Hope Woman Had 5-Year-Old With Her Along With Over 4 Oz. Meth, Cops Say


HOPE, Ark.–A woman arrested last week in Hope has been accused of smoking marijuana while driving erratically with a 5-year-old child in the front seat, according to court records.

Dawn Bryant, 53, was allegedly observed by a director with the 8th North Drug Task Force following too closely behind another vehicle and crossing the center line into opposing traffic as she traveled south along Hempstead 3 – also known as Patmos Road – on April 12, according to a probable cause affidavit.

After pulling Bryant over, the officer smelled a strong odor of marijuana which Bryant allegedly claimed was the result of others smoking in the vehicle earlier that day. She allegedly said she’d just had an argument with someone in Hope and was “trying to deal” with the 5-year-old relative she had next to her in the front seat of her silver Cadillac.

Officers reportedly found the odor to be so strong that they suspected Bryant had been smoking marijuana with the child in the car. They also noted an open can of Bud Light in the center console.

Bryant denied having any drugs on her but when officers began searching the vehicle, she told them she had marijuana in her purse. A little over 12 grams of marijuana was allegedly recovered from the purse and more than 139 grams of methamphetamine, or about 4.9 ounces, was discovered in a makeup bag stashed inside a clothing bag in the rear passenger seat. One of three baggies of suspected meth weighed 103.9 grams, a second baggie 26.7 grams and a third baggie 8.8 grams, the affidavit said.

Investigators also allegedly found a bottle of the prescription opioid painkiller Hydrocodone labeled with someone else’s name that contained four pills. A pipe allegedly used for smoking methamphetamine and a set of digital scales were allegedly found as well.

According to the affidavit, during an interview at the Hempstead County Sheriff’s Office, “Dawn made it clear that she was not there to tell on anyone but stated that the drugs in the car belonged to her.”

Bryant was formally charged by Hempstead County prosecutors in an information Wednesday listing counts of possession of a controlled substance with intent to deliver, possession of hydrocodone and possession of drug paraphernalia to weigh methamphetamine. Each of the counts includes a notice that prosecutors intend to seek an enhanced range of punishment because of four or more prior felony convictions.

She faces up to 15 years as a habitual offender if found guilty of either the paraphernalia or hydrocodone charges. If convicted of the most serious offense, possession with intent to deliver methamphetamine, Bryant could receive up to 60 years in an Arkansas prison. Each offense also includes the possibility of a fine.

Bryant is currently free on a $5,000 bond, court records show. The case has been assigned to Circuit Judge Joseph Short. Bryant is scheduled to appear in court later this month.

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