in the San Augustine County Jail on a first-degree felony manufacture or delivery of a controlled substance between 4 and 200 grams charge, a third-degree felony unlawful possession of a firearm by a felon charge, and a Class misdemeanor unlawfully carrying a weapon.

According to the narrative of the offense report, San Augustine Police Department officers were patrolling Highway 96 when they made a traffic stop on a white Dodge Dakota with a defective tail light at about 9:53 p.m. Tuesday. The vehicle came to a stop in the Checkpoint parking lot.

When one of the officers spoke to Candice Bohler, the driver of the pickup, she said she had bought the vehicle three hours prior to the stop and admitted that her license was suspended. Bohler was arrested at the scene because her license was suspended, she had no insurance, and she had multiple previous convictions for both charges.

Mathis was a passenger in the vehicle. After Bohler was arrested, he was told to call someone to come get him because he also didn't have a valid driver's license. He was also told to gather his valuables from the Dakota.

At that point, one of the officers did an inventory on the vehicle and found a Remington Model 710 7-Magnum rifle in the front passenger area of the pickup, the affidavit stated. Mathis then told the SAPD officer that rifle was probably loaded.

Mathis admitted to having been released from prison 16 months earlier after he was asked if he had any previous felony convictions.
When one of the officers asked if Mathis if he had any weapons or anything they needed to know about on his person, he said no. However, during a pat-down search of Mathis, an SAPD officer found a small, gray zip-up case in the pocket of his jacket.

Mathis denied knowing what was in the case, and when one of the officers opened it, he found nine plastic baggies containing a crystal-like substance believed to be meth and one syringe, the affidavit stated. Mathis allegedly told the SAPD officers that he was unaware that drugs in the car and that he grabbed the case from under the seat when he was collecting his belongings.

Later, the two SAPD officers spoke to Mathis at the jail and asked him if he wanted to talk about the meth. Once again, he said he didn't know what had been in the case, the affidavit stated. Mathis also told the officers that he and Bohler had been heading to Lufkin to pick up a four-wheeler from a man they had met online.

According to the affidavit, Mathis admitted to the case being in his pocket, but said again that he didn't know what was in it.

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