Audrain County Sheriff's Department officers reportedly found methamphetamine and guns in the vehicle of a Vandalia resident after he was stopped for a traffic violation in Mexico.
Carl Eugene Nevills III, 40, was stopped at about 3 p.m. Thursday by the Audrain County Sheriff's Office K9 unit for an alleged traffic violation on East Liberty Street, according to a department news release.
Cpl. Derek Chism was observing traffic in the 28000 block of U.S. Highway 54 near Mexico when he recognized Nevills driving a 2003 Acura, according to a probable cause. Chism reportedly knew from previous experience that Nevills did not have a valid Missouri driver's license and was allegedly involved in distributing drugs.
The rear license plate of the vehicle was reportedly obscured by mud and Nevills allegedly drove too close behind a semi-truck as they passed into Mexico city limits.
Chism stopped Nevills and asked if he could produce a Missouri identification card or a valid license. Nevills reportedly responded that his license was suspended.
Chism contacted Audrain County Joint Communications where he was informed Nevills' license was suspended with six failure to appear incidents and two probation and parole violations for distribution of a controlled substance, according to the probable cause.
Chism sought permission to search the vehicle, which Nevills denied, but reportedly admitted to having a meth pipe in the vehicle earlier in the day.
A canine unit reportedly indicated the possible presence of drugs in a black backpack.
A search of the backpack found a small black bag, which reportedly contained a hard plastic case with a digital scale, a glass pipe with alleged meth residue, and two small baggies of meth, weight unknown. Two handguns were reportedly found in the front pouch of the backpack.
Nevills has five previous convictions in Audrain and Maries counties for drug and vehicle offenses from 2016 and 2017, as well as failure to appear arrest warrants dating back to 2007, according to the probable cause statement.
Nevills was arrested and charged with delivery of a controlled substance, unlawful possession of a firearm, driving while license revoked or suspended, all felonies, and failure to properly affix or fasten motor vehicle or trailer license plate.
He was released Friday per court order with a court summons, according to a news release.