MARSHALL — Searcy County Sheriff Kenny Cassell reports that 36-year-old Billy Joe Bass of Harrison was arrested last month when he went to visit the Searcy County Jail.

Cassell explained Monday that Bass drove to the jail to pick up a check for another individual. After Bass requested the check, a jail employee asked for Bass’ identification according to normal procedure.

After running the ID through the crime information computer, law enforcement learned Bass was driving on a suspended license, Cassell said. At that time, Searcy County Deputy Joey Baysinger asked Bass if he knew the status of his driver’s license and Bass stated he did not know the license was expired.

Baysinger went to Bass’ vehicle where he found three adults and a young child less than 10 years old. Since Bass’ vehicle was on property belonging to the Searcy County Sheriff’s Office and subject to search, Baysinger had his K-9 partner, Vader, do a free air sniff of the vehicle. Vader alerted on the driver’s side door of the car, Cassell said.

During a search of the vehicle, Baysinger found a box that contained a bag with a crystal-like substance inside, a pipe with a crystal-like substance in it, another pipe that contained a green leafy substance and a clear glass pipe that contained black ash residue. After testing the crystal-like substance, it tested positive for amphetamine, Cassell said.

Bass was arrested and faces felony charges of possession of meth or cocaine and possession of drug paraphernalia, as well as misdemeanor charges of possession of drug paraphernalia, driving on a suspended license and endangering the welfare of a minor.

He was also cited as a habitual offender because his record showed he had been found guilty of five felonies.

The evidence in this matter was turned over to an agent with the 20th Judicial Drug Task Force.

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