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Magic Marker Leads to Drug Arrest

By Debbie Gregory

A Lafayette man was arrested on multiple charges, after a LPD officer noticed a vehicle traveling in the Walmart parking lot, where the 2019 sticker had been written on with a magic marker.


According to the affidavit of complaint filed by Patrolman Jason Sells on August 28, while he was on patrol he witnessed a vehicle traveling in the Walmart Supercenter parking lot and 2019 was written on the sticker with a magic marker. He initiated a traffic stop on the vehicle at Murphy USA fuel pumps, located in the Walmart parking lot, which is 815 feet from Fairlane Elementary School. 

The driver of the vehicle was identified as 28-year-old James H. Mowell, of Lafayette, who had an active arrest warrant on file. Patrolman Sells took Mowell into custody. There were three other individuals in the vehicle, and the owner of the vehicle gave consent for it to be searched. (She was not under arrest).

The report states that when the vehicle was searched the patrolman found a bag in the driver’s seat, that contained a black container that said Mowell on it.  Also in the bag was Mr. Mowell’s wallet and drivers license. In a white container, also in the bag, the officer found 5.56 g. of crystal methamphetamine (these were in 3 baggies), a digital scale, one hypodermic needle, four Gabapentin- schedule V tablets that were not in a prescription bottle, along with 12 white tablets with no markings on them.

Patrolman Sells read the Miranda Rights to everyone that was on the scene and they all confirmed that they understood. The patrolman stated that he asked everyone about the bag, and everyone denied that it belonged to them. Mr. Mowell admitted there should have been a black container in the bag that had his name of it, but denied the drugs or paraphernalia belonged to him.

The officer stated in the report that based on the fact that Mr. Mowell’s ID (only), wallet, container with his name on it, drugs, and paraphernalia were all found in the same bag, and in the driver’s seat where he had been driving, he charged him with meth: mfg/del/sell/poss., drug free school zone violation, driving while in possession of meth, simple possession, possession of drug paraphernalia, driving on revoked license, altering license plate, and violation of probation. 

Mr. Mowell had a previous driving on suspended conviction in 2017.

Bond for Mr. Mowell was set at $39,000 and a General Sessions Court date was set for October 9.