By Debbie Gregory
The Lafayette Police Department seized a gun with an illegal silencer and a small bag of methamphetamine, during a routine traffic stop for a light law violation.
According to the narrative by LPD Patrolman Joshua McClard, around 11:20 p.m. on Thursday night, November 9th, he observed a pickup truck with a headlight out traveling on Days Road, near the address of 1971. Apparently the vehicle wouldn’t stop for the blue lights, but after the patrolman activated the siren and pulled to the side of the truck it finally came to a stop.
Patrolman McClard stated that when he exited his patrol car and made contact with the driver, identified as 46-year-old Donald Jeffery Hesson of Lafayette, he explained to Mr. Hesson that his headlight was out. “I asked for his license, registration and proof of insurance,” said the patrolman, “and Mr. Hesson appeared to be very nervous. I explained to him this was a routine traffic stop and asked him to calm down.”
Mr. Hesson couldn’t find his license, but he did have a handgun carry permit. Patrolman McClard stated that he asked to see the permit and if there were any weapons in the vehicle. “He handed me the permit and said there was a gun inside the vehicle, but he wasn’t sure where,” said the officer. “I told him to keep his hands on the steering wheel while I ran his license.”
When Patrolman McClard returned, he asked Hesson to get out of the vehicle, to separate him from any weapons he might have access to. “As he was stepping out, he informed me that he had a handgun on his hip,” said the patrolman, “which was suspicious because he had just told me only seconds before, that he wasn’t sure where his weapon was.”
The patrolman immediately took the firearm and unloaded it. “I began to frisk him for concealed weapons, and I detected a large object concealed within his jacket,” said the patrolman. “I asked what was in his pocket, and he then grabbed it and squeezed till it busted. I heard it pop when it broke.”
The patrolman went on to say that due to Mr. Hessons actions, he placed him in handcuffs. “Once he was secured I asked him again what he had busted and he stated it was a pipe for smoking methamphetamine,” noted the patrolman. “I searched him and found the pocket the pipe was in, which was full of broken glass. In another pocket I found a small bag of methamphetamine.”
Mr. Hesson was placed under arrest, and after the patrolman gave him the Miranda Warning, he was put in the patrol car.
Patrolman McClard said that while conducting an inventory, he found another firearm in the back seat, which was an AR 15 style rifle with an illegal silencer affixed to the end of the barrel. This weapon was seized, along with the meth and the broken glass from the smoking pipe, which had burnt residue.
Mr. Hesson was charged with possession of a prohibited weapon, possession of methamphetamine, possession of drug paraphernalia, and tampering with evidence.
Bond was set at $13,500 and a General Sessions Court date is scheduled for December 6.