Expired license plate evolves into drug, weapon charges

A Dubach man was booked for numerous violations Saturday morning after he was stopped for driving a vehicle with an expired license plate.

Sgt. T. Edmiston of the Lincoln Parish Sheriff’s Department stopped the vehicle on La. Highway 33 after determining the plate registration expired in 2018. The driver, Thomas Shane Otwell, 50, could not produce a driver’s license and a record check showed it was suspended.

Sgt. Edmiston smelled suspected marijuana in the car and a subsequent search found a handgun between the front seats and an additional firearm and suspected marijuana in a backpack. Bags of suspected methamphetamine and mushrooms were discovered in a toolbox.

Otwell was booked at the Lincoln Parish Detention Center for possession of marijuana, possession of mushrooms, possession of methamphetamine with intent to distribute, illegal possession of firearms during commission of a drug felony, driving under suspension, no inspection sticker, and expired registration. 

Bail was set at $97,500.

This information has been provided by a law enforcement agency as public information. Persons named or shown in photographs or video as suspects in a criminal investigation, or arrested and charged with a crime, have not been convicted of any criminal offense and are presumed innocent until proven guilty in a court of law.