Passenger lodged on felony drug charges



Austen Barnette, 21, of Kenton, was charged with felony counts of trafficking in drugs, possession of drugs and tampering with evidence related to a traffic stop late Friday evening.

Officers of the Washington Township Police Department observed a sport utility vehicle make a lane violation about 11:30 p.m. in the area of Sunnyside Avenue and U.S. Route 33 and initiated a traffic stop. Officers made contact with the driver and noticed criminal indicators.

A consent search was granted, and passenger Barnette was asked to exit the vehicle. As he was getting out, he placed a bag containing a white powdery substance into a coffee cup.

Officers retrieved the item and it field-tested positive for cocaine.

Officers also found a set of brass knuckles, a butterfly knife, and $369 in cash on Barnette, along with several empty bags containing a white powdery substance that tested positive for cocaine.

A Russells Point Department Police officer assisted at the scene. The defendant was arrested and lodged into the Logan County Jail.

“Recent training has helped our efforts in recognizing and apprehending individuals using and dealing in drugs,” Washington Township Police Chief Richard Core said in an e-mail. “Curtailing drug activity continues to be the focus of this police department and will remain as our focus.

“Attacking the drug problem in our community prevents and/or resolves other problems that are the responsibility of the police department.”